May 2008

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« Lucky in Vegas | Main | Party Planning »


minister of silly walks

I think you're missing an ever greater way to simplify the process. Instead of making the trek to Vegas just set up an auto-withdrawl from you checking account to go to the casinos every month. Think of the savings. You wouldn't have to take any time off from work. You wouldn't have to mess with those pesky airlines & airport security. No rental car fees. No hotel bills. You wouldn't have to worry about how much to tip the valet or the waitress. It's perfect.


We have a great version here in Ottawa. They have a really nice restaurant with excellent prices, but the only entrance is located just PAST the slot machines and gaming tables. No matter how empty the restaurant, there's always a minimum 15-minute wait. The hostess kindly suggests you spend a bit of time gambling "till your table is ready".

And there's no smoking, either!
Really, how could you go wrong?

Dan Summerbell

They already do that in the Casinos in Cannes - you just stick your card in the machine and let the computer take your money away.

Then again, I had a mathematician explain to me why he plays the lotter the other day. I was impressed.


The odds of winning went down after the Mormons took Vegas over from the Mafia. At least gangsters give you a chance; religion never does.

Alexandre Lucas

Cheap times in airlines and other businesses...


I sent your blog on gambling at vegas to a friend who wrote back: "I would suggest a further step. Simply arrange to have the transfer done from home. Then take the airfare saved and buy some barbecue."


I'm a casino slot attendant in Las Vegas so I have some direct experience with this issue. As some people have pointed out it's either a Nevada law or at least casino policy not to allow ATM or credit cards directly in a slot machine.

I know from my personal experience it would be an even greater public disservice to allow that, since many people have real problems with gambling and that direct access between slot machines and bank accounts would only worsen their problems. It could be argued that there's every reason to let people bent on self destruction to self destruct as easily as possible. I personally don't support the idea although I agree with you Scott that it's an obvious "improvement" that could be taken.

This is an evil business that destroys lives and relationships. I'm disgusted more every day that I'm involved in gaming -- a word the industry uses to describe itself that sounds better than "screwing."

By the way Scott, were those your tears of anguish I saw on that penny Megabucks machine the other day?


Great post ,but hey whats with the abbreviated RSS making me actually go to the blog....Oh, wait I just answered my own question.

Mike Bohol

Those who went to Las Vegas may also go for a pilgrimage to the slums of Southeast Asia or Africa.

Mike Bohol

Those who went to Las Vegas may also go for a pilgrimage to the slums of Southeast Asia or Africa.

Mike Bohol

Those who went to Las Vegas may also go for a pilgrimage to the slums of Southeast Asia or Africa.


Just buy a casino video game like I did. Give yourself $100 credit and see how long it takes to get to $0. Tons of fun!


Michael: "Unbalanced Reels"

That's so 1970s...

These days the machines are all computerized. You can see the computer controlling the wheels if you look hard enough. Sometimes they spin longer, sometimes less. Sometimes you can actually see one the wheels spin longer than it should as the machine waits for the right symbol to come around.

It's as fake as the "Eqyptians" walking round the casino floor. How people can sit there and play is beyond me. Much better to take the free lunches and spend your money on hookers.


A brilliant analysis and commentary. Let's have more of this kind of observation and writing, please.


what i found
hope, you'll like it


If you post half as frequently with posts as great as this one, I will be very happy.

D. Mented

Rita Mae
I hope you get better anyway -whatever it is... if Scott can get a free lunch served to him by bikini-clad supermodels in a restaurant with no annoying louts in it while his wife wasn't there to get her feelings hurt seeing him oggle the supermodels, you might be in line for a "I don't really understand this, maam, but you're right, all you conditions have disappeared except the sore feet, and those are greatly mitigated." (just guessing about the feet)
D. Mented

