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Ask Dave

Is Gambling Okay as Entertainment?

Brian asks how Dave feels about gambling at a casino as entertainment as long as you don't go in expecting to win big.

QUESTION: Brian asks how Dave feels about gambling at a casino as entertainment as long as you don’t go in expecting to win big.

ANSWER: I don’t think it’s a moral problem. I just don’t understand it. That’s how I feel about it. I do not get a thrill out of losing money that I’ve worked for. That’s not entertaining to me. And you’re not going to win. The house wins. That’s how they build those palaces called casinos. It’s an industry. It’s called the gambling industry. Some of those companies are publicly traded, and the profits they make off of your stupidity giving them money and calling that entertainment drives their stock price.

I don’t grasp how it is entertainment to lose money. It’s not entertaining to me. My suspicion is always that when someone says, “Oh, I just do it for recreation,” that what you’re really honestly saying is you think you’re the exception and you’re actually going to win. Otherwise, there’d be no thrill to it. If you were just going to throw money down the toilet, you could just throw money down the toilet, literally. If that’s entertaining to you, lay, like, $100 bills in your toilet and flush. It’s kind of the same thing. Whooo! There it went. Watch it. It’s gone! Wheee! That was fun. Let’s do it again!

It’s the same thing as pulling the one-armed bandit, isn’t it? The slot machine. Wheee! Bing, bing, bing! Took your money. Wheee! It’s gone. Wow, that was fun! I’m so entertained.

I just don’t get it. I really don’t grasp it. And why do all the people sitting at the slot machines look like they’re people that can’t afford to lose money? They look like sad, broke people. Lonely people. They don’t look like people that are winners in life. Sorry, guys, if that’s you. You’re kind of pitiful-looking. Maybe you change when you sit down at the slot machine, but maybe you were a winner and when you walked in there, you got a different body language and suddenly your face aged and I saw stress in your eyes and hopelessness going across your countenance.

I’m not entertained by this. It’s not a big moral thing to me. I just don’t grasp it. So no, I’m not going to be in the casino. I don’t even play blackjack, and that’s at least some kind of a somewhat of a control over some part of the game. But wheeee! We lost money! Oooh, that was fun! How is that fun?