Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why Gamblers Never Win

A brand new car - that you did nothing to earn.  Is this really an accomplishment, or a hollow victory?

It struck me the other day that even if one could "win" at gambling (and you can't - over time, the vast majority of people who gamble  - over 99% - lose far more than they win) you really aren't winning at anything.

For example, I saw at a casino once, a car up on a stage surrounded by slot machines.  If you played these "progressive" slots right and won, you'd get this shiny new Camaro convertible.  It was a V-6 of course, but still.

And I thought what it would be like to "win" this car, and felt that it would be a very shallow experience.

Think about it.   You are cruising the Las Vegas strip at sunset in your new car - after paying the taxes, insurance, and registration on it, which came to several thousand dollars.   Did you really accomplish anything?  Are you really a "winner"?  Are you wealthy as a result?  Of course not.

Did you do something differently than other people that would really entitle you to this car?  Was it something you earned or just something that fell into your lap, like finding a penny on the sidewalk?  You can't really say you are very special or did something special to earn this.   You may think you are a "player" for a few moments, but deep down, you know that you just got lucky this once and got a car out of the deal.

But of course, the reality is, like most gamblers, you'll end up selling the car to pay gambling debts, not to mention the taxes due.  Because no one ever wins at gambling - even when they win.