Author Topic: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...  (Read 8069 times)

odput

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enigmaT120

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 03:57:07 PM »
Who says the poor don't pay any taxes? 

Royale with Moustache

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 06:26:45 PM »
The story doesn't seem all that informative. The US has the biggest economy so why would it be a surprise that it leads the world in gambling.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2014, 07:28:36 PM »
$119 billion is a big number but it works out to about $400 per person, which really isn't a meaningful amount. Unfortunately, low income people lose their shirts (the good news is that our income taxes give low income people welfare checks so it may be a wash). I go to the casino and find it quite fun, but I enjoy the social element of sitting at the tables, the "free" drinks, and the atmosphere of the casino (depending on which one), but my wad (i.e. most I will gamble) is only a little more than it was many many years ago even though my income and worth is considerably higher.

Last time I went out I came out ahead $800, which is ok, but because I was having fun with my 90+ year old grandfather who really enjoys it and retired at 50.......it is fuckin priceless.   Even when I have lost, it has been priceless to spend this time with my grandfather.

Go to the movies, see a show in NY, go to the tropics, go to an NFL game....it is no different, but you can't do it all.

thepokercab

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2014, 07:40:36 PM »
Quote
Unfortunately, low income people lose their shirts (the good news is that our income taxes give low income people welfare checks so it may be a wash)

Not being argumentative, but just wondering what does this mean? 

marty998

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2014, 02:54:07 AM »
Means that when they lose the cash the casino pays taxes on it to the government and the government hands it straight back in welfare?

We beat the pants off you guys, think the last stat was Aussies lose over $2,000 each.

Gambling is essentially half the Australian economy. It's gotten so bad I would go as far to say the various gambling ads were interrupted by football this year :)

GuitarStv

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2014, 06:53:34 AM »
I'd like to see some more stats on gambling in China.  I know that it's a huge cultural thing there, and Macao makes Las Vegas look small time.

Angelfishtitan

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2014, 07:38:48 AM »
The story doesn't seem all that informative. The US has the biggest economy so why would it be a surprise that it leads the world in gambling.

I agree and based off the link below we are far behind many other countries at a per capita spending. I would be most interested in % of GDP which countries are the wors offenders.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/05/gambling

Still $400 per person is a decent chunk of change every year, but not a huge amount of median household income ($800/~$51K = 1.6%). However, I would guess that for most people it is a terrible return for dollars per hour of entertainment. You can certainly get gambling enjoyment for much less money especially if you only do it once or twice a year. Betting a couple bucks on horses while enjoying casino provided drinks for example. It can easily swing either way on the mustachian line.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2014, 08:04:37 AM »
I agree with you guys. I enjoy horse racing and like to occasionally have some skin in the game... but I think the key is to look at what you are willing to spend per hour of entertainment. people get into trouble when they actually expect to make their money back.

netskyblue

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2014, 08:33:58 AM »
$400 per person is still kinda wow.

I spend on average $4 per year on gambling.  I typically buy a lotto ticket about twice a year.

MamaStache

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2014, 09:04:09 AM »
A portion of that total comes from my family members. 

Grandma, grandpa, and aunt (all living together under same roof) are all addicted to gambling and go to the casino regularly.

Everytime we go to their house to visit them (since I was a little kid) they wanted to play cards for money with us family members.  I was probably 4 years old when I started to join in on the games and my parents would put a dollar in for me each game.  If I won, I got to keep the money so it was really fun for me.  I will no longer play with my grandparents and aunt though because as I got older, I realize they lie, cheat and steal.   

My mom still likes to play with them "beacuse it makes them happy and they like it"...    I say: fine.   Let them cheat you out of $10 every time you see them.  Nice family.

My aunt pays little to no rent in that house, and is continually sending subtle hints that she is broke.   She has a good job though (Underwriter at a large company downtown) has no kids, and splits groceries with my grandparents.

One year for New Years though she told us her resolution was to stop going to the casino, as she had lost ALL of her money there the previous year.  That was really a shocker, but made more and more sense the longer we thought about it.

