#57 - Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

Posted on Thursday, January 16th, 2020 at 11:03 am by LaLonde Jewelers

People gamble on just about everything, horse races, sports, or in casinos.These forms of gambling are pretty much regulated in some form by government agencies. There are others that are regulated by individuals of that particular community, like cock fighting, illegal fight clubs, cockroach racing, and Bookies.

The second group was something that I would sometimes be familiar. You see, because the government agencies, who somewhat controlled the enterprise, had sets of rules which most had to follow. The illegally run enterprises had fewer regulations which allowed a greater amount of graft or theft.

Cockroach Racing

Although I have never been to a cockfight, I would remember the times of going into areas of the back woods of Hawaii like Waimānalo or Waiʻanae, or in parts of the Big Island, or the Sugar Cane areas of Maui, where there were no tourists and mostly farm workers of various nationalities, like Filipino, Laotians, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. These people loved the cock fighting.

Not all of these people had cash, so they would put up various items of value to enter the contest. Maybe baskets of fruit, guns, knives or perhaps jewelry. If there was a dispute, they knew that they couldn't go to the local authorities. This is where I would come in. Well, when I would go to those areas to appraise jewelry, I would be the one who would have to give these people the lowdown on the jewelry that they had taken for their winning payment.

These were tough assignments for me trying to explain how they had gotten taken, especially talking in a broken English.

No one ever came back to me saying I had made a mistake, and I know I settled at least 30 disputes. I think that the credit fell onto the manager of these stores who set up the appraisal and because of their influence in the community, I was endorsed and never messed with. I never had a feeling of danger.

So, I came to realize you can go to a government sponsored theft or to an individually sponsored theft.

Who do you think is more legitimate?

Written by Dan LaLonde, G.G., G.I.A.
Lalonde Jewelers & Gemologists
The Gem Expert