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For the past 23 years I have been writing about the social consequences of expanded gambling.  The “fruit” of gambling is very public: jobs and revenue.  The pain of gambling caused by the addicted and the problem gamblers is mostly private, frequently hidden and often covered up by families.  I have written occasi9nally about abuse and assault associated with a dysfunctional gambler.  The following story is a first in my 23 years of following gambling.

On October 5, 2010 the Orlando Sentinel reported that two Ocala, Florida sisters beat up and robbed their father.  The beating of the 73 year old man took place in the hospital parking lot, where the mother was a patient.  The sisters beat the father, took his cash and stole his car.  They told police they were attempting to recover money that had been taken from their mother and gambled away.  The father admitted to taking $1000 and gambling with it.

I have heard of wives beaten up, winning gamblers followed home and robbed, and disputes that ended in violence at illegal games, but this is the first time I have heard of the gambler being beaten for his theft.  The $1000 he admitted to taking is probably way low as well.  Gambling is such a wonderful addition to a community!

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center