Grandpa won the lottery $135k in December (one good thing that can come from gambling I guess?).... which is a great burden off my parents.  (grandma and grandpa are on mom's side).......  Grandpa is about 70 yrs old and in October told us that he was refinancing his mortgage to a 10 yr.   Thankfully they should be able to use this money wisely so he can stop working as a mechanic....  My parents were starting to have discussions as to what they were willing to do and what they were not willing to do to support them.  My dad has always seen them as lying cheating gamblers, so these conversations were basically him telling my mom that my grandparents would never get a dime.

I think even with my grandpa winning that lottery he probably broke even or is still in the hole with all the money he has gambled over the years.  Gambling can be a nasty addiction.

foobar

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2014, 12:35:47 PM »
It come down to if you see gambling as burning money or paying for entertainment.  Put me down in the expensive entertainment category.

I am actually pretty sure that source material doesn't say americans lost 119 billion. It says people gambling in the US lost 119 but their presentation of this data is beyond ambiguous. I have no clue if the US is a net importer/exporter of gambling.

Gambling is a like a lot of drugs. Most people can handle them in moderation (i.e. not eveyone who drinks is an alcoholic) but there a couple percent of people that lose all control.

And finally whenever you see big numbers like this, try to put them in context. I mean  how much did people spend going to the movie, at bars, buying coffee, buying soap and so on. It is easy to get huge numbers when talking about 300 million people or large periods of time (it will inflate the debt by 1 trillion dollars over the next 100 years.)


$400 per person is still kinda wow.

I spend on average $4 per year on gambling.  I typically buy a lotto ticket about twice a year.

Tyler

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2014, 09:28:21 AM »
Meh.  If we compared that to what people gamble away every year in the stock market, it would seem like chump change.  ;)

gooki

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2014, 12:56:59 AM »
If you consider the share markets are moving up over the long term, then as a group investors are not gambling away their money.

ender

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2014, 08:47:46 AM »
$119 billion is a big number but it works out to about $400 per person, which really isn't a meaningful amount.

Average.

I bet the numbers look a lot worse if you look at median or broke things down by income.

Tyler

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2014, 10:13:59 AM »
If you consider the share markets are moving up over the long term, then as a group investors are not gambling away their money.

True, but individual investors who try to time things absolutely are.  In my experience gamblers and day traders share a lot of personality characteristics. 
« Last Edit: February 08, 2014, 10:17:54 AM by Tyler »

Jamesqf

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2014, 12:16:52 PM »
$400 per person is still kinda wow.

Except that averaging out per person is misleading, since there are a lot of people who simply don't gamble.

GrayGhost

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2014, 02:45:00 PM »
I can understand why some people might be interested in poker and blackjack (I personally am not, but still) but what is the allure behind slot machines? I've never used one of the things, but it seems to me that you put in some money, pull a lever, and look at a few pretty icons as they scroll around, praying that they line up in the correct manner. Why is that worth money to some people?

Jamesqf

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2014, 03:49:22 PM »
Why is that worth money to some people?

Beats me.  Though I have to confess I'm a lifetime loser at slot machines.  Many years ago, on my first trip through Nevada, I put a dime in a slot and pulled the handle, just to see what it was like.  Didn't impress me at all.

Tempe

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2014, 09:02:18 PM »
I can understand why some people might be interested in poker and blackjack (I personally am not, but still) but what is the allure behind slot machines? I've never used one of the things, but it seems to me that you put in some money, pull a lever, and look at a few pretty icons as they scroll around, praying that they line up in the correct manner. Why is that worth money to some people?
Random chance to win something really big. The lure and high of having all the right ones line up. (me personally) My family are big gamblers and I know I could be a bad one if I let myself go there with no limit so I have to set a budget. Some of lure was spending time with family who also favoured slots.

 My mom had stories of people selling things, taking out loans, selling their houses to feed their addiction, stealing (her sisters stealing from her.)

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2014, 07:14:59 AM »
I can understand why some people might be interested in poker and blackjack (I personally am not, but still) but what is the allure behind slot machines? I've never used one of the things, but it seems to me that you put in some money, pull a lever, and look at a few pretty icons as they scroll around, praying that they line up in the correct manner. Why is that worth money to some people?

agreed. I see the appeal of other forms of gambling, but slot machines just seem super boring to me, and expensive for the amount of entertainment/mental stimulation you would get (compared to other games, horses, etc.)

