Jay Cronley: Betting? Chances are, it's a losing wager
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Friday, December 07, 2012
12/07/12 at 2:52 AM
As you have probably surmised, because of what has been on the cop blotter and in the news recently, gambling can get nasty fast.
The TU athletic director was fired after reportedly having bet with a bookie, years ago.
People working around teams shouldn't even play bingo at church.
The gambling world is fraught with contradictions even today: It is legal to bet on team sports in one place, but maybe not 10 feet over there, across a state line; betting on horse races is legal most everyplace; Indians have stocked the nation with casinos; online wagering is no longer a shady offshore racket managed by guys with nicknames; most fantasy football pools are a gambling experience; the stock market could be the biggest gamble.
Image and reality: Organized, legalized gambling has two extremes. There are few average gamblers.
The publicized picture is the tiny percentage of poker aces playing on $50,000 buy-in games on the tube, and the TV commercials featuring well-dressed and cocktail-sipping casino players looking like they just came from their 20th high school reunion, jubilantly celebrating another slot machine windfall.
The downbeat side of gambling is overflowing with losers whose only voice is the fuzz, the marriage counselors, the creditors, and their consciences.
As is the case with many other fun activities, like filling closets with shoes and living on the Internet, and having a cocktail and a smoke or two, gambling can become quickly addictive.
But beyond the small percentage of nuts who could overdose on multi- vitamins, gambling can drag down more smart people than most temptations.
Lots of smart people get money at one time or another.
One more bet: Why do so many people lose at gambling on anything?
Winning a little something is not enough, that's probably why.
People actually frown after winning $300 at a slot machine.
A stunning aspect of any legal wagering game is that at some point in the gamble, the player is apt to be ahead a little something.
But most people seem to need more.
Gambling joints make quitting slightly ahead of the game more of a bother than simply letting it ride and trying to win more.
In a perfect world, everybody would stop after two drinks, would quit gambling a little ahead or a little behind, would have a great friend as a romantic interest.
Otherwise, you have to get lucky.
Original Print Headline: Chances are, it's a losing wager