Miscellaneous Rumbles

Are you a GAMBLER?

1

Ok, so everywhere I look these days I'm surrounded by temptation for gamblers. VLTs, Lottery tickets, gaming tickets of every kind, Texas holdem tourneys, crap games, card games, quiz shows, reality TV competitions, and more and more local casinos. It just doesn't end. People spending millions, upon millions, upon millions, in the quest for instant gratification in the form of instant, or at least pending, "easy" money. Throwing away good, hard earned savings with both hands. And the strange thing is, most actually believe it's going to happen to them. They fully believe they can and will win! At least, all of the "gamblers" I talk to seem to.

Call me a cynic, but I find it more than just a bit reflective of an ever growing sense of desperation within our society. A call to misanthropic madness. And an incredibly effective way, for government especially, to fleece the teeming masses for ever more of their dwindling resources. I just find it sad and more than a little disturbing. Gambling, a little gambling can actually be positive, if the gambler is taking a chance on life. Pouring effort and capacity into a challenge that may actually lead to the increase of one's personal growth. Like the chances we all take on love for instance. But this maniacal madness that takes place over the tables and counters of every corner dime store? Sorry, I just don't get it.

So, can anyone here enlighten me as to this crazed phenomenon? What kind of a "Gambler" are you? BTW, I've never played the lotteries in my life. Then again, I've never been hit by lightning either...

2

When I was in the Navy in the 60s, I found myself in front of a slot machine. A Nickel a try.

One Nickel lost; two Nickels lost; three Nickels lost. I saw a trend.

That was enough for me. Fifteen cents, down the drain.

The Lottery?

Odds worse than the slot machine. Lots worse.

4

I don't take those sorts of gambles either. I'm a very sore loser. But those other kinds of gambles...the kind that may turn out for good...like the time when I asked that pretty girl out on a date? Heck yeah! Worked for me. And she still likes me after 35 years. Everybody wins.

5

A "thrill of the win" gambler. I love playing Roulette....even/odds, red/black, 3 to 1. I honestly can tell you of the 8 or 9 times I've played in a Casino, I have never lost. Maybe it's because I'm not playing to make money....as crazy as that sounds.

6

I don't think it's, as you say 'an incredibly effective way, for government especially, to fleece the teeming masses for ever more of their dwindling resources'. Gambling is a 'choice'. No one makes you gamble, unlike making you buy health insurance or tax you to bail out failing companies, It's generally owned by private companies , Casino's built by voter approval, and is taxed at high rate with monies going to parks and recreation, school, etc... Gambling has always been around, it's just more prevalent today because of the internet.
I'm a gambler. I play Texas hold em, primarily. I enjoy the gamesmanship, socialization, skills ( yes,there are skills to playing Hold 'em) and the possibility of winning. If I lose I don't blame the government. I blame myself. I take responsibility for my loses and my winnings. I don't spend more than I can afford. Those who do have a problem, just like someone who overeats, spends hundreds of dollars on cigarettes, drinks alcohol in excess, need help. If I go play a few hours on a $100 and lose, big deal. How is that any different than going to a restaurant and spending a $100? It all comes out in the end. For many, it's an escape from there every day lives. Kinda like going to Disneyland as a kid. For some a $2.00 lottery ticket is a chance at win millions. Nothing wrong spending $2.00 once and awhile for that possible 'pot of gold'. Like they say 'you can't win if you don't play'. But as I said in the beginning 'It's a choice'. My question would be why does it bother you so much?

7

Actually, it's not that it bothers me so much. Simply reflecting on some of the things I see as the world turns. For those like yourself for whom it is indeed a simple choice, more power to you. As both you and NJDevil point out there is fair and enjoyable sport to be had in any game. I myself have played Hold em and well understand the gamesmanship, socialization and skill involved. As well as the thrill of the win. Which I do most of the time I play. Which admittedly, isn't often. (Perhaps, it's because as NJ points out, the money itself is kind of beside the point.)

