George Washington On the Record

Moral objection to gambling has a long history not only in central Illinois but throughout the United States, reaching back to George Washington, who shared his own objections in a letter to his nephew Bushrod Washington on January 15, 1783.

“Avoid gaming. This is a vice which is productive of every possible evil; equally injurious to the morals and health of its votaries. It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief. It has been the ruin of many worthy families, the loss of many a man’s honor, and the cause of Suicide. To all those who enter the lists, it is equally fascinating. The successful gamester pushes his good fortune, til it is overtaken by a reverse. The losing gamester, in hopes of retrieving past misfortunes, goes on from bad to worse, til grown desperate he pushes at everything and loses his all. In a word, few gain by this abominable practice (the profit if any being diffused) while thousands are injured.”

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