Gambling or Entertainment

Three recommended books that will give you data I cannot pretend to know:
Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas (2012) by Natasha Dow Schull
The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business (2019) David T Courtwright
Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits (2004) Earl L. Grinols

Ace Rothstein:
In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and to keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose, and in the end, we get it all.

You might remember the above quote from the movie Casino. Schull (p.58 )quotes a
consultant that carries the sentiment that Rothstein expressed over 50 years ago, “The key is duration of play…I want to keep you there as long as humanely possible-that’s the whole trick, that’s what makes you lose.”

Her book is a fascinating exploration of the video game developers and casinos efforts to take all of a gambler’s money-whether today, tomorrow, next week…

I was talking to a friend recently who mentioned that she had thought about gambling because she wanted to “have fun”. She like most of us is following stay at home. I asked her when was the last time she had fun when she gambled. She thought it might have been over a year ago in January 2019. I asked her how long the money that she won that night lasted. She thought a week at the most and remembered that week was not fun. She had developed serious consequences from her gambling disorder soon after her partner died. She had gambled with him but did not develop problems until after his death. She went with him because it was something he wanted to do. Gambling was not fun after that for her.

We all have our own definition of entertainment. The arts, sports, reading, games, family time, collecting… We can go overboard on any form of entertainment. We can find ourselves facing consequences because of overextending ourselves. I know of no form of entertainment that is designed to take all of our money.

I believe casinos offer gambling not entertainment on the gambling floor. What form of entertainment is designed to take all of your money 24/7/365. What form of entertainment has no value commiserate with what is offered. If you are grieving, depressed, struggling with life what form of entertainment is going to possibly ruin your life-a bad movie, a losing sporting event? Casinos offer the opportunity to create problems that might last a life-time or worse end a life through suicide. That’s not entertainment.

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