Wednesday, December 26, 2012

30 Before 30: The Casino

I'm not exactly a risk-taker with my money. I prefer to make it, put it in the bank, and then buy really necessary stuff with it. Like groceries, shoes, trips to Canada and small plastic dinosaurs. I've never been the gambling kind. I've even stopped from entering March Madness pools or Fantasy Football leagues because I have zero knowledge about college basketball and a very small attention span. I'm not into throwing away my money on betting or gambling, but every time I've biked past the Rivers Casino on the North Shore, I've wondered about it.

The only time I've ever been in a casino was during a road trip around the middle of the country a few years ago. We were camping on the casino's property (totally above the board, the campsite was part of the complex) when a sprinkler system turned on in the middle of the night. Fortunately for my friend Lindsay and me, the trajectory of one of the sprinklers went directly into the top of our tent. We woke up and thought it was raining. It was only after three trips running between the tent and the car that I realized there was no rain. Our tent completely flooded. Lindsay and I, soaked like rats, walked into the casino at some ungodly hour (as it was naturally open 24 hours/day), and demanded a room in the hotel. Well, I should admit that Lindsay demanded the room. I tried my hardest not to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

So, I put going to the casino on my 30 Before 30 list.

What better way to check it off than on Christmas Day?

I gave myself a spending limit of $100. Sticking a crisp $100 bill into the first slot machine was anxiety-inducing. I was terrified of losing all $100. Anytime I dipped below $90 in credits, I would feel my heart start beating way too fast. Fortunately, that only happened a few times. 

Gambling is confusing! I still have no idea what I was doing half the time. I only played the slots, because if pressing a button or pulling a lever was confusing, I can't even imagine what playing a table game would have been like. 

Depressing but true: I lost the most of my moneys on the dinosaur and Ghostbusters slots. No one told me the slots would be themed like this! I was beyond tickled. Even if they did take most of my moneys. (And by most I mean like $5-10. I walked away if I lost more than $10 on a machine. I ain't no dummy!)

And then I made back all the money I had lost by playing dinosaurs and Ghostbusters on the Sex and the City slots. I feel like there is a analogy for my life in these facts, but I'm just going to try and ignore it and be happy about hitting a weird bonus thing where Charlotte showed up on my screen gushing about diamonds or something along those lines.

And looky what I did! I hit three sevens! And made some money back that I had lost on other strange themed games, including Kitty Glitter.

The last machine of the night was the real winner. And also my real taste of just how addictively fun gambling can be. When I started at this last machine, I think I was either up a small amount on the $100 I brought in or just slightly under. I told myself I would keep pulling that lever until I hit $80, because losing $20 after a few hours of stupid fun felt justified. But then I just kept winning!

Once I got up over $200, I cashed out and walked away. I figured: I'd doubled my money. Time to go home and bask in the glow of coming out on top.

So, I started with one $100 bill and wound up walking out with two. Not a bad way to spend Christmas afternoon. Perhaps a new holiday tradition has been born...


  1. You know, I also can not say that I'm very risky person, but sometimes I like to play pokies online or juxt visit a casino. Sometimes it turns out to win some money. It seems to me that it really is not a bad option of relaxation.

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