Some people gamble. Some people don’t. I do. Sometimes I don’t. That makes me a gambler. I’m not alone and there are many kinds. Some are now rich. Many are now poor. Or at least poorer. Some are bankrupt. The Casinos are doing well. This can largely be attributed to their defining of the games. It’s no coincidence that they almost always refuse to play my games. This is the art of their business. Early in the devising of the business model, a key decision was made. It’s served them well ever since and never have they strayed from it. It quite simply, is to play games where you (the Casino), will probably win. Without this decision, there would be no Casinos (there was this one I went to for a while that offered games where the players themselves had the statistical advantage – a refreshing move that diversified them from the competition – but unfortunately it closed down soon after opening, which I found surprising at the time given how popular it was). Anyway, they decide the games. In some games, you can slowly leak your money away, like a metaphor about sexually transmitted infections which I have consciously refused to use. In other games, you can blast money at the Casino like water gushing out of a fire-hydrant recently hit by a car. Like in Miami Vice for example. Visualise a big squishy car if you like. A Cadillac with fins at the back, wham! Water everywhere. Water analogous to money here – remember? Yup.
With all the games, the Casino has THE edge. They’ll probably win. You could win. If you do, it’s not uncommon. If you don’t – it was probably going to happen. But I gamble. I know these things. I know I’ll probably lose. But you know what – a lot of times, I win. Dealers smile at me and give me chips. These are genuine smiles more than not. I know why that is now. It confused me for a while. Are they not worried that their employer is losing money? Do they not fear for their job security? I’m taking mad cash from this institution! Would your shareholders be so happy to see you smiling so callously at me? You should grab your hair in despair and cry out in anguish – look around the Casino, there is plenty of source material to draw inspiration from here. But no – a smile. There is sufficiently little Autism in me to sense the sincerity. There is sufficiently little Autism in me to see the mathematical argument to cease gambling. How then can the mystery smile be explained? Well my theory is that, the way the game is set, we are like a proud stag in rutting season. Keen for a scrap. The Casino is a Stag. This one fights on request. It will even fight a whole group of Stags all at once. This stag’s horns are between 0.3% – 5% bigger than yours. Sorry. Do you want to fight him? Yes you do. Ok. Wait stop though! Before we begin the rutting match, would you like something to sooth your mind? Something to help you ride the waves of fortune through the highs and lows with a level head and strong proud chest? You will need to keep your wits and emotions close and under control. They are looking for weakness and are slightly hornier than you remember. You will need a Gin and Tonic. A Vodka Coke will do. A double would get you in that ‘double-down’ sort of mood that has so often left Casinos quivering. Hard to say if that’s fear or anticipation – but the quivering is undoubtable. Metaphorically. Very well – intoxicate me.
Now I’m ready. Ah- bugger. Never again… after this hand. Shit. Let’s get it back. Yes! Now let’s play with the winnings. Ok, back where we started. So carry on… Shit. Wahoo. Why? Just do it for fun and don’t bet much. Pretend to be James Bond and swan about soaking in the atmosphere. Don’t take lectures, but don’t gamble if you don’t like it anymore. Choose life, not the double down dream. They smile cause they see idiots like us lose so much they are haunted by the guilt of it. A big win for you validates their idea that maybe they don’t need to find a new job. Casinos are wonderful, and I love them, but they take more money than they give out and we must be disciplined.