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Old 11-16-2013, 08:42 AM   #1
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Gambling

Probably would be a good poll subject, but a current article in our local paper "LaSalle NewsTribune" (readable only with sign up.)
started off this way:
Quote:
After one year of video gambling in Illinois, the numbers tell the tale of a fast-growing cash cow.

In the 13 months since Illinois rolled out the electronic poker and slot machines, the number of machines installed in clubs and taverns statewide climbed from just 61 in September 2012 to 10,250 in September 2013, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.

Players spent more than $2.6 billion and lost more than $205 million, generating more than $10 million in revenue for local municipalities.

The city of La Salle budgeted $10,000 in revenue from the games this year, said Comptroller Joanne Milby. At just the halfway point in the city’s fiscal year, revenue has eclipsed that by $1,100, she said.

“And it keeps increasing every month,” Milby said. “It took a big jump in October.”
The first month of gaming generated $879 for La Salle. In October, the city took in $4,210, she said.
The world has passed us by, and this was a surprse to us. Not just that so many people gamble, but the rate of increase. Since it looks like it's here to stay, we're going to have to get used to it, but wonder how others feel about the subject?

Does your state have legalized gambling? How wide spread? How much does gambling income help in state taxes, and is the money allocated? (as in aid to education).

Realize that most ER members probably don't gamble, except as a part of budgeted entertainment expense... but also wonder if anyone has had contact with problems that had a genesis in gambling. In our own CCRC, there are many residents who often take the "gaming bus" to a day of entertainment at different casinos. As far as I can tell, everyone we know who gambles, does it in small amounts...(maybe $20 to $50 limits) and they all can afford this as an entertainment expense.

Any thoughts on the subject?
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
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I have scratched my gambling itch with a small trading account. I used to like craps and roulette but now I have just as much of a thrill buying 500 shares of Cisco at 20.79 and selling it later in the day for $21.55. (or even better when I bought 100 $0.25 Jan $6 option contracts on Nokia for $2500 and sold them a few weeks later for $10,000 (although today they would have been worth $20,000).

You can deduct losses a lot easier in a trading account than from casino gambling.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:17 AM   #3
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lost more than $205 million, generating more than $10 million in revenue for local municipalities
So by legalizing and promoting these machines, they inflict over $200 million in losses on taxpayers in order to collect $10 million in taxes. I wonder if the economy would have been better off if they just instituted a $10 million tax and let people keep the other $195 million.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:23 AM   #4
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I like to gamble on certain things that involve strategy and I have some degree of control over like golf or backgammon. I view lottery tickets as a tax on the poor and casino gambling as a kind of entertainment for some people and an addiction for others. If people want to gamble and help reduce the overall tax burden, I'm fine with it.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:27 AM   #5
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So by legalizing and promoting these machines, they inflict over $200 million in losses on taxpayers in order to collect $10 million in taxes. I wonder if the economy would have been better off if they just instituted a $10 million tax and let people keep the other $195 million.

Where is the fun in that


Also, why not just tax $100 mill and let them keep $100 mill?....
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:39 AM   #6
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We've had riverboat casinos for years. We sometimes went to the buffet at lunch.

The casinos were mainly full of seniors with nothing better to do. Other sad thing is the casinos are exempt from the areas nonsmoking ordinaces. There were many promises on increased taxes will.........

MRG
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:55 AM   #7
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I enjoy gambling once in awhile but an hour or two in a noisy casino is about all I can handle, and I don't know if I even average once a year. It's sad that some people are hooked, but some will find ways to gamble even without legal casinos. Not sure how significant of a % that some is to justify legalizing it, but I guess it's like giving liquor licenses and even state owned liquor stores in some states even though there are alcoholics.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
...(snip)...
Does your state have legalized gambling? How wide spread? How much does gambling income help in state taxes, and is the money allocated? (as in aid to education).
...
A huge Indian gaming casino just opened at a city south of us. This is a proven way to take money from people who enjoy playing a looser's game. It's ugly but that's reality.

Giving a portion of the money to Indians, education, etc. -- it's just an excuse.
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:15 AM   #9
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We've got a few casinos in Ohio, and a state lottery. The state takes in some taxes from activity that people are free to engage in or not as they see fit, so I'm okay with it.

I don't like the dishonest way these enterprises are often sold to the voters. When we lived in FL the state lottery proceeds were to be used to fund education, and they actually were. But the support to education from the general revenue fund was decreased almost dollar for dollar, so schools didn't see more money, it was just spent elsewhere.

