Author Topic: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(  (Read 6965 times)

mtn

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My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« on: June 02, 2016, 03:29:55 PM »
I gamble very little--a poker game here or there, a hockey game that I think I know more than I do, sometimes when I see a golfer with insane odds. For the most part, back when I kept track, I always came out slightly ahead or even over a year. The few times that I go to the OTB, I usually come out about $10 down after starting with $100--that is 3 times a year for the Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont.

Well, at the Preakness I came out $10 ahead. I decided to turn that into some scratch off tickets. I rolled my winnings into new tickets. Since May 21, I have bought at least 1 scratch off ticket a day that I was at work. I was up as much as $3, (after my $10 investment), usually just winning what I put into it, but I kept the gravy train going. This morning, I bought 4 tickets, and all were duds. I'm officially out of my lotto money.

Oh well, I kept buying the MS project ones, so hopefully some of that money gets back to MS research.

FIRE me

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2016, 06:08:59 PM »
I've never understood the allure of gambling. I work too damn hard for my money. The idea of giving it away and getting nothing in return (except becoming a loser) is very off putting.

The fact is that the math is against you. We're all good at math here, so I don't understand why so many Mustachians enjoy gambling. 

Metric Mouse

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2016, 02:23:08 AM »
I've never understood the allure of gambling. I work too damn hard for my money. The idea of giving it away and getting nothing in return (except becoming a loser) is very off putting.

The fact is that the math is against you. We're all good at math here, so I don't understand why so many Mustachians enjoy gambling.

That rush of winning is a strong psychological motivator, among many other things. While the math skills for the majority on this forum is debatable, the decision making skills appear to be average. Gambling plays into some very basic decision making biases; it's unsurprising that many engage in that behavior.

human

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2016, 05:34:31 AM »
This is the first thread I've ever seen related to gambling so I'm not sure I understand the comment about so many gamblers here. I'm also pretty sure we've all spent at least some money on trifling matters, candy? Beer in a bar? Cell phones? The list is endless in this materialistic post-material world.

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2016, 10:31:49 AM »
This is the first thread I've ever seen related to gambling so I'm not sure I understand the comment about so many gamblers here. I'm also pretty sure we've all spent at least some money on trifling matters, candy? Beer in a bar? Cell phones? The list is endless in this materialistic post-material world.

My point is not that we all waste at least some (or even a lot) of money on non essential things. You are correct there, we all do to varying degree.

But, buy a candy bar and you receive a candy bar. Same thing for beer and cell phones. Or even the recent Corvette thread.

Gambling is different. Due to the high that Metric Mouse mentioned, it is known to psychologically addictive.

Back to my point, the difference between candy bars (or any other goods and services) and gambling is that you can gamble both small or large sums of money and get literally zero in return.


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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2016, 10:50:41 AM »
I've never understood the allure of gambling. I work too damn hard for my money. The idea of giving it away and getting nothing in return (except becoming a loser) is very off putting.

The fact is that the math is against you. We're all good at math here, so I don't understand why so many Mustachians enjoy gambling.

That rush of winning is a strong psychological motivator, among many other things. While the math skills for the majority on this forum is debatable, the decision making skills appear to be average. Gambling plays into some very basic decision making biases; it's unsurprising that many engage in that behavior.

Except for the part about the winner's rush and the poor decision framing that gambling utilizes, I disagree.

We're here, and we're becoming independently wealthy on working wages. For many of us, this independent wealth occurs at a very young age (I'm looking right square at YOU, Metric Mouse). We don't spend every penny we make. We live below our means. We invest wisely. Nor are we like the many who at best save 5 or 10%.

For these reasons, I think that as a group, Mustachians are well above average in math, planning, search and analysis, self discipline, delayed gratification, and general decision making.

We are outliers, and in a good way, from the rest of the general population.

ender

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2016, 12:46:04 PM »
I've never understood the allure of gambling. I work too damn hard for my money. The idea of giving it away and getting nothing in return (except becoming a loser) is very off putting.

The fact is that the math is against you. We're all good at math here, so I don't understand why so many Mustachians enjoy gambling.

