The hypocrisy of Crown and Anchor


Cup Match is many things to many people, I for one, love the game of cricket itself and still stand by my comments of two months back that Cup Match should be two One Day Matches with the combined scores added together to achieve a result.

But Bermudians, rightly so, love every aspect of it from the annual gathering of family and friends, to the gambling, to the solemn occasion and what it still stands for, to the barbies and beer, and for the camaraderie and revelry.

Hang on....did I see gambling in there?

I did, I did see gambling in there - Crown and Anchor to be exact.

So before I start my look at who will win Cup Match this year and why (I think it will be a draw but my heart will cheer home Somerset), let's unpack this Crown and Anchor phenomenon a bit.

The game is played between a player and a banker. A canvas or felt mat marked with the six symbols is used for play. The player places bets on one or more symbols. He then throws the three dice. If there is a bet on any symbol which comes up on one or more of the dice, the banker pays the player the amount of his stake for each dice showing that symbol: even money if one, 2:1 if two, and 3:1 if three. If the symbol doesn't come up, the player loses his bet.

On average, the player will lose 92.1% of the amount he bets; that is, over time he will win just 7.9% of whatever he wages. Thus, the banker has a substantial edge. But who cares? It's fun to play Crown and Anchor at Cup Match time. In a game at a festival or casino, the house will be banker. In a game among friends, each person serves as banker in turn. In Bermuda, the game is played by many, many people at Cup Match and all over the island. When the government lifts its prohibition on gambling for the two Cup Match days, those many, many people come out and play, have a harmless flutter, and generally feel satiated by their contribution to the rich and glorious history that is Cup Match.

Now, presumably some, if not most, of that 'many, many' listed above, also form part of the anti-gambling movement here in Bermuda.

What...how is this possible?

Does hypocrisy exist in Bermuda....or does the two day lifting of the gambling ban for Cup Match exclude it from hypocrisy?

Well, the answers are; no it doesn't exclude, and yes, hypocrisy exists.

In much the same way as you cant be a little bit pregnant, you cant also be an anti-gaming proponent with no guilt at Cup Match, who then turns around and declares gambling will be the ruination of our nation.

You cant. But, oddly enough, many, many will see no merit in their own sin and ignorance.

Which of course leads to another point.

Is gambling actually a sin?

Although the words "gambling" and "gamble" do not appear in the Bible, we cannot assume that an activity is not a sin simply because it is not mentioned. And likewise, we cannot assume that it is a sin just because Christians want to believe it is. Looking at pornography on the Internet and using illegal drugs are not mentioned either, but both appear to violate God's laws. Although, we are not allowed to have concubines and multiple wives....but legendary men of God did. Go figure!

While casinos and lotteries promise thrills and excitement, obviously people gamble to try to win money.

And here's where the Christian word does mention gaming....etc.

Translated from the original Hebrew, instances of gaming in the scriptures are called 'lots' in English, Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we read about people casting lots when a decision had to be made. In most instances, this was simply a way of determining something impartially: Read this scripture

- Joshua then cast lots for them in Shiloh in the presence of the LORD, and there he distributed the land to the Israelites according to their tribal divisions. (Joshua 18:10, NIV) Now, Joshua was much loved by God and he was not at all punished for his gambling. Joshua began life in Egypt as a slave, under cruel Egyptian taskmasters, but he rose to be the leader of Israel, through faithful obedience to God.

Right back when When Moses sent 12 spies to scout the land of Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb, believed the Israelites could conquer the land with God's help. Angry at that, God sent the Jews to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until that unfaithful generation died. Of those spies, only Joshua and Caleb survived. I doubt God would have made such a Biblical hero of Josh if his desire to gamble held him out of favour with God.

Casting lots was common among many ancient cultures. Roman soldiers even cast lots for Jesus' garments at his crucifixion:

"Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it." This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, "They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." So this is what the soldiers did. (John 19:24, NIV).

So that the scripture might be fulfilled...hmmm, interesting.

God actually ordained that gaming would take place, even marked it as something that He wanted to happen.

Anyway, enough of that. I don't mind a wager every now and then and my conscience is not pricked by it. In the same way as the 'many, many'

who gamble at Cup Match and associated venues shouldn't feel slighted either.

My beef is with those who gamble at Cup Match and then support the anti-gaming in Bda motion. Remember, scripture says you cant serve two masters - and ignorance and stupidity vs common sense are two masters.

You must choose one.

You should feel guilty...and stupid, though, if you are counted among the number who crown and anchor this week then fight to have NO GAMING in Bda.

Because your actions are seriously flawed.

That all said...Stevie Outerbridge will avenge his 96 for Baileys Bay the other week by belting a ton on the first day of Cup Match this year.....but St George's will see that it fizzes out to a draw.

And that you can bet on.

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Published Aug 1, 2012 at 7:00 am (Updated Aug 1, 2012 at 7:41 am)

The hypocrisy of Crown and Anchor

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