|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
The Eternal Allure of Gambling
I just spent three days in the land of milk and money - Las Vegas. There is something refreshingly honest about the place: it's all about money and it knows it. It doesn't pretend to be anything else.
No doubt some of the architects think that their work has some importance of its own: the re-creations of Venice, Camelot, Paris, Egypt, and New York. Battling pirate ships and erupting volcanoes aside, once you enter the themed palaces, they are all the same: crap tables, blackjack tables, roulette wheels, and thousands upon thousands of slot machines - all promising to give you a fun time while you lose your money in the pursuit of a possible fortune.
The lure of gambling has existed throughout recorded history but has never gripped the millions who now participate. We play state-sponsored lotteries, visit tribal and other legal casinos, create special accounts for Internet gaming, bet the horses, bet the dogs, bet on sports, fights, anything where we can catch the excitement of beating the odds.
Moralists worry that a large percentage of those who risk their money, are those who cannot afford to risk anything: the poor, the unemployed, the minimum wage fringe who, at the best of times, barely hang on to the basement rung of the economic ladder. They argue that gambling should be a pleasant pursuit for those who can afford to lose a reasonable amount, using the money they have earned for purchasing excitement, entertainment, and momentary escape.
Who's kidding who?
For the middle class gamblers who bet on the super bowl, the derby, the occasional lottery ticket, or visit the casinos once or twice a year, gambling is a diversion, a fun time, a little bit of excitement sandwiched between the realities of career advancement, building a nest egg, raising children, and doing their civic duties. The thrill of a potential win is the lure of proving their ability to compete, to come out on top, to better their opponents, the pros, the odds, the morning line. It is a personal challenge that can boost their self-confidence when they win but has few negative effects when they lose because their real self-image relates to the important aspects of their lives, separate from their gaming ventures.
It is those who cannot afford to lose who become addicted to the lure of chance. Stuck in minimum wage employment, without the education, the skills, or the entrepreneurial savvy to work their way up the social and economic pyramid, they see gambling as the promise of a permanent way out, a tsunami that can sweep them instantaneously to the top, an overnight millionaire. A lottery ticket, a slot machine, a pick 6 wager, plays no favorites. The poor, the homeless, the forgotten, the have-nots, all compete with the rich and famous on an equal footing. They become hooked on continued gaming because it is the only chance of reaching the lifestyle they want to achieve.
A successful businessman wins a quarter of a million dollars and it is nice: a bonus, a chance to splurge on new toys, the opportunity to retire outstanding debts, or expand their company with a welcome infusion of capital.
A working-class-stiff wins a quarter of a million dollars and it is truly life-changing. A janitor, a gardener, a fast food worker, a guard - with a windfall like that, they can turn their back on the roach-infested slum apartment and move to a better neighborhood or buy a small house and a new car. They can quit their hated job, help their families, participate in the good life they have only previously experienced as outsiders, looking in.
The problem is that it is non-sustainable. Winning what seems like an enormous amount of money seldom leads to rational investment: education, skill upgrades, saving for future college costs or business opportunities. Moving from nothing to something, in an instant, is not an event likely to produce rational planning. For those whose monetary and emotional needs have never been truly met, immediate gratification is the direction of choice. A lifetime of denial demands a certain degree of self-indulgence when the means for it become miraculously available.
Is it any wonder that a large percentage of lottery winners file bankruptcy within five years of their win? The moves, the changes, the life enhancements that substantial wins provide are ephemeral.
In the short run, they provide an exciting exit from a black tunnel. In the long run, such a win turns negative - because the dream has become a reality, even if only for a brief moment, returning to prior levels of existence becomes an even more painful form of imprisonment.
The need to recapture that dream, and perhaps maintain it this time if a mega-million prize can be snatched, keeps the gambling industry thriving and the promises of dream fulfillment entice us all, most especially the poor, into one more venture, one more ticket, one more chance.
Virginia Bola is a licensed clinical psychologist with deep interests in Social Psychology and politics. She has performed therapeutic services for more than 20 years and has studied the effects of cultural forces and employment on the individual. The author of an interactive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://drvirginiabola.blogspot.com
Keren Henderson: Churchill Downs already embracing casino-gambling business - Lexington Herald Leader
The Secret of Put Bets
Why No-Limit Poker is Better Than Limit
If you are a tight-aggressive player, you need to consider playing No-Limit Hold 'em if you aren't already. With proper play, not only can you expect to increase your hourly win rate, but you can make it much more difficult for your opponents to draw out on you.