That rush of winning is a strong psychological motivator, among many other things. While the math skills for the majority on this forum is debatable, the decision making skills appear to be average. Gambling plays into some very basic decision making biases; it's unsurprising that many engage in that behavior.

Spending money on lottery tickets for the sake of enjoyment is considerably different than spending money on lottery tickets in the hope you win and become wealthy. Everyone on this forum spends money on something that another would find too luxurious, too frivolous, or otherwise "not math friendly."

The idea that certain things are somehow "better" than gambling is a judgement many agree upon for nearly all items (such as traveling, nice beer, nice <anything>, etc), but still a judgement nonetheless.

I will say that the difference between most people's addictions to sugar and gambling is a fair bit smaller than most would ever like to admit. However one is more socially acceptable and less inclined to quickly destroy your life.

But for what it's worth, I've only ever bought about 1/4 of a lottery ticket (a few of us bought one together as a joke for a friend) and don't plan on ever having purchased a "whole" one :-)

human

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 12:54:14 PM »
I don't know, I'm sure there's a lot of junk sitting in MMMers houses with zero return. Do you have a photo of your family? Is there a return on that or a psychological benefit? I have no photos in my office or my apartment, I see no return investing time and money on them (frames and hanging them) . . . is this a universal statement that applies to everyone? Don't think so, you are making this same assumption with gambling. There is a benefit, maybe not a return on investment but some benefit.




« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 03:45:50 PM by human »

dsmexpat

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 03:17:47 PM »
I still play poker from time to time but the way I play poker there isn't any gambling involved and the way the people I play with play poker there is no gambling involved either. There is no statistical likelihood of them coming home with my money. It'd be like me doing sports betting against someone who actually follows sports. I'd bet on the New York Ballfondlers to win the NFL or whatever and they'd bet on a team that actually exists.

Metric Mouse

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 10:33:53 PM »
I've never understood the allure of gambling. I work too damn hard for my money. The idea of giving it away and getting nothing in return (except becoming a loser) is very off putting.

The fact is that the math is against you. We're all good at math here, so I don't understand why so many Mustachians enjoy gambling.

That rush of winning is a strong psychological motivator, among many other things. While the math skills for the majority on this forum is debatable, the decision making skills appear to be average. Gambling plays into some very basic decision making biases; it's unsurprising that many engage in that behavior.

Except for the part about the winner's rush and the poor decision framing that gambling utilizes, I disagree.

We're here, and we're becoming independently wealthy on working wages. For many of us, this independent wealth occurs at a very young age (I'm looking right square at YOU, Metric Mouse). We don't spend every penny we make. We live below our means. We invest wisely. Nor are we like the many who at best save 5 or 10%.

For these reasons, I think that as a group, Mustachians are well above average in math,, planning, search and analysis, self discipline, delayed gratification, and general decision making.

We are outliers, and in a good way, from the rest of the general population.

I guess we can agree to disagree on the points I've bolded, but that's immaterial to my point.   My comment was merely that people that gamble have sound, scientifically examined and explained reasons why they do. That doesn't mean that it's a good choice, only that it's a predictable, common choice for people in general, and that there are very few effective* ways to counter the reasons people make mathematically poor choices. Look at the number of Mustachians that choose to pay off low interest loans, despite the overwhelming evidence that it's a poor choice, for example.  I guess I find it surprising that someone would find it surprising that a large, diverse group of people would behave very similarly to the general population. That was the point of my musings, and I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear in my post.

Specifically related to the thoughts on gambling (as a general practice), would be another point indicating that Mustachians are risk-averse. Another off-topic musing.

(Effective referring to broad-application training/education techniques that could be applied to improve a random person's decision making abilities. Obviously there are many ways people avoid the urge to gamble, as has been pointed out, but there are few methods that have been shown to be generally reliable or effective when applied to test subjects under experimental conditions.)

Avidconsumer

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2016, 08:28:48 AM »
I love to gamble myself although Im a math major. I know the likely outcome. I know how much it will cost me in the long run. To me gambling is paid entertainment. Winning isnt important to the mindset of a gambler. You still get the rush even if you lose. I play progressively in that i push my bets in the hope of a lucky streak. I lose over time, but the rush is something else.

libertarian4321

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2016, 08:39:42 AM »
I love to gamble myself although Im a math major. I know the likely outcome. I know how much it will cost me in the long run. To me gambling is paid entertainment. Winning isnt important to the mindset of a gambler. You still get the rush even if you lose. I play progressively in that i push my bets in the hope of a lucky streak. I lose over time, but the rush is something else.

