Econo-Girl watched one of her favorite movies last night: Casino. Geek that she is, one of the things she likes about it best are the little business lessons about putting the most profitable machine in front, etc. She always wondered why DeNiro didn't have Sharon Stone's old boyfriend killed or something.

Of course, intrepid readers will remember how Econo-Girl hated, HATED Vegas when she went there. Gambling is not her thing, mostly because she hates to lose. Some people think it is fun, she knows, but it actually is rather scary to me. Sitting there, you feel like you are the center of it all. And nothing else exists. And the rounds go so fast. I know that is the point. You don't get to enjoy sitting there without playing.

A statistician one told Econo-Girl that you can expect to get 30% return at a casino, max. And the longer you play, the more likely you are to lose. It's in the numbers. Who would have thought that that extra zero or two would throw things so much? But it does.

Watching the other people in Vegas was depressing. Some of them were so sad. Maybe they felt like us about being there.


lewis_medlock said...

if its just entertainment then its Ok......
when people view it as a means of paying their way through retirement...uh oh.

my wife like vegas...but her going there is no different than my yearly fishing trips to canada , my hunting or my ski boat.
so i dont mind.
lewis medlock

The Lazy Iguana said...

I liked Las Vegas.

I do not like to sit there and loose a bunch of money either, and I am fairly good at sticking to a budget. But that is just 1/2 of it. You also need a winnings plan, and stick to that. For example, say you are at a slot machine. You stick in a dollar and win $20. Do you cash out or keep playing? If you keep playing when do you cash out? When you are down to $5? When you are out of credits?

You need a cash out plan. Very important.

There are also some games better than others. You need to be aware of the house advantage for each game.

There is a great site for all this info, www.wizardofodds.com

Econo-Girl said...


Good strategy! A plan on how to handle winnings and when to quit. I'll bet few people do that. Which is why Vegas gambling is such a money maker.

Econo-Girl said...


There's other things to do in Vegas, and if Econo-Girl didn't get disoriented so badly by the flashing lights and layout of the casino floor, she might have enjoyed it too.

I suffer a bit from vertigo, and Vegas decor doesn't help.

Anonymous said...

Gambling, though, is an irrational form of entertainment. I don't understand it. Why risk money that you worked for in exchange for a chance at more money. Especially considering the chance at winning is so slim. Irrational, to me.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Then all entertainment is irrational. Why pay money to see a movie? When you leave, you do not take anything with you. Why use your money for anything other than an investment and/or things you need to live - like food?

Gambling for entertainment is not the same as gambling because of addiction. If you go into a casino expecting to win that brand new Dodge Viper, you are on the wrong track. If you go in thinking you will gamble enough to get some free drinks and maybe some free food (or other perks the casinos hand out) and maybe possibly win that new Viper then you are on a better track.

The odds are not exactly on your side - but you can not win if you do not play.

Anonymous said...

But, to use your example, you pay money for a movie in hopes that it will be a good movie (how to judge if it is good or not is another thing entirely, and nearly irrelevant here). If it is good, and you enjoy it, then its purpose has been served. Gambling, in this sense, can achieve the same purpose.

However, going to see a movie is controlled spending. Gambling is not (although, there are those that do control their spending). You know what you are going to get out of a movie-2.5 hours of movie-be it good or bad. Gambling is too uncertain-you may spend hours gambling thousands, only to lose it all.

I am not saying "Do not gamble." No, what you do with your money is your choice. Forgive me if I came off that way. I just find it irrational, considering the circumstances.

And the latter 'track' you presented-I do believe that is much closer to what should be done. Except, on such a track, one should not be disappointed when one does not win.

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