Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Online Casinos? How Dumb Do You Have to Be?

Gambling in a casino is just idiotic.   Gambling online with a "casino" in some unknown foreign country is idiocy to the nth power.

I am getting a few SPAM messages lately from some online casino, claiming I have winnings to be paid out, or that I have been given bonus chips or whatnot.  Of course, they are already marked as SPAM and they get erased automatically.

But it got me to thinking, someone must be clicking on this shit, or they wouldn't be doing it.   Of course, like so many internet scams, you use a shotgun - sending out millions of these messages and hoping one-in-a-million responds.  And when they do, you tell them they've "won" but have to pay taxes via prepaid blue-dot credit cards or Bitcoin or Western Union or whatever sketchy payment method the scammers are using these days (which brings up the question, why would anyone "invest" in Bitcoin, when all it is, is a payment system for crooks?).

I suspect a lot of these "online casino" pitches are just variations on the old Nigerian Scam.  You've won money!  But to get it, you have to pay us first.  You pay, and then, no money.

There are, apparently, some "legitimate" online casinos, operated by Indian tribes or even brand-name casinos.   However, like any casino, they are a bad bet - quite literally.  Any casino or gambling parlor has to take in more money than they pay out - or they go bankrupt.   So if you keep throwing a dollar at a casino, you get back 90 cents, if that.   Once in a while, you "win" at gambling, and this feeds the adrenaline engine in your brain.   You remember the wins, your forget the losses.

But over time, if you keep converting a buck into ninety cents, eventually you have nothing left.  And no, you are not going to be the guy who "beats the casino" or beats the odds or has a "lucky streak" - anyone who believes that sort of nonsense deserves to lose all their money.

At some campgrounds we visit, they have a Bingo night, and usually the proceeds are for some charity.  The most you can lose is a few dollars, and you get to meet your neighbors, as it can be a very social event.   Unlike hard-core Bingo parlors (or some Catholic Churches) where women play eight cards at a time and the "no talking" rule is strictly enforced, campground Bingo is more about socialization.  It is probably the only scenario where gambling is indeed harmless fun.

But like church-lady Bingo, which is deadly serious, gamblers in casinos are not interested in socialization or partying.  Most are plopped in front of some sort of machine, grimly pushing buttons and losing money.  They got rid of the big levers on the slot machines, as they realized the half-second people spent pulling that lever was time they could be gambling.

In the James Bond movies, people gather around the card table to watch the action and it is a social scene.   Gather around a card table at a casino and you will be asked to leave.   I know this, as I tried to "watch" a Blackjack game once, and a very large man with an earpiece asked me to move on.   Throwing your money away is grim, serious business, and not fun. Well, that, and they don't want people to have cohorts help them cheat.

But what little social interaction there is to be had at a casino - and the low-cost buffet and the free drinks - is missing from online "gaming".   In a way, it is genius - you cut to the chase and cater to the compulsive gambler's need for intermittent rewards.

The funny thing is, when I was researching this online, I found a number of "articles" about how to "beat an online casino" which were little more than garbage from overseas text-farms.  This example is precious, not only in its poor use of English, but going on forever without saying anything at all:
A strategy is a plan that you prepare in advance to increase the chances of your success. If you want to get the maximum profit in gambling, you need to be very careful about your strategies and plans. You should create realistic goals for your success. Also, do not put that money on the bet that you cannot recover. There are several ways which will help you to beat a casino. In this article, we will discuss the most successful strategies that work most of the time and make you earn profit by applying those strategies. Gambling is when you place your money on games for skill or chances.
Their "advice" on how to win at Blackjack was to "learn the rules of Blackjack" - I never would have thought of that!  Of course, it was just a text-farm site, with generic words on it and lots and lots of sidebar ads.  Put enough junk like that on the internet and you might make a few dollars a month, which I am sure goes a long way in Bangalore.

Online gaming - another reason why I don't "feel sorry" for people and their problems.   Some idiot gambles away his life savings online and we're supposed to feel sorry for them?  Is this any different than boring man who confused investing with gambling and lost his 401(k) to options trading - and now blames the Federal Reserve for his woes?

It does test one's patience.

But is it any different that the protester who wants "Anarchy" so they don't have to pay back their student loans?   Why should we "feel sorry" for someone whose only goal in life is to elect a guy who will send them "free money"?

Maybe we need to let people like that just stew in their own juices - in a stew of their own making!