Basically, you plunk down money, and flip a card (or watch a ball roll around a wheel or a ping pong ball pop up or whatever), and you win (or far more likely) lose money.

Wow, thrilling.

Why not just take a match to a dollar bill?  At least you get some pyrotechnics as you throw your money away...

And yeah, I clearly don't "get it."

Avidconsumer

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2016, 08:47:32 AM »
I love to gamble myself although Im a math major. I know the likely outcome. I know how much it will cost me in the long run. To me gambling is paid entertainment. Winning isnt important to the mindset of a gambler. You still get the rush even if you lose. I play progressively in that i push my bets in the hope of a lucky streak. I lose over time, but the rush is something else.

Basically, you plunk down money, and flip a card (or watch a ball roll around a wheel or a ping pong ball pop up or whatever), and you win (or far more likely) lose money.

Wow, thrilling.

Why not just take a match to a dollar bill?  At least you get some pyrotechnics as you throw your money away...

And yeah, I clearly don't "get it."

Jump out of a plane with a parachute or bungee jump. Its the same thing. Maybe burning stuff is your thing or shooting a gun. I could argue guns are a waste of money. People still buy them.

Chris22

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2016, 10:55:21 AM »
I only gamble "regularly" in 2 ways:

1. I buy an occasional (like 1-2x a year) Powerball ticket when the jackpot gets enormous.  The $2 I spend on 1 ticket is trivial, and I get a couple daydreams about which sports cars I'm going to buy and what my Maui beach house will look like :)

2.  I do 2 office sports pools every year, 1 $40 Fantasy Football league, and 1 $20 NCAA March Madness Basketball bracket.  I love watching both sports, and the inter-office trash talking and banter and such is fun and worth it to me.  Plus, it gets you more involved in the sport when you have a little something riding on it.  I never plan on winning these, and consider the buy in just entertainment money.  We also do a draft night at someone's house, and a couple happy hour trips to the bar at the beginning and end of the season, so you're buying into that entertainment too.  There's a fairly substantial waiting list to get into our Fantasy Football league (restricted to 12 people, like 5 on the waiting list). 

I guess 3, my mom usually puts some scratch offs in everyone's Christmas stocking every year, and we all sit around the breakfast table Christmas morning and see what everyone won, usually a couple bucks on about $20-30 worth of tickets overall.  We then role those winnings back into more scratch-offs until all is lost.  Plus I've been to Vegas and other casinos and probably spent, lifetime, $250 on slots and table games, but that's very irregular.


For me, the "problem" is that I'm not enough of a gambler to play enough to win anything substantial.  So if I go to a casino, I am not going to play more than like $50, and you're never going to win much playing that much.  Even if I got 10x winnings, I've now got $500 and risked $50 to get it?  No thanks.  Same with scratchoffs and other local lotteries; $1 for the chance to win $10k or $20k?  Yeah that money would be nice, but it's not nearly enough for me to make the wager.  Versus the off chance to win several hundred million, THAT is worth $2 to me, even though the odds are tiny. 

JZinCO

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2016, 11:16:52 AM »
I've never understood the allure of gambling. I work too damn hard for my money. The idea of giving it away and getting nothing in return (except becoming a loser) is very off putting.

The fact is that the math is against you. We're all good at math here, so I don't understand why so many Mustachians enjoy gambling.

That rush of winning is a strong psychological motivator, among many other things. While the math skills for the majority on this forum is debatable, the decision making skills appear to be average. Gambling plays into some very basic decision making biases; it's unsurprising that many engage in that behavior.

Spending money on lottery tickets for the sake of enjoyment is considerably different than spending money on lottery tickets in the hope you win and become wealthy. Everyone on this forum spends money on something that another would find too luxurious, too frivolous, or otherwise "not math friendly."

