Gambling/Something For Nothing

Gambling is one sporting event I don’t ever indulge in, because I just don’t get it, I truly do not comprehend the psychology of gambling…I realize intellectually that gambling is an ancient, well known concept that has been prevalent in most societies and cultures for thousands of years, a very popular past-time, but I just don’t get it…The stakes in other cultures are different, the games are different, the wagers are different, but there’s just one universal part about gambling I don’t get…If you lose, you don’t get anything back at all!

This is the part I can’t wrap my head around….In any other circumstance where you may lay out some of your hard earned cash, you always get something back in return for it…If you pay rent, you get a roof over your head in return….If you lay out money for groceries, you get food in return….If you pay money at a department store to buy clothes or shoes, you get something, like clothing or shoes in return for your money…..

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If you go to a grocery store and buy food for your family, you get something of value in return for your money….If you go to a bar or market and order drinks and pay for them, you get alcohol in return…If you want to buy a pack of cigarets, then you pay for a pack of cigarets and get to smoke them in return…Take it to a different level….Not that I’m advocating this, but for the sake of argument, even if you buy drugs, or pay for sex, you STILL get something back in return….

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But with gambling, you pay out your money on the HOPE that you will get something in return…There is no quid pro quo exchange of cash for goods or services, you are merely putting your money out there and praying you win…. And IF you win the wager, say on a sporting event, like the Super Bowl, THEN you get rewarded by receiving cash money, usually more than you gambled in the first place…OK, that is enticing…

But God forbid if you bet on the wrong team, because if your team loses, you get NOTHING in return! The money is gone, poof! Disappeared! Like it fell out of your pocket, like you lost your wallet or purse, like you got robbed…The money is gone and you have NOTHING to show for it!

This literally blows my mind, that people would think that gambling is somehow such a good deal, so attractive, so seductive…I understand the soaring, triumphant elation that the winners must feel, but how soul searing, how mind crushing, how rotten and desperate and low down you must feel if you lose!OMG! I cannot conceive of it!…

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I live in California, and there are many legal Indian casinos in this state…I have passed through one of them several times because they serve an excellent, inexpensive family brunch, and on the way to the dining area I curiously observed row after row of electronic slot machines with avid gamblers, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarets and feverishly playing the machines, all in the middle of the day…It is like they are in a fevered state, and I guess they are, they are caught up in gambling fever….Not once did I feel the urge to try the slot machines out…

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Even though I live in California, I have never even once crossed the border of our neighboring state of Nevada, never once been to Reno or God forbid, sin city, Las Vegas….The reason is simple; it is because I have absolutely no desire to gamble, and it is obvious that Reno and Las Vegas, again, state sanctioned legalized gambling industries, are the main tourist attraction of that state…

If you ever saw the excellent movie “Casino” with Robert DeNiro and Sharon Stone and Joey Pesci, all great actors, you will never want to gamble there again….They lay it all out in that movie, in stark black and white terms, how the casinos are run by organized crime, how all the profits from the legalized gambling go back to organized crime, how the odds are always stacked in favor of the house, and how you, as a naive tourist, a little guy, a weekend warrior, have little if any chance of ever winning anything significant….They play you for the sucker, and the house always wins in the end….

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I just don’t see the attraction here, people…If the odds are stacked against you the minute you walk in the door, if the house always wins, what the heck is the point? I mean, I know some people win sometimes, that is like the lure, the incentive for the other fish to nibble on, the hopes of getting something for nothing, i.e. winning more money than you laid out….

But how desperate do you have to be to think this is a good idea? If you think you are just born lucky and will get something for nothing, you have it exactly backwards….The professional gamblers are the ones who almost always get something for nothing, YOUR hard earned money, freely offered, and YOU get nothing in return!

I have heard from my friends who gamble that there is nothing like the thrill of winning a bet, hitting a slot machine, picking the right team in the office pool, collecting from your bookie if you are a hard core gambler…. The instant high, the adrenalin rush, the euphoria of winning…

Yes I am sure that must be a wonderfully heady feeling, but again the odds are against it…Most people who gamble, despite occasional wins, almost always lose more than they win over the course of a lifetime….

It’s like that old Monday Night Football slogan, that there is no feeling so great as to rival: “The ecstasy of victory, the agony of defeat.” It’s why sports are so much fun…..But it just doesn’t carry over to the gambling side, although millions of people bet on sports….

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Just remember, if you put out your money, you should always get SOMETHING in return for your money…..When you lose, and most gamblers always do, you feel only the ashen, leaden, gut wrenching feeling of getting nothing in return…A fair exchange is no robbery, as they say, but there is nothing fair about gambling….It is a sucker’s game….

The odds are ALWAYS against you, the house always wins, and all you get in the end is….nothing…

Anybody want to play double or nothing?

Just leave it like it is right now

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