Howard Riback: Gambling — Another word for financial donation – The Suburban Newspaper

The word “gambling”: The Oxford dictionary defines the word’s meaning as

“risking the value of something for a simple game of chance.”

That’s nine words too many. “financial donation” — two words instead of 11.

Much simpler. much shorter. More accurate.

Aaahh. Gambling. The art of risking $1 in hopes of getting 95 cents back. Hoping, imagine. The irony? Gamblers are “supposedly“ known as the smartest of all addicts on the addiction chain. Wouldn’t it be quicker, simpler and far easier just mailing a cheque to Loto Quebec, or your casino of choice, for $100, stay home, and throw on Netflix?

I know, I know. That would put dealers, croupiers, food servers, chip takers, and a host of “chefs” (pit bosses in Quebec) and valet ladies and gents out of work. I get that. Also, it’s far more exciting to drive to the casino and make your donation to the government, because, after all, who doesn’t love giving after tax dollars right back to the very people we despise in the first place?

Sorry François, sorry Justin.

And? We say thank you, steal a stack of napkins, a whack of wet naps, leave happy with a thinner wallet and credit cards that now have a smaller “available balance“ as we leave the gaming premises.

Aaghh. The joys of gambling, online or casino. Scratch tickets or sports betting. Billions and billions of dollars later, spent and lost. Does anyone with an IQ higher than a August afternoon’s temperature not realize, yet, that you can not win unless you’re the owner-operator? Don’t go! Or are an eeny weeny teeny % that, do/ does sometime win.


Who goes into the gaming business (Donald Trump aside) to lose money? Nobody. Absolutely no one. Steve Wynn, Caesar’s Entertainment and a plethora of Aboriginals and First Nation Folks, aren’t dummies.

The gambling industry makes money like Heinz makes ketchup and bees make honey. Licenses to steal, or take — gambling. Chasing the elusive dream and set of hopes. And that’s exactly what gambling remains, dreams, hopes, stories go share on the “if come” basis. If it was only that easy.

We work so damn hard for our money. Most of us, really do. Up early, bed late. Meetings (Zoom or otherwise ) forced and squished in between an 8-10-12 hour day . Work = money. The rectangular notes we all run after, think about, invest, make then spend. Money. The Canadian colourful synthetic polymer that our bank notes are printed and made of. We finally get to hold and call our own each week (or bi- monthly) but, then, after Mr. & Mrs. Government takes their chunk home, we further shrink our take home pay, by risking it at gambling. Gambling?


Howard Riback is a Montréal-based therapist (gambling specialist), law enforcement liaison, IMAQ provincial mediator, and addiction guru. He is known by many as The Cleaner. If it needs fixing, Howard’s your guy. Call 514-659-5621 or email

— By Howard Riback

— AB