I've attempted to rationalize lottery spending by others (I do not) by saying essentially the same thing: 'Shame on you if you are so fooled as to think speculating on a lottery ticket can yield yourself more earnings than losses. But if you can acknowledge the expected value is less than 0 based on the probabilities, it is alright to indulge for the entertainment factor. The latter is akin to going to a theme park.'

Honestly though, I do not think you can de-couple the two because while the value of 'entertainment' might outweigh the cost of the ticket, the root of the entertainment is knowing that you could draw on a combination that has a very low probability. In other words, one can acknowledge that buying a lottery ticket is pissing away money, but in order to derive entertainment from a lottery is to engage in cognitive dissonance. How is that any better than being ignorant (willfully or otherwise) to probabilities and buying a lottery ticket in a delusional scheme to become wealthy?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 11:26:01 AM by JZinCO »

MgoSam

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2016, 11:22:33 AM »
I was planning to go watch some kickboxing fights on Saturday (a few guys from my gym were competing)...long story couldn't due to family being in town, but part of what worries me is that nearly everyone that were willing to give me a ride (place is an hour away) were planning to either get there early or stay late to gamble.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2016, 11:44:13 AM »
I love to gamble myself although Im a math major. I know the likely outcome. I know how much it will cost me in the long run. To me gambling is paid entertainment. Winning isnt important to the mindset of a gambler. You still get the rush even if you lose. I play progressively in that i push my bets in the hope of a lucky streak. I lose over time, but the rush is something else.

Basically, you plunk down money, and flip a card (or watch a ball roll around a wheel or a ping pong ball pop up or whatever), and you win (or far more likely) lose money.

Wow, thrilling.

Why not just take a match to a dollar bill?  At least you get some pyrotechnics as you throw your money away...

And yeah, I clearly don't "get it."


That is true for the typical ploppy, but there are a small amount of people who have learned advantage gambling and can make money from it.

SwordGuy

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2016, 04:38:41 PM »
Specifically related to the thoughts on gambling (as a general practice), would be another point indicating that Mustachians are risk-averse.

I don't see the connection that you do.   Why do you think we are, as a group, risk averse?

I'm a serial entrepreneur.   I've started up a yard mowing business, a publication business, two software companies, and a rental property business.   Odds are that I'll start another business within 5 years.   

Straight out of school I moved to another state, to a community that had double-digit unemployment, to move in with a woman who was 10 years older than I was and who had 2 kids, one of whom was mentally retarded.

The mustachians I've met haven't seemed at all risk averse.   They are risk-savvy.   They pay attention to risk and take steps to mitigate it.  They don't let it stop them from reaching their goals, they just act in a way that will not let it stop them from moving forward.

That's true optimism, to know the risks and move forward anyway.  Risk averse people imagine the risks and let their imagination paralyze them.

Metric Mouse

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2016, 12:14:21 AM »
Specifically related to the thoughts on gambling (as a general practice), would be another point indicating that Mustachians are risk-averse.

I don't see the connection that you do.   Why do you think we are, as a group, risk averse?

I'm a serial entrepreneur.   I've started up a yard mowing business, a publication business, two software companies, and a rental property business.   Odds are that I'll start another business within 5 years.   

Straight out of school I moved to another state, to a community that had double-digit unemployment, to move in with a woman who was 10 years older than I was and who had 2 kids, one of whom was mentally retarded.

The mustachians I've met haven't seemed at all risk averse.   They are risk-savvy.   They pay attention to risk and take steps to mitigate it.  They don't let it stop them from reaching their goals, they just act in a way that will not let it stop them from moving forward.

That's true optimism, to know the risks and move forward anyway.  Risk averse people imagine the risks and let their imagination paralyze them.


I hope your choices work out for you. I'm not sure at all what point you were trying to make? Is living with a mother of two considered risky in low-employment environments? I am not aware of any studies done on such things. 

The pervading sentiment on things like gambling, stock picking, transportation etc. is much closer to:

Why not just take a match to a dollar bill?

than to:
That is true for the typical ploppy, but there are a small amount of people who have learned advantage gambling and can make money from it.

I think there are more people held back by the risks of certain activities than there are 'understanding them and going forward anyway.'  The first would be risk-averse. The second would be risk-taking. By your definition, risk-savvy would = risk-taking; and then it should become clear that many posters are quite conservative in their choices. Obviously this isn't a judgment on their actions; it is merely a verifiable observation.

ender

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2016, 07:25:23 AM »
Playing devil's advocate, an overwhelming majority of entertainment is taking a match to money.

