Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

12/19/12

Rosati's Pizza and Gambling: Finding Better Pizza with Social Responsibility

Rosati's Pizza Twitter Post about Their New Video Gambling Machine 
Proudly announcing their video gambling machine, complete with a how-to video on YouTube embedded in, Rosati's Pizza lost my business. 

I will not knowingly support a business directly encouraging this kind of gambling. Yes, I shop where lottery tickets are sold, and despise that I must. As pizza goes, I have plenty of alternatives.

See the original Tweet for yourself. They have blocked me (apparently not happy that I pointed out that Nancy's Pizza tastes better and is less salty than Rosati's Pizza), but I am glad to post the link here, encouraging free speech. Let me know if they take it down. 

The machine is in their Yorkville, IL store. I used to buy from their Wheaton, IL store. Yorkville's decision impacted the Wheaton store's business. 

For those of you outside of Chicago, Rosati's Pizza is a basic Chicago-style pizza. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago-style_pizza#Thin-crust_pizza):
There is also a style of thin-crust pizza found in Chicago and throughout the rest of the Midwestern USA. The crust is thin and firm enough to have a noticeable crunch, unlike a New York-style pizza. 
The crust is topped with a liberal quantity of Italian style tomato sauce, which usually has quite a lot of herbs or is highly spiced, and typically contains no visible chunks of tomato. Next, a layer of toppings is added, and finally a layer of mozzarella cheese. This pizza is cut into squares, also known as party cut or tavern cut, as opposed to a pie cut into wedges. However, the consistency of the crust and the quantity and choice of the tomato sauce and cheese are what separate this style from East Coast- and Roman-style pizzas, and it makes the pizza from most neighborhood pizzerias immediately distinguishable from that offered by national chains such as Papa John's or Pizza Hut. Aurelios is a chain which specializes in this kind of pizza. Casa Bianca, located in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles, is also well known for this style of thin-crusted Chicago bar pizza.


I have had it delivered for many years, but now, as I am against gambling, am no longer willing to buy from them.

It is a free country. They are doing nothing illegal. In fact, as their post says clearly, they have a license to do this, issued by the State of Illinois. The fact that it is legal does not mean I should support a business doing something I despise. 

My community matters more to me than my pizza choice. And, as it turns out, we have several other excellent pizza choices. 

Why don't I like gambling? Plainly, I think it hurts communities in proportion to how much gambling there is. More importantly, it hurts people. I won't labor on about my reasons, but the short version is that communities are never bettered from the addition of opportunities to gamble. You can see the definition of problem gambling below, but I also think there is a larger negative social impact. Sure, not everyone who gambles will become a compulsive gambler, and one video machine may not cause anyone to struggle.  

I also know many of my readers may be enthusiastic gamblers without any issues of addiction and are not involved in any aspect of gambling culture that is a social concern. I'm not denying your right, or Rosati's Pizza's right. I am merely explaining that Rosati's Pizza's decision nauseates me. Why would I want to purchase food from a place that equates vomit in my mind? I don't. 

What is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term "Problem Gambling" includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as "Pathological", or "Compulsive" Gambling, a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, "chasing" losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.
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