No, it's the addictive aspects of gambling that wear on me. Watching strangers, friends, and especially family buy into high risk propositions they really can't afford to lose. And the overall sanctioning of a society that seems to feel that it is more acceptable to promote addiction, be it smoking, drugs, drinking (which are all gambles in their own right) or straight ahead gold directed gambling, than it is to address the problems that such activities cause. Addiction. And make no mistake, thousands have been turned into hardcore addicts through such easy access. Am I a saint? Holier than thou? Hardly. I've my own weaknesses. But that doesn't mean that I don't see. And that seeing sometimes bothers me. Sometimes...

8

On the other hand, I must admit that there is a certain aspect to what I would term, a healthy gambling spirit, that I do indeed admire, and even envy. The capacity to throw caution to the wind and dive headlong into unknown possibility. That capacity is something else entirely. Perhaps we've just kind of lost sight of what real gambling actually is. At it's best, willingness, hardiness, and the adventurous spirit. That, and a strong belief in life. That is the kind of gambler I truly wish was more present inside of me...

9

I hear you. I see people gambling that I know shouldn't be, but it is their choice. What bothers me is government run games....the lotteries and scratch offs. The same as casino gambling, they are siphoning off money with those. They're not creating new money just redirecting money that would have been spent elsewhere anyway. I gamble but also think too many that gamble shouldn't be. I don't think it should have ever been allowed to grow to the point it is now. All the billions of $$$ lost would have been put to a much better use.

As for the other gambles, the adventurous spirits, the curious, the exciting risk takers, and explorers....I sometimes think that is being stifled by our society, I'm suspicious that we may be turning that off in our kids rather than stimulating it. A few years ago I took some night classes a the community college. At the start on one class the instructor warned it was going to be a tuff one. He actually said 'don't shoot for A's because you'll just be setting yourself up for failure and rejection', but maybe I took that the wrong way and it was a challenge, I'm not sure. Shoot, kids can't even play tag or do somersaults at school....they could get hurt you know.

10

I can't see any attraction in any sort of online betting at all. And I do worry about people getting sucked into debt by the current rash of tv ads that imply instant financial success is just a push of a button away.

On the other hand, a trip to the races can be a very fine day out in itself, but only providing you set a limit on how much you are going to bet — say as much as you might spend going out for dinner, or to a concert or the theatre. That way you don't so much 'lose', as just spend an amount of money on a form of entertainment. Having said that, we have a day at the races only about every two years!

11

I've never actually been to the races...

Sounds kind of Hemingway-esque.

Not a bad idea, actually.

K

12

Going to work is enough of a gamble for me. My other half likes to have a bit of a gamble but she's very much in control of it. She must like to gamble if she's stayin' with me lol.

13

Casinos are all over the place here in Oklahoma. They are all owned by the Indian tribes. In my area it's the Chickasaws. I have witnessed quite a few otherwise good decent hard working folks get sucked into that pie in the sky thing and lose everything. There has been a rash of embezzlement cases lately where unsuspecting small business owners who are asleep at the switch suddenly wake up one morning and find out that several hundred thousand dollars are missing and everything they own is down the drain. It's the same scenario every time. Someone thinks they can "borrow" a little money and go win enough at the casino to pay it all back. But they keep "borrowing" more and more until it is an impossible situation. Then they get a little careless and get caught.

I really don't see any harm in recreational gaming every so often, but you don't go bet the farm. However if you can't keep it at a now and then recreational thing, then you'd better stay away from it because the casinos know how to fleece you with a smile on their face.

Now, when I win the lottery...

14

I see buying a lottery ticket as giving to charity. If I actually win - bonus. A radio science commentator here in Australia once described the odds of winning Lotto as being only slightly improved by actually buying a ticket. I love that concept.

15

More and more casinos as time goes on. People don't have to go to Las Vegas anymore .... At one point casinos were going to save Atlantic City. Now NYC gamblers can skip AC and go to Indian casinos in Connecticut instead. And there are plans for a big casino complex in Orange County (NY).