Do you watch movies? Pay for netflix? Travel (ruh oh not the sacred "travel" cow!)? Go to concerts/events?

An overwhelming percentage of entertainment is lighting money on fire in exchange for an experience. Some people experience the ability to dream or otherwise benefit from purchasing lottery tickets. Why is that so much worse than paying for any other entertainment option?


JZinCO

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2016, 09:31:01 AM »
Playing devil's advocate, an overwhelming majority of entertainment is taking a match to money.

Do you watch movies? Pay for netflix? Travel (ruh oh not the sacred "travel" cow!)? Go to concerts/events?

An overwhelming percentage of entertainment is lighting money on fire in exchange for an experience. Some people experience the ability to dream or otherwise benefit from purchasing lottery tickets. Why is that so much worse than paying for any other entertainment option?

Because it could actually be harmful to permit a pattern of engaging in delusion? I dunno, just spitballing. This tangentially relates to my earlier post which in essence said: Admitting the odds and still scratching off for 'entertainment's sake' is really no different than thinking that the lottery is a way to wealth. I say this because the entertainment is the thought of getting rich.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 09:34:06 AM by JZinCO »

runningthroughFIRE

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2016, 10:01:58 AM »

[...]

I think there are more people held back by the risks of certain activities than there are 'understanding them and going forward anyway.'  The first would be risk-averse. The second would be risk-taking. By your definition, risk-savvy would = risk-taking; and then it should become clear that many posters are quite conservative in their choices. Obviously this isn't a judgment on their actions; it is merely a verifiable observation.

I don't agree with your definition of risk-averse.  Risk aversion means that all else equal, a person will choose the less risky option.  If an investment is more risky, then a risk averse person would demand a higher return to compensate for it.  A person can be more or less risk-averse than someone else, but as long as they seek to avoid or mitigate risk (or demand a higher return in exchange for the risk they take on) wherever possible, they are still risk-averse.  I understand the point you are trying to make here, but it's a pet peeve of mine.

FWIW I think that the people on these forums are no more or less risk averse than the general population.  I would argue that people here have a better understanding of the risks/options available to them than the general population, and therefore can mitigate risk more effectively.

Chris22

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2016, 10:39:49 AM »
Playing devil's advocate, an overwhelming majority of entertainment is taking a match to money.

Do you watch movies? Pay for netflix? Travel (ruh oh not the sacred "travel" cow!)? Go to concerts/events?

An overwhelming percentage of entertainment is lighting money on fire in exchange for an experience. Some people experience the ability to dream or otherwise benefit from purchasing lottery tickets. Why is that so much worse than paying for any other entertainment option?

Because it could actually be harmful to permit a pattern of engaging in delusion? I dunno, just spitballing. This tangentially relates to my earlier post which in essence said: Admitting the odds and still scratching off for 'entertainment's sake' is really no different than thinking that the lottery is a way to wealth. I say this because the entertainment is the thought of getting rich.

It's like anything else, booze, drugs, sex, internet, jacking it, snacks, what have you.  A small number of people let it control their lives, the vast majority partake at some moderately trivial level and it doesn't really hurt them too much.  Like I said, every few months I drop $2 on a powerball ticket that has a $300m+ jackpot, and then idly point my computer to Ferrari.com or Realtor.com and type in "Maui beach front".  I bet lifetime this "habit" has cost me $20 and a couple weeks' worth of daydreams.  Who cares?

JZinCO

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2016, 10:49:31 AM »
Not sure how it could be harmful turned into Chriss22 has a problem. I'm curious why you got so defensive about musings that weren't intended to call you out.

We all engage in delusional behaviors (it helps build a sense of place and community when I think that my neighbors like me, even if they don't). Just saying that building a pattern of delusional thinking that can lead to bad judgement e.g. "I'm going to Vegas. My method is fool proof!". I've actually met people who think they have a system that defies probabilities for some games of chance.

Slee_stack

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2016, 10:53:44 AM »
Playing devil's advocate, an overwhelming majority of entertainment is taking a match to money.