I seldom gamble in the casinos (though did spend a few hours killing time in one last year while DW was at a craft show). I find that in the matter of gambling I'm very loss averse: If I win $200 I'd be mildly happy, but if I lose $200 it would make me pretty grumpy. Given that, it's better for me not to play. If I do succumb, the place in the casino I enjoy the most is the craps tables. The house take isn't too bad (if you avoid the proposition bets, etc and take the odds), there's not a lot of thinking (it's possible to play just as well if you've had a little to drink) and it's a group game that tends to attract some characters.
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:15 AM   #10
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We have local indian casinos but are within weekend road trip range of Las Vegas and Laughlin so that is where our gambling usually takes place.

I think it as just a cost of entertainment/enjoyment we are willing to pay sometimes. Some people might spend disposable income regularly going to the opera or playing golf and that wouldn't interest us as worth the money, just as going on a gambling trip might not seem worth it to other people.

We go 2-3 times a year, take about $1000 gambling money for two of us and usually come back with somewhere between $600-$1200 still in our pockets. Generally over a long weekend we'll win some, lose some, and in the end come out down a couple hundred bucks.

About 90% of our play is on blackjack and we play it with almost exact optimal strategy so odds are in their favor but not by too much. I say "almost" because there are just too many minor variations in blackjack rules to memorize them all so I've got 6 deck vegas low limit in my head (dealer hits soft 17) and go with that. Sometimes do video poker too, that is pretty easy to have very small house edge with a simplified rule system like this: Jacks or Better Simple - Wizard of Odds

I like gambling, both from the challenge of it for the games requiring a bit of skill (pushing a button on a slot machine doesn't do it for me) and the general social/party atmosphere. Its a good time.

Good luck everyone!
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
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Personally, I'm far too cheap to gamble, although I do enjoy logic and strategy games. I'm also in Ohio. We've had all kinds of lotteries for many years and voters recently approved casinos. The closest one is in downtown Cleveland, right on Public Square. They are just gambling and food courts as they are prohibited from competing against the nearby entertainment and restaurant district. I haven't been there yet, but I'd like to see what they've done to the closed department store that they have renovated. But I have an aversion to paying $30 for parking.

We also will have "racinos" in the near future which adds video lottery machines to some of our existing horse racing tracks. The racinos are out in the suburbs so they are advertising easy access to freeways and plenty of free parking to compete against the downtown casinos.

When we first approved lotteries it was supposed to benefit our schools. Our new casinos pay heavy taxes but are privately owned, by the same entity that owns the major sports teams. One of my favorite Dave Ramsey quotes is about the lottery and gambling, "it's a tax on people who can't do math."

I have no problem with adults gambling for entertainment. Most people can regulate themselves and feel the loss and decide if they can handle it going forward. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who can't handle it as occasional entertainment and it ruins them and their families.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post

The world has passed us by, and this was a surprse to us. Not just that so many people gamble, but the rate of increase. Since it looks like it's here to stay, we're going to have to get used to it, but wonder how others feel about the subject?

?
I don't understand why any rational person would object to taxed or state run gambling. It's one tax that will never cause the law to be sent around to make you pay.

Unlike hometown bookies there is no customer financing, so we don't wake up from time to time with a giant bank bailout to pay for.
There will be a certain amount of payday loans and loansharking, but at least Elizabeth Warren will likely elect to let nature take its course on collections.


I would say that currently an interested and knowledgeable college football bettor, or a good poker player, is looking at much better odds than the S&P, if they have access to Las Vegas lines and costs. My brother is a skilled football and baseball bettor. I have sometimes piggybacked him, or been a partner with him. He always wins overall. I am not very good myself, because I am not as interested or skilled. It takes a fair amount of nerve, as the bets are at best at low odds, so you have to ante up a pretty good sum. Another advantage is that one's bets are not correlated very highly- maybe if you do all unders or overs betting on the weather in the Midwest you can get skunked. Overall San Diego state winning or losing should not correlate with Ohio State. One of the biggest problems with market investments- most of your money is riding on highly correlated factors.

Ha
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:25 AM   #13
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Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who can't handle it as occasional entertainment and it ruins them and their families.
Yup, I've read about people who in a moment of clarity get themselves banned from all local casinos to address their gambling addiction, then get caught sneaking in wearing a disguise to get around their own self-banishment. Its crazy.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:37 AM   #14
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Yup, I've read about people who in a moment of clarity get themselves banned from all local casinos to address their gambling addiction, then get caught sneaking in wearing a disguise to get around their own self-banishment. Its crazy.
Maybe Charles Darwin is alive and well at least in some corners of the economy?
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #15
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I don't gamble. Too easy to one day got out for fun, then before you know, maxing out the credit card trying to break even.

But do like to read/see stories of those that win and lose.