17

Actually, it's not that it bothers me so much. Simply reflecting on some of the things I see as the world turns. For those like yourself for whom it is indeed a simple choice, more power to you. As both you and NJDevil point out there is fair and enjoyable sport to be had in any game. I myself have played Hold em and well understand the gamesmanship, socialization and skill involved. As well as the thrill of the win. Which I do most of the time I play. Which admittedly, isn't often. (Perhaps, it's because as NJ points out, the money itself is kind of beside the point.)

No, it's the addictive aspects of gambling that wear on me. Watching strangers, friends, and especially family buy into high risk propositions they really can't afford to lose. And the overall sanctioning of a society that seems to feel that it is more acceptable to promote addiction, be it smoking, drugs, drinking (which are all gambles in their own right) or straight ahead gold directed gambling, than it is to address the problems that such activities cause. Addiction. And make no mistake, thousands have been turned into hardcore addicts through such easy access. Am I a saint? Holier than thou? Hardly. I've my own weaknesses. But that doesn't mean that I don't see. And that seeing sometimes bothers me. Sometimes...

– General_Lee

I agree with you on the addictive aspect but then again it still is a matter of choice. And yes, the mass availability of gambling is a problem for some. We have become a nation of instant gratification. You want a cup of coffee? there's a Starbucks on every corner. You want an answer to a question? Instant answer on the internet. Want to watch just about any movie? Netflicks. Want to socialize without having to get dressed and go out? Facebook, Twitter, The Gretsch Pages, etc. It's not the gambling. It's the entitled, instant gratification attitude of people. And in todays society, you need to know how to use it and not abuse it.

18

I don't think most poker players would consider themselves gamblers, not the ones who make a living at it. It's a game of skill.

I like going to The Downs to watch the horses. $2 a race, and you generally break even. I haven't been there in a few years.

I had been playing the VLTs, I just really liked getting a Royal Flush. I got one pretty soon after I started, then I got another, then I said I would quit after my next one because I wanted to try to double-up, you know just let it ride! That took more than a year [I won!] and I was glad to never sit down at them again.

I played 6/49 for years and years, since I was very much underage. I stopped recently when they raised the price again. If it's $20 million and I happen to notice, I will play, but it has been more than year. I loved to daydream about what I would do with the money, but I've never expected to win anything.

19

Undoubtedly, in many aspects of life...

...------

21

Besides, I can't even win a guitar (or anything else) at a Roundup where the odds are infinitely better,

22

I am not opposed to gambling, but I am not into it. For games of skill, I simply do not have those skills. For "games" of no skill (slot machines, lotteries, etc.) -- I find those totally boring.

When gambling was being legalized in PA, our (then) Governor promised that revenues would be used to reduce real estate taxes by at least 30% -- 40% was the figure we often heard. The actual reduction in those taxes was just under 3%. However, those same taxes then increased by about 3% (or more) every year after that. We've never gotten straight answers on where all that money went......!

23

The most successful Gamblers are those that get the laws changed to favor their efforts.

Sen. Phil Gramm will be long remembered as the Patron Saint of Gamblers.

24

We have a Casino on our river on a riverboat. That's supposed to make it legal, right? Anyway, I can't stand to see people throw hard earned money away. Of course, whatever people do with their money is none of my business but it's just way too hard for me to make a buck. When the one in town opened, my wife insisted that we visit just because. We decided that we would spend what we normally do on a night out and stop. Well that went really fast. We haven't returned except the one time our Daughter turned 21, she wanted to experience it. Same scenario. Too quick and more smokey than a hole in the wall club. We were in Connecticut visiting family and we were coaxed into going to Foxmore, I think it was called. I spent $0.00 and walked around watching people spend $100.00 chips like candy. It almost made my stomach sick. I do the Lottery every once in a while. I play the same #'s... my birthday, wifes birthday, and our Anniversary. I don't have any luck with the scratch offs. Best of luck to those of you that do.

25

Besides, I can't even win a guitar (or anything else) at a Roundup where the odds are infinitely better. Don Birchett<

We had a silent auction at a recent local fundraiser. Good cause. I did indeed buy some tickets and dropped several in each bag below the prize. There was a cool tire compressor as one of the prizes and I dropped about twenty tickets into that particular bag. Other than my own, there seemed to be only about a half dozen others inside. Guess what? I still lost...


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