Do you watch movies? Pay for netflix? Travel (ruh oh not the sacred "travel" cow!)? Go to concerts/events?

An overwhelming percentage of entertainment is lighting money on fire in exchange for an experience. Some people experience the ability to dream or otherwise benefit from purchasing lottery tickets. Why is that so much worse than paying for any other entertainment option?
^The view I try to keep, but I still get judgmental on certain topics.

If someone doesn't have an addiction and does something in moderation, I'm generally OK.

I'm not a 'gambler' per se, but is an occasional Poker night with friends bad just because its 'gambling'?  No. 

If someone is regularly losing more than they can afford/budget to, then Yes!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 10:55:27 AM by Slee_stack »

Chris22

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2016, 11:01:33 AM »
Not sure how it could be harmful turned into Chriss22 has a problem. I'm curious why you got so defensive about musings that weren't intended to call you out.

We all engage in delusional behaviors (it helps build a sense of place and community when I think that my neighbors like me, even if they don't). Just saying that building a pattern of delusional thinking that can lead to bad judgement e.g. "I'm going to Vegas. My method is fool proof!". I've actually met people who think they have a system that defies probabilities for some games of chance.

I'm using myself as a foil for the general public.  This forum tends to fixate on the 2-5% of people that have a real problem with something, and then apply that to the general population that partakes in it. 

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2016, 11:33:02 PM »
When it comes to gambling, it's not the winner's rush that's dangerous, nor is it the basic enjoyment that many people get simply from participating and from fantasizing about what life would be like if they won big. The danger comes when you start getting almost as much of a rush from a near win as you do from a win. That's what tips people over the edge and makes gambling become a habit forming activity as opposed to an occasional pleasure.

marty998

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2016, 04:44:44 PM »
When it comes to gambling, it's not the winner's rush that's dangerous, nor is it the basic enjoyment that many people get simply from participating and from fantasizing about what life would be like if they won big. The danger comes when you start getting almost as much of a rush from a near win as you do from a win. That's what tips people over the edge and makes gambling become a habit forming activity as opposed to an occasional pleasure.

See I thought it was always the belief that you are special and you can recover your losses that was the real danger.

Can be a very painful lesson to learn.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2016, 10:01:25 PM »
When it comes to gambling, it's not the winner's rush that's dangerous, nor is it the basic enjoyment that many people get simply from participating and from fantasizing about what life would be like if they won big. The danger comes when you start getting almost as much of a rush from a near win as you do from a win. That's what tips people over the edge and makes gambling become a habit forming activity as opposed to an occasional pleasure.

See I thought it was always the belief that you are special and you can recover your losses that was the real danger.

Can be a very painful lesson to learn.

Belief is an intellectual thing. It's a conclusion people draw in response to some other stimulus. Problem gamblers actually receive a different neurological stimulus than people who aren't problem gamblers, in response to a near win.

In the book "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg, the author cites a study in which scientists scanned the brains of people who were playing a gambling simulator. One group of people was the control group; these were not problem gamblers. The other group of people had been diagnosed with a gambling problem. The scientists measured similar rates of brain activity in all sectors of the brain during loss, non-gambling, and win conditions. During win conditions, the subjects in both groups showed massive increases in activity in the sectors of the brain associated with pleasure and reward. But there was a big difference in near-win behavior. People who weren't problem gamblers experienced far less activity in the pleasure and reward centers in response to a near win, whereas the problem gamblers lit up almost as much as they did when they won. The near win experience is actually biochemically different for problem gamblers.

So, when an ordinary person has a run of bad luck, he or she generally starts feeling bummed out and leaves the table, even if that person "almost" won a few times. The endorphin rush just isn't there and boredom and irritation start to set in. But if the problem gambler experiences the same run, those near-wins are almost as stimulating as an actual win, so he or she gets an extra rush of happy brain chemicals. Those happy brain chemicals probably go a long way to producing the feeling of well-being, superiority, and confidence you describe.

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Re: My voluntary tax has come to an end :(
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2016, 08:49:13 PM »
Getting VIP treatment at casinos for spending a lot of money can be addicting too. Everyone likes to feel like they are someone special, especially when they work jobs where they don't get treated with a lot of respect.