last tuesday my dad brought me to the casino. it was my first and i felt a certain amount of thrill at finally getting to enter one.
first thing the people at the casino did was confiscate my phone. okay.
then i noticed the atmosphere. the air was thick with smoke, there were two performers onstage doing some commentary and the tables were full.
my dad was standing at the super six table and i gave him my chips. we were just going to bet alongside the players sitting there.
my first set of chips lost. my dad transferred to the other guy and he lost. my dad and i shared a laugh. after all, the chips we were playing with were the ones he had won earlier.
he asked me if i wanted to play some more. i said no. and i meant it.
at first i couldn't explain it. my only exposure (if you can even call it that) to casinos were thanks to movies and television shows. yep. vegas. nothing else. so i was expecting to see a place full of happy gamblers, or at the very least, drunk gamblers and scantily-clad women.
i didn't see that. what i saw was totally at odds with my vegas influenced thinking.
we left, and while we were on our way back to the room, i finally realized why i didn't like it there.
i saw no smiles, except for that of my dad. there was an air of desperation there, almost palpable. or maybe it was just my imagination. it felt like people were there to try for that one big win that would solve their problems. there it was, that quiet plea... just this one time... please... let me win...
i got depressed. good thing my dad didn't want to stay.
i don't think i will ever go back. or if i do, i'm going to the slot machine and i'm going to turn my back on the rest of the people there.
if i'm going to become impoverished one day, it will not be because of gambling.