Thoughts on gambling (casinos / Vegas)

During my mid 20s my friends & I frequented the riverboat casinos and took several trips to Vegas. Sometimes I won but usually I lost. Naturally, whenever I lost I was upset with myself. I wondered why I didn’t just buy something I wanted rather than gambling it away. As a result I didn’t have the money nor the material object. In hindsight, why didn’t I invest those occasional winnings and, more importantly, those losses rather than gambling them away?

I’ll chalk it up to youthful indescretions. Afterall, I did have fun…but at what cost?
Well, I’ll be 43 this weekend and I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been to a casino. Nor do I have any real desire to go.

Why do I bring this up? I have buddies going on their yearly trip to Vegas at the end of July. Having listened to stories about previous trips these guys have lost a substantial amount just about every time. Although they ask me to go, mindlessly blowing my cash foolishly doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

I like to think my current views on gambling are based upon maturity and wisdom. But maybe I’m just a slow learner. A couple years ago I had a “boys” night with my 2 sons. They were about 5 & 7 at the time. I thought I’d teach them to play Texas Hold’em. We used M&Ms for betting. The first hand my older son won a big pot. After that he didn’t want to play. When I asked him why, he replied, “I don’t want to lose my candy!” I could have learned a thing or two from him in my youth.

Just curious what others think about the subject.

I live about a hour from AC. The most I’ve ever lost is $20 while waiting for one of the shows to start. I just can’t see throwing money away. The odds always favor the house.

Here’s what you should be asking yourself: Does a successful RE investor really care if he blows a few grand on a weekend in Vegas?

I care about blowing a few grand. Although I’ll be the first to admit I have money insecurity issues regardless of how much I have in the bank, I also look at it as not being a sucker as well as being too intelligent to fall for that crap. I’d think I was undisciplined and stupid.

When I look back I sometimes think about about all the lost opportunities from not knowing what I know today. But as the sayings goes

" Don’t let the past steal your present. ~Terri Guillemets

“Living the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causing you to bump into people not going your way.” ~Edna Ferber

Opportunities fly by while we sit regretting the chances we have lost, and the happiness that comes to us we heed not, because of the happiness that is gone. ~Jerome K. Jerome, The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, 1889

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. ~Alexander Graham Bell

I enjoy playing poker. I do it for recreation. A few hundred dollars is the average price for a nite out. My wife and I enjoy going to the casino. I win / I lose I take what I am going to spend and that’s it.

I think what many people lose sight of is that any problem behavior can drain your resources. I think gambling gets negative press because of its very nature, people chasing something for nothing betting against the odds. I am not a professional gambler nor a degenerate gambler. I do not invest in the craps table, black jack, or any thing else.

I also buy a $1.00 Powerball ticket knowing the odds are like 1/41,000,000,000. Hey someone gotta win and I could really use the $50Million.

I my 20s, my friends and I used to frequently go on Vegas runs. We live about 4 hours away. We would always take around 60 dollars each for gambling money. When we blew it we would come home. We looked at it from this perspective: where could you go and only spend $60, have all you could drink, cheap yet great food and have an incredibly good time? It was entertainment for us.

I do admit, gambling is now a rarity. It might be because my wife is not a gambler. The last time we went to Vegas, she asked me for $20. I asked her what it was for. She wanted to play one of those claw games where you have one minute to manuever above a bunch of stuffed animals before it drops down and attempts to grab one. If you have ever seen or played this game, you will know what I mean when I say that you rarely win. When she told me this particular game costs $5 a try, thoughts of my hard earned winnings about to be frittered away passed through my mind.

I felt my wallet tighten up as the miser in me said, “Five dollars for that?!? You’ve got to be kidding. It’s a complete waste of money.”

She said, “You’ve spend the last 2 hours on the craps table and you’re lecturing me about wasting money?”

Point taken, I forked over $50 in chips.

Ah, my wife in her infinite beauty and wisdom set me straight. I enjoy the craps table, she enjoys the claw game. Whatever floats your boat. I knew the house rules were against me, so did my wife. We were not there to make money, we were there for entertainment. This was our vacation. We would have blown the same amount of money, visiting the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge, taking a cruise, or traveling the country.

Do not fritter your money away, yet do not be a miser either. What’s the point of making money if you cannot enjoy spending a little on yourself and your family every now and then?

I didn’t mean to imply that I have lingering regrets about my youthful follies. Rather my thoughts on gambling have changed. I still like to get together with the guys for an occasional poker night but the casinos no longer excite me.

As far as taking a few grand to Vegas, I’d rather use that money to go somewhere I haven’t visited before. For example, I have neighbors who go to Disney EVERY year. My family took the trip last year. It was without a doubt a good trip, however, I don’t see the need to go back again. Been there done that.

I deffinetly am against it being illegal. The whole Government regulating the online poker thing to me seems completely dumb.

However, I personally dont gamble, and never will. I like my money, and i see no point in essentially throwing it away :beer . Ill take that money and go on a vacation or something instead.