My mom had stories of people selling things, taking out loans, selling their houses to feed their addiction, stealing (her sisters stealing from her.)

that is so sad :(

norvilion

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2014, 09:09:25 AM »
One business trip I was on took our group through the Las Vegas airport. Coworker and I just for kicks and to waste time each tossed a dollar into penny slot machines for the photo op and cashed out when we had only a couple cents left on the dollar. Now we have bookmarks! Aside from the kicks and giggles of them I don't see much point to slot machines, just about as satisfying as a game of cookie clicker (though given how addictive that too can potentially be I guess the main question is why you would waste copious amounts of money on it)

MgoSam

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2014, 11:47:46 AM »
Yeah I don't know. I am in Vegas for work a few times a year and am proud that I haven't gambled a single cent in this time. For me, I know that I will likely lose money over the long-term and the chances of winning aren't worth it. That said I occasionally buy a lottery ticket. For me it is spending a dollar once a few months with the extremely unlikely chance of winning a boatload of money. While the odds are extremely low, winning would be fairly sweet.

gooki

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2014, 08:16:12 PM »
though given how addictive that too can potentially be I guess the main question is why you would waste copious amounts of money on it

Because once it becomes an addiction it's extremely hard to stop wasting copious amounts of money. I'm count myself lucky to have learned my lesson with slot machine gambling when I was 10.

Will

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2014, 08:47:33 PM »
I just recently discovered that there is $131.1 billion dollars "invested" in Vanguard's Prime Money Market paying a whopping .02%.  Quite the opposite of gambling, but still a losing proposition.

Jamesqf

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2014, 09:39:17 PM »
Because once it becomes an addiction it's extremely hard to stop wasting copious amounts of money.

Sure, but that still begs the question: what is so enjoyable about gambling that you keep on doing it until you are addicted?  It's like with drugs: in my younger days, I tried a number of supposedly addictive drugs, didn't like their effects, and so never used them again.

gooki

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2014, 01:05:55 AM »

marty998

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2014, 01:55:17 AM »
Because once it becomes an addiction it's extremely hard to stop wasting copious amounts of money.

Sure, but that still begs the question: what is so enjoyable about gambling that you keep on doing it until you are addicted?  It's like with drugs: in my younger days, I tried a number of supposedly addictive drugs, didn't like their effects, and so never used them again.

Have you ever played Bejewled? Candy crush? People can be turned into brain dead morons surprisingly quickly when they play games like these.

It's a common trait of games without endings. They're designed to keep you hanging on for 1 more level, 1 more top score, 1 more chance at glory, 1 more chance at hitting the jackpot. There is always the chance for more. Easy to get people hooked.

Gambling works on the same theory. You get sucked in to thinking you can win. But you never do in the long term.

Jamesqf

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2014, 11:40:08 AM »
Have you ever played Bejewled? Candy crush? People can be turned into brain dead morons surprisingly quickly when they play games like these.

No, I haven't.  That was just my point: I can, I suppose, see how a person could get 'addicted' if they kept on doing it long enough.  But where's the attraction to ge them doing it more than once?  (If that.)

brianeboatman

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2014, 11:51:37 AM »
As a Nevada resident, who doesn't pay State income taxes, I wish to thank all of America for coming to my State and blowing your money. YOU, America, have saved me income taxes by blowing your money. Come again!

Leisured

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2014, 11:21:25 PM »
Thank you for the link, Angelfishtitan. It is not clear what the numbers mean. In gambling, what A loses, B wins. The casino only takes a small fraction of the turnover.

I suspect that Singapore is drawing in gamblers from Malaysia and Indonesia, so the casinos are an export industry.

SnackDog

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Re: Americans Gamble Away $119 Billion...
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2014, 03:21:00 AM »
Gambling is fabulous entertainment.  What other form of diversion can be that much fun for only $400 per year?  I was in Port of Spain last week and played penny slots (the machines there still have the crank arm!) for about an hour for $1.  A buddy did the same in California and won $800 according to his FB post.   Imagine how much I would have paid for an hour of other diversions: bowling, movie watching, eating, drinking, pro sports, you name it...   I think access to gambling is the only thing which prevents Americans from spending more (Australia has casinos everywhere).