I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Gambling? Yes it does go on in Vegas.
They're Giving Me $200.00?
My Blogs on this Las Vegas trip really
would not be complete without writing something about gambling. It is
after all what Las Vegas is really all about. Make no mistake about
it, you can come to Las Vegas and have a great time without throwing
away a quarter on gambling, but the town was built on gambling, and
gambling continues to support its growth. The dream of hitting it
lucky is alive and well.
We have spent exactly five $1 bills in
the “Machines”, and for two of those it took us a while to loose
all of it. We could have walked away with almost $1.75, but we
insisted on playing on until it was all gone. We have met others with
the same attitude, but we have also overheard quite a few discussions
about how much was lost. Funny how I never heard any about how much
You are certainly encouraged to spend
your money on gambling. It is hard to miss the huge sign outside the
Tropicana Resort telling you that “The First $200.00 is on us.”
If you sign up for the 'Trop Plus Player's Club” the casino will
give you back the first $200.00 you lose. Here's how it works. You
give them $200.00 and they give you a Trop Plus Card worth $200.00
that you can use to play any game in the casino. When you lose your
first $200.00 they will refill you card with another $200.00. There
was always a lineup to sing up for this deal. I wonder how many
people lose that first $200, realize 'Oh, perhaps playing the slots
is not the way to get rich', and then take their refilled card and
cash out? As you walk through the many casinos, you do hear people
cheering when they win, but I've only seen one person yell
“YEAAAAA!!!!”, and then push that “Cash Out” button, the
normal reaction is to leave the winning in the machine and just keep
Playing the Tables
I watched a guy playing on the Roulette
wheel. He had a stack of probably 20 chips on “red”, and red hit
so he doubled his chips. He didn't even take those chips back to the
stack he had in front of him, he just distributed them around the
table. That seems to be the predominant strategy in play; you always
use your winnings to try to win more. He didn't, in fact in short
order he was back to pulling chips from the stack in front of him.
We came up in the elevator one evening
and overheard two women talking. One said “Oh, I really don't know
how much I've lost. I know I had $900.00. I'm assuming that “I had”
means she doesn't have it any more, so if her math skills are so weak
that 900 – 900 = 0 is not the answer, then $900.00 was only a
fraction of what she actually lost.
We are not on a very strict schedule
normally, so we sleep until we wake up, normally around 8:00 or 8:30,
but the day of the Sprint Cup race we wanted to be there early, so we
were up at 6:00, and were on the bus by 7:00 to get to the track. As
we came through the casino (You always have to go through the casino
to get anywhere), there were already people up putting money into the
machines. Now I say they got up early to play, but it is Las Vegas .
. . . . they may have been there since the night previous.
Sports Betting Area
I've seen the video gambling machines
in taverns and other places, I've been to the casinos on cruise
ships, and I've visited casinos in other places, but I have not seen
the sports betting before. Every casino has an area where they have
huge TV screens playing any important sporting event 24 hours a day,
and banks of betting stations where you can place bets.There are
always people in these parts of the casino, but when a major sporting
event hits, they are crowded. We discovered that this area was a good
shortcut to get out of the hotel and onto the strip, but when a major
College basketball tournament started, the area was suddenly so
crowded you had to pick your way through; they were even sitting on
the steps leading to the exit. There were guys sitting everywhere
with tablets full of stats, handwritten notes and newspaper
clippings. There was a lot of serious gambling going on.
This week, Las Vegas is crazier than
usual. It is Spring Break for a large group of American universities,
and although I thought that Florida was the big Spring Break
destination, it is obvious that Las Vegas is also a popular spot. The
streets and the casinos are flooded with young people here for a good
time. I notice that most casinos have special Spring Break promotions
running just to entertain the college students. The Tropicana for
example features a March Mania Mega Stack Poker Tournament. I wonder
who this is aimed at? I hope it is only the students here on their
“Family Money”, but I suspect that some hard earned, student
minimum wage university savings or even some student loan money gets
gambled away over the week.
As for us, we are not really doing our
share of the expected gambling.