There’s a good group of people here on the Straight Dope, so I’m hoping this Great Debate works out with some good conclusions. Just like the title says – What is gambling for? What is it supposed to do, and what is it supposed to be like?
The subway PSA say, “When gambling is no longer a game, it is a problem.” Okay. So, it has to be a game, just a game? Obviously, you’re making a big mistake if you expect to earn a living this way, but the money earned is to be forgotten as fast as the money lost?
It’s a little hard for me to understand, and I think I should be able to understand it. Example, I play video games and other computerized games. I pay, either a coin at a time or when I buy the game, and I get … well, I get to do, whatever the game wants me to do, for a little while, and that’s fun. For me anyway, in small bursts. Is that what gambling is supposed to be? And the winnings are what? To add excitement? It seems like, the goal of all gambling is to seduce people to become problem gamblers, at least a little bit.
I’ve also gamble led in casinos and sports betting arenas. I put down some money, and I often loose it, or sometimes I win. Then, I stop and go home. Was I doing it right, or wrong? And the people who spend all day feeding nickels into the slot machines, or go to the roulette wheel, with a bank roll of thousands of dollars, are they doing it right?