Gambling sting shameful waste of resources

Freedom New Mexico

Do you feel safer, Portales, knowing New Mexico law enforcement has busted a bunch of your peaceful neighbors for playing small-stakes poker?

We didn’t think so.

The alleged infraction occurred Dec. 30 when 10 funseekers were captured playing Texas Hold ‘em by a New Mexico Department of Public Safety agent’s hidden camera.

Inspector Gadget Victor Rodriguez was bravely able to nail a 70-year-old civil-rights activist, a former Roosevelt County manager and a retired firefighter on petty misdemeanor charges. He did so using taxpayer resources that will far exceed the $580 confiscated from the players.

This action reinforces the state’s belief that it is quite important to note the country club gang was playing a poker game intended to benefit only the winner of each hand.

Obviously, if the geezers had just invested their gambling bucks buying New Mexico lottery tickets instead, they would have been law-abiding citizens not out to line just their own selfish pockets. After all, that state gambling game benefits all our children. Just go to the state’s lottery Web site and swallow the promotional claims that the lottery:

• “Benefits New Mexico’s future;”

• “Opens the door to new generations of New Mexicans;”

• “Helps make New Mexico a better place to live.”

Our government would have us believe it’s somehow immoral — even illegal — when good ol’ boys and girls get together over a game that’s part skill and part chance to try and separate each other from their week’s lunch money at 10-to-1 odds, but that taking a gamble on a lottery ticket is wholesome family entertainment at million-to-1 odds.

What a double standard. Too bad state leaders don’t see that when most New Mexicans do.

What’s next? Will New Mexicans have to now hide evidence of their investment in March Madness basketball brackets? After all, thousands of us bet a few friendly bucks that way, similar to what the country club gang did.

Will Big Brother be hiding behind a potted plant in the workplace with a hidden microphone and video camera, ready to punish you for buying a chance on that No. 16 seed?

We won’t bet against it.