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Casinos want drunken gamblers, increasing risks

Wondering why the risk for pedestrians and sober drivers is so high when driving near a casino? Part of the reason is that casinos may end up over-serving their patrons. This can increase DUI accidents, which are often tragic when both parties are in motor vehicles and which can get far worse when one party is a pedestrian just trying to walk down a sidewalk or use a crosswalk.

Drinking and Gambling

The issues with over-serving are well known. If a person is clearly intoxicated, past the point of a normal night of drinking, serving that person more drinks can be viewed as irresponsible. Yes, that person may be asking for more drinks, and yes, he or she has the freedom to do that in the United States. However, the warnings against over-serving simply acknowledge that this person could be a danger to others, especially if he or she gets behind the wheel of a car. Moreover, that person may not even want any more drinks if he or she was sober enough to think it through.

Now, the issue with casinos is that they really want their patrons to get drunk. An intoxicated person is more likely to make risky choices, such as betting it all when he should pack up for the night. Even a smart gambler who understands the game might make mistakes if she's even a little intoxicated. Sloppy gamblers help the house, and casinos will even give out free drinks. People enjoy these drinks because going to the casino is fun and exciting and drinking is part of the experience. Really, though, the casino is just trying to take away any slim edge that you had so that you lose while you play.

As you can imagine, this means the casino has a direct financial reason to want people to keep drinking. They promote this behavior because it helps the casino make money. When those gamblers leave, though, it puts everyone else at risk.

Liability

It could be argued that casinos aren't at fault here. Their patrons are choosing to drink and party. They're choosing to drive home. They had other choices, such as drinking less, taking a cab, or bringing a designated driver.

This is all true, and the blame can be laid on the drunk driver, who may be liable for the injuries caused in an accident. However, it's important for those who are going to be near the casino to simply consider the type of atmosphere this establishment creates and what financial goals it has - and the tactics used to reach them - raising the risks in the area. No matter who is at fault, those who are injured then also need to know their rights to compensation.

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