Social Question

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

How much money does it take to gamble?

Asked by MorenoMelissa1 (1140points) March 9th, 2010

I love to play the slots at casinos. However I have noticed how easy it is to spend more money on them then you really cared to do. But if I had to choose a good amount to spend I would say 20 dollars.

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12 Answers

ZAGWRITER's avatar

20 is good for me too, but i haven’t gone since ‘98 so…

YARNLADY's avatar

I once walked into a casino and put a nickle in the slot played the hand, and left. Usually I buy a $20 card and with the free roll of nickles they give me for using my credit card, that lasts most of the day on the poker machines.

Hubby usually comes out between $100 and $200 ahead, because he is an expert blackjack player, but he sticks to the low minimum tables.

filmfann's avatar

My wife takes about $200 to gamble, and usually wins. She has a talent for knowing which machines are about to pay out.

wundayatta's avatar

@filmfann You might be interested in this article from today’s Philadelphia Inquirer. This link might get you there, but I’m not sure. You may need a password.

The article is quite interesting. It says that people way overestimate their winnings and dismiss their losses. The person in this article lost $30K last year, according to the Casino’s records. He thinks he won $10K. He’s unemployed, too. Where can the money be coming from?

What Problem With Gambling?

Parx Casino CEO Dave Jonas raved recently that most of his cus- tomers come three times a week.
By that standard, Eric Anderson may be Parx’s best bettor: He plays every day, often more than once.
Anderson lives five minutes from the Bensalem slots box, which raked in $400 million in profit last year in a recession. Proximity, plus free valet parking, has turned the unemployed cement mason into a casino operator’s dream.

Anderson, 31, pops in for 90 min- utes here, three hours there. He plays to relax and to kill time when his kids are in school. He plays late at night when he can’t sleep or at dawn while his wife dozes.

Anderson views playing the slots as a profession, a flextime job he can do in sweats while smoking.

“I treat it like a business,” he tells me after we meet at the casino. “If this is what I have to do to make money, this is what I have to do.”

That’s presuming he makes mon- ey. Which you’ll see is a matter of some debate.

I caught Anderson on a great day, after he and his wife won $700 play- ing $75 in comps Parx deposited on their “Xclub” cards. Up $3,000 for the week, he celebrated by buying Nintendo DS games for his children and an Xbox for himself and gas- sing up the truck.

“I always make sure I get some- thing out of it if I win, even if it’s just a pair of sneakers,” he ex- plains. “You’ve got to be smart about it and spend some of that money on your family, because the casino will take it back.” Something to do Anderson first frequented Parx two years ago on breaks from con- tracting jobs. “I’d run in and play $20. Sometimes I’d hit $50 to $100 and treat my crew to lunch.”

He became a regular after a back injury sidelined him and he was un- able to find other work.

“This,” Anderson says of gam- bling, “gives me something to do.”

He budgets $200 a day to play, saying, “If I lose, I lose. If I leave with $200, I had fun and I won.”

In a good week, he hits three jack- pots, spending as much as $600 to win $1,200.

“So then I’m going to save or spend $600 on food or haircuts or bills. Everything I wear every day, from my underwear to my T-shirts, that casino paid for.”

And on bad stretches? Anderson admits he sometimes succumbs to urges and digs himself a deeper hole. Mostly, he lies low until Parx ponies up comps to lure him back.
What playing pays Pushing buttons for hours on end, Anderson has honed a strate- gy of superstitious practicality.

He plays only machines with mod- est payouts. He gambles intensely at the start of the month, when he sus

pects machines pay out more.
As he talks, I think a real employer would value Ander- son’s loyalty and drive. Parx gives him just $10 a month in free food and drinks, but he doesn’t seem offended.

“Who wants to sit down to eat a meal when you came to gamble?” When I mention that this column will run during Na- tional Problem Gambling Awareness Week, Anderson mentions seeing the warning signs in fellow daily denizens.

“I know people who go there and empty their bank account,” he laments. “They broke rule number one: Don’t lose your head.”

Speaking of losing, C.P. Mirar- chi, a gambling addict-turned- counselor (www.thegambling- warned me that problem gamblers underesti- mate their losses and double their winnings. I finally ask Anderson how much his casino job pays.

“Last year they say I lost $30,000,” Anderson replies of Parx, “but that’s not true.”

Another of his superstitions concerns the Xclub cards, which track gamblers’ every spin. When Anderson wins, he stops using the card, believing casino bosses can alter the ma- chines to reduce payouts and recoup the house’s funds.

My head’s spinning, but I press on: If playing slots at Parx was your job in 2009, what did you earn?

Anderson pauses to add it up.

“I think,” he says, “I maybe broke even or was up $10,000.”

filmfann's avatar

My wife had never gambled before. I took her to Tahoe for a weekend, and thought I would show her a casino.
I always lose. Always. Always always.
So I gave her $40, and told her to do whatever she wanted. She walked up to a machine, and, without touching it, said she didn’t feel good about that one.
She walked up to another, and said it felt like a winner. She put in 25 cents, and won $100.
While she was waiting for an attendent to come help her, she put 25 cents in the machine next to her, and won another $60.
Needless to say, my little lesson for her turned out to be a lesson for me. She wins.
And she does this all the time!
Yes, she often puts back, but her last trip to an indian casino netted $800 profit, and she only plays $.25 machines or nickels.

CMaz's avatar


$300 for you $200 for me. I will IM you my mailing address.

YARNLADY's avatar

@wundayatta What they say is true of people who estimate, but when we go we keep a strict account of the money we have and can give a complete record of what we started with and ended with. Hubby even keeps track of each play. He was once required to show what he was doing with his little black book

CMaz's avatar

@MorenoMelissa1 – :-)

Basically, you send me $500. I send you $300 back.

You are way ahead of the curve.

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