I remember reading earlier in the year about a hockey broadcaster who hit it big playing the ponies:

Quote:
Eddie O. once cashed almost $500,000 on a pick 6 ticket. He invested only $166. He was on his way home from the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas in 2009 and bet the Pick 6 at California’s Hollywood Park.
Eddie O. Scores With Derby Picks - NextSportStar


IMO, the very worst thing that can happen with gambling is experiencing some beginner's luck.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:49 AM   #16
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Yup, I've read about people who in a moment of clarity get themselves banned from all local casinos to address their gambling addiction, then get caught sneaking in wearing a disguise to get around their own self-banishment. Its crazy.
Like this rabbi in Chicago, who gave a fake name when he hit a jackpot (an interesting story on the development and fallout of a gambling problem):

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...high-holy-days

Quote:
... He wrote a letter to casinos in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, asking them to bar him from their premises and placed himself on statewide self-eviction lists in Indiana and Illinois.
....

Two days later he signed a "self-eviction request" acknowledging that if he entered the Blue Chip property, he could be arrested and charged with trespassing.

Shortly after sending letters to the casinos, he was indeed arrested, he said. Playing the machines at a Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, he won $1,200. When he told the staff his name, they denied him the money and police took him into custody. But the casino didn't press charges, he said.

Six years later, at the Blue Chip Casino, came the $10,000 jackpot. As the staff congratulated him on his apparent good luck, they also asked for his name. There were too many cameras for him to walk away, he said.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:04 PM   #17
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This is just another example of reality mirroring science fiction to me. (Cell phones were really just Star Trek communicators to me; now, they are evolving into tricorders.)

When I was a teen, I read a book that included small bits about the state's pervasive advertising campaigns urging people to do their civic duty by playing the pervasive lottery and slot machines which funded the government. And, just last night, there was an advertisement on our local TV touting the benefits to education fund from our state lottery and subtly implying that playing said state lottery was in fact donating to public education.

Frankly, I tend not to mind taxes which I consider voluntary and that do not negatively directly impact me personally. The lottery is definitely one example, tobacco taxes are another. I personally prefer these methods of taxation over sales/income/property taxes. But, I do understand the arguments against this. (And, I will readily admit to not liking it one little bit when taxes on alcohol go up.)

Like many here, I just do not enjoy most casino gambling, lotteries, etc. It just isn't my cup of tea. But, I do not have a philosophical opposition to gambling. In fact, I do really enjoy the occasional poker game with friends and even the occassional small poker table on a boat.

No, I have never had anyone close to me (that I know of) seriously impacted by gambling addiction. Although, I do have several acquaintances who realize it could become a problem for them and take measures to avoid it.
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:04 PM   #18
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I grew up with legalized gambling and don't see a problem with it. Both my parents used to spend a little on gambling each week. My mother used to go to the bingo hall, and my Dad used to bet on the horse racing and the Football Pool every week. Saturday afternoons he would watch the horse racing on the TV to see his horses run, and then at 4:45 be glued to the set as the football results started coming in. (you guess at which games will end in a tie, and there was big money to be won from a small bet if there were only a few ties that day)
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #19
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I don't understand why any rational person would object to taxed or state run gambling. It's one tax that will never cause the law to be sent around to make you pay. Unlike hometown bookies there is no customer financing, so we don't wake up from time to time with a giant bank bailout to pay for. There will be a certain amount of payday loans and loansharking, but at least Elizabeth Warren will likely elect to let nature take its course on collections. I would say that currently an interested and knowledgeable college football bettor, or a good poker player, is looking at much better odds than the S&P, if they have access to Las Vegas lines and costs. My brother is a skilled football and baseball bettor. I have sometimes piggybacked him, or been a partner with him. He always wins overall. I am not very good myself, because I am not as interested or skilled. It takes a fair amount of nerve, as the bets are at best at low odds, so you have to ante up a pretty good sum. Another advantage is that one's bets are not correlated very highly- maybe if you do all unders or overs betting on the weather in the Midwest you can get skunked. Overall San Diego state winning or losing should not correlate with Ohio State. One of the biggest problems with market investments- most of your money is riding on highly correlated factors. Ha

I for one despise the governments hypocrisy on this matter especially in relation to sports betting. I have been doing this since I got busted as a 4th grader playing bookie as a teacher noticed a line of about 10 kids in front of my desk before school. I think I had a 50 cent limit per game bet as I didn't get caught until halfway through the season. Never understood why there can be a half dozen casinos within 50 miles of my house, along with a race track and lottery tickets everywhere, but I have to fly to Vegas or Reno half dozen times a year to get my bets in. I tend now to focus on season long win totals in football and hockey. I certainly don't make a living on it, but it intensifies the interest in my games season long. The last 5-6 years though I have been on a great run in hockey playoff series betting and golf majors. Betting against Jim Furyk on a Sunday majors final round pairing is so easy it is like stealing money legally!
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Old 11-16-2013, 12:32 PM   #20
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I for one despise the governments hypocrisy on this matter especially in relation to sports betting.
For sure. They are hypocrites like governments always and everywhere, with the same goals. Protecting their monopoly on anything profitable.

Ha
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