What exactly is it that lures us drunkards into a casino like a moth to a flame? I’m going to brush off the biology bull about how alcohol increases our 123 hormone which makes our minds feel more lucky or whatever, and get straight to the point – why do we find it so bloody amusing to fling our money at shiny objects?
From a sober point of view, the casino is nasty. It is about as nasty as a politician with a greedy agenda. It’s a full blown, nasty, horrible, place.
For one thing, the drinks are about £3 a pop for a teaspoon’s worth of spirit. Wine is through the roof, and I’m a woman so would rather die than be caught with a pint in my hand (it probably would cause me to die to try to even lift one), so as most casual gamblers enter the casino at night, this is their first big sneaky money-maker.
Granted, there aren’t many women there in the first place. This isn’t Vegas we’re talking about, but the tiniest sample of it, located in England’s scummy north east, where the poor and the dirty can dress up and have a night’s worth of glamour like they’re a thousand miles away.
This brings me to my next point – the aesthetics.
Up here in the north east, we all love a good piss up. What better way to forget about the recession than to remove the boots, slip on the heels and spend a night as though money is no object (or at least if it was an object, as though we actually possessed any). The glorious, sparkling casino suits this atmosphere perfectly; by enticing us with big shiny “adult” games (remove your mind from the gutter, please), a well-stocked bar, and a forum for us to pretend to be big shots until our little shallow hearts are content.
Playing on the big shot idea is big money for casinos, and as soon as you take off the rose-tinted glasses – to give to the dealer after your numbers didn’t come up again – you can witness just how much they play on it. When the clock gets close to midnight and the mood steadily shifts from loud to rowdy, the signs are switched, and the buy-ins are suddenly £10 more expensive than they were when you first walked in.
Now, if you were a professional gambler, and were playing for money I could only dream of, then a measly raise wouldn’t bother you an inch. However, how many professional gamblers do you see strutting around the casino at 12am, battering the poker tournaments and fanning themselves with wads of cash? None. What you do see are fat bald men with ruddy faces making eyes at women 20 years younger than them, with more ego than sense not to flush all their coins down the money shoot without question.
What’s more, the cash machines provided which are conveniently stacked in a row next to the cashing out desk; require a £2.50 fee per use, and the minimum you can draw out is £20.
That’s just being cruel, in my opinion. What they’re doing here is prying on the poor and needy, who personally, don’t seem like a fair demographic to target. And yes, before the question pops up in your mind, I did lose all my money at the casino at the weekend, and yes, I’m damn well bitter about it.