D. Mented

I know a way this can be turned to the benefit of humanity!
First we have to invent the neutering-ray, though...then we install them on all machines, and anyone who plays at one of these money-vacuums for over 2 hours - even once - gets neutered, so we don't have to support the children they would have, or deal with their faulty genes in the pool.
Next, we sponsor a free trip to the nearest casino-town for every adult on earth. They don't have to gamble to get it, and their expenses, and even a show, are paid for.
It took a million years for upright biped primates to get to a billion. It took less than 100 years to go from there to six billion, and in less than a decade it was six and a quarter billion. We don't need all the mentally defective ones breeding. Truly we don't - there are enough of us on this planet already.
(and yes, with a name like D. Mented, I'm doing my part by not reproducing)
D. Mented


new RSS truncation is pissing me off. I actually used to read the whole post, then click through for comments. Now I'm just gonna unsubscribe. Thanks anyway.


oh, you really skipped the day
but sure enjoy your weekend
this is such a great site, delightful to browse


You said: "If you think that removing the “maybe you can win” part from the equation would dampen peoples’ enthusiasm..."

There's an interesting blog post regarding these psychological quirks at the Overcoming Bias blog:

Of particular interest in the blog post:

A follow-up experiment tested whether subjects preferred the old gamble to a certain gain of $2. Only 33% of students preferred the old gamble. Among another group asked to choose between a certain $2 and the new gamble (with the added possibility of a 5¢ loss), fully 60.8% preferred the gamble. After all, $9 isn't a very attractive amount of money, but $9/5¢ is an amazingly attractive win/loss ratio.

You can make a gamble more attractive by adding a strict loss! Isn't psychology fun? This is why no one who truly appreciates the wondrous intricacy of human intelligence wants to design a human-like AI.

jerry w.

Welcome to the "New and Improved" Internet Ca$ino!!

Look, you're already money ahead when you consider what you've saved on the gas and wear and tear on your car, and at nearly $4.00 per gallon that's got to amount to a pile. And if you were going to fly, you've also saved the airport parking fee and ticket gouge from the airlines.

See, you're already BIG BUCKS ahead!!

This is how it works here.

I promise you that I'll pay back at a rate of 100 to 1, so you have a chance at winning $100.00 for your bet of a dollar on a winning play. If you agree to be brave and pay that dollar if you lose, continue reading, if you're a chickenshit low life loser, exit now.

O.K., so you're still a player big guy?

Now, Pick a number between one and three, and write it down.

Umm.... sorry, you lose, send me the dollar.

Next game starts in 5 minutes, get another dollar ready.


Now, explain to me in which way you think that the above is any different from playing any computer video game of chance where the programmer has pre-set the parameters to determine in advance exactly which cards you're dealt, and which cards will show up against whatever you will choose to play.

What! You thought your cards were random? WOW, I'll pay you 200 to 1 if you win.

I'm waiting, and by the way, there's only two minutes to the next bet.


Wow, Mr. "EnoughWealth", you seem to have confused being hired to entertain 2,000 IT professionals in Las Vegas with inviting 2,000 IT professionals to Las Vegas to piss away their life savings. News Flash: They would've been there whether or not Scott gave a talk or not! That doesn't make him a "condescending hypocrite", but you're clearly a "clueless asshole".

"Michael", that wasn't a "charge card" or "credit card" those people have on springy cables, jacked into the slot machines. They are "program cards" that regulars of some casinos have that allow the casino to track their playing let's them win "comps" and "valuable prizes" based on how much of their life savings they elect to pump into that casino's coffers.

My parents retired to Vegas. One year my mother won a $30,000 Cadillac Seville playing slots at the Rio. My father always kept the change receipts for tax purposes (you can apply your losses against your winnings at tax time). They paid no taxes on that car. It just made 'em beak even that year. They were pissing away about $30k per year until they finally expired. Whenever I flew in for a visit the Rio comp'd them a room for me for free, because it had a record of all the $$$ they'd given them because they had always plugged those damned cards into the slots while they played. No, I don't gamble. Never have.


llll said: [insert whine about RSS here]

You're so smart, and so above it all, is there anyone that is smart enough to hang out with you or are you all alone as I suspect?

Real Live Girl

Why should I make things easier for the casino? I don't gamble, but I guess if I wanted to experience a thrill that didn't pay off in any significant way, I could volunteer to change a poopy baby diaper, stick a $20 in the mess, and then slap it on the cashier counter and scream, "You win Vegas!" and then go get my free drink. Can't buy fun like that at home.

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