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Einstein said "God does not play dice." But at the smallest scales of the universe, to the best of our knowledge, we think he does. And that's the best we can do — take what we believe to be true today and act accordingly.

So God plays with dice, and people crave certainty. Our need for certainty in a probabilistic world is evidence that either God has a sense of humor — or is an insurance agent.

Gambling and games of chance can teach us something about how to live in a probabilistic world. Since the rules of the game are known, odds can be calculated. This is called a kind learning environment, where patterns repeat and feedback is accurate and rapid. We can practice making probabilistic decisions in kind environments, then try to apply those learnings to real-life situations, also known as wicked learning environments, where odds are less clear or completely unknown, and feedback is often delayed and inaccurate.

I spent a year studying the mathematics of blackjack. The math of advantaged blackjack is such that the basic strategy odds can change as the cards are dealt. This means that the advantaged player sometimes takes an action that looks stupid to the player following the book on basic strategy. I was told many times while playing that I was an idiot, when in fact I knew exactly what I was doing, and knew the person calling me an idiot had no idea what they were doing.

And that brings me to my point: I believe we have enough gambling already allowed. I learned some life lessons playing, but my experience in casinos tells me that most everyone else there was not doing the same thing. Most were looking for an escape from something. And perhaps I was, too. As it was made more and more clear to me that I was not welcome at the local casinos, I stopped going. But many can't do that.

There's also the question of encouraging productive uses of our time. Flipping through the channels, I'll watch a bit of a poker tournament now and then. All those professional players are incredibly intelligent, but what are they contributing to their fellow citizens' lives?

No, we have enough gambling. Just enough to satisfy those looking for an outlet, and maybe learn a lesson or two. We don't need to make it any easier to gamble, though. There are many other problems we should be focusing our collective intelligence on.

Spencer J. Kubo, of Minneapolis, is an investment adviser.