5s in Blackjack
Counting cards in blackjack is a way to increase your chances of winning. If you're good at it, you can actually take the odds and put them in your favor.
2005 World Series of Poker -- Mid Tournament Report
The 2005 World Series of Poker started its 36th year bigger and better than ever at the RIO! Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the mid point of the tournament series, Events #1 through #22 have been completed.
Playing Live Casino Poker for the First Time - What You Should Know!
The type of game and the stakes you are going to play for are the two first decisions you have to make before entering a live casino poker game.The minimum buy-ins in most live poker rooms are ten times the minimum bet, but a general rule of thumb is to never bring less than forty times the minimum bet to the table.
Tips & Strategies for Slot Players
1. Always play with money you can afford to lose.
The Joys Of Playing Internet Poker
I started playing poker on the internet about six months ago and I must say I absolutely love it.I had had no real interest in poker until I watched it at a friends house on satellite TV.
The Bingo Renaissance
Little old ladies in slippers, playing for pennies and cents in a converted community hall is no longer the reality of bingo. The game has in recent years and now more than ever undergone a rebirth in its popularity and status and now looks set to boom in the coming years.
Becoming a Consistent Winner at Online Low-Limit Texas Hold Em
Start with LIMIT Texas Hold 'EmBoth limit and no-limit Texas Hold 'Em are wonderful games. Each game provides unique opportunities in nearly every single hand and subtle complexities that can take more than a lifetime to master.
Slot Machine Basics 101
Let's begin with a little bit of basic knowledge about slot machines.Modern Slot Machines work on a computer program that randomly selects winning combinations.
FAST Roulette System: New, Unconventional , Latest Breakthrough in Roulette System
This article is going to show you a new, unconventional , latest breakthrough in roulette system.The creator is a real genius.
Dice Games 101
Dice games are the oldest and one of the simplest games that perhaps suit all ages. The dice games involved in gambling are one of the most exciting and popular ones.
No Deposit Online Casino Bonus is for Lucky and Wise Only - The Myth of Free Money
No deposit bonuses are very popular, especially among "not-so-wealthy" online casino players who want to play but are not so eager to give out money.Although giving away free money doesn't seem to be a very wise thing to do (average no deposit bonus is around $10), thousands of online casinos are doing it and most of them are very happy about it too.
Texas Hold em Poker Basics
Texas Hold em Poker (also know as Holdem Poker) is a card game which you'll take a few minutes to learn but many years to master. As a beginner you'll want to learn the Texas Hold em Poker basics - the rules, hands rankings and types of texas hold em poker.
Basic Jacks or Better Video Poker Strategy
Video Poker is a game of skill - and using the simple combination of playing strategy and mathematical know-how, can be beat. Take note of the "pay schedule" shown on the front of each machine, and look particularly at the most important information - how much the machine will pay out for a Full-House versus a Flush.
Roulette System: How you can win Roulette easily and automatically
In this article, we will discuss on "A personal interview with the FAST Roulette System's creator, Raymond Lai."Q: Hi Raymond, thanks for joining us in this interview.
Roulette System: 5 Biggest Gambling Mistakes You Should Avoid
In this article I'd like to share with you the 5 biggestgambling mistakes of most average gamblers. Las Vegas thrives on people making these mistakesand makes more money this way.
Take Your Online Poker Game to the Next Level
Playing Poker online can be quite satisfying, and financially rewarding, if one uses the best possible online poker strategies. Some online poker players simply rush into games and hands without thinking about their options.
There Is No Such Thing As The Gambling Olympics!
I often become bewildered when I hear of people bragging, because they have high strike rates and/or high profit-on-turnover figures (POT). You know the 'my strike rate on the Soccer is 73%' or 'my POT on the gallops is 90%'.
Evaluating Starting Hands In No-Limit Holdem Tournaments
There are three main factors that influence how you should play your hole cards in No-Limit Hold'em Tournaments. They are: your position, the size of your chip stack, and the size of the blinds.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.