Hardly a week goes by these days without someone or other warning of a surge in crime, mental illness, social breakdown, poverty or some other ill due to gambling.
The top target for the anti-gambling faction appears to be the "super-casino" concept - whatever that may be. The problem for those in the poker fraternity is that their game of choice is included in the bundle of gambling games such as roulette and craps.
And the issue is further confused by the fact that casinos also provide table games, where the house has a healthy edge, which are labelled "three-card poker" and "Caribbean stud poker", which of course are not poker at all.
Despite the prophecies of impending social disaster due to gambling, no one seems to have suggested any positive ways of dealing with the problem.
So here are a couple: teach poker in schools. Use it as an illustration of probability mathematics - if indeed the subject still appears in the maths curriculum.
It would be much more likely to attract the kids' attention than dry-as-dust mathematical formulae.
An understanding of basic probability mathematics is essential for any would-be poker player but is also useful in the real world in comprehending such things as insurance.
One of the useful aspects of understanding probability is it can be used to ascertain whether or not a proposition represents good or bad value. …