One of the reasons I’ve always loved Monopoly was that it was based on Atlantic City, a town in which I spent a fair amount of time as a child growing up in New Jersey. However, after reading Newsday yesterday, I learned that the Grim Reaper is building a hotel on Boardwalk. So maybe I’ll keep my visits to once or twice a year now.
Naturally, I can’t imagine that AC’s high death rate will scare too many people away. After all, people seek thrills to add something to their routine existence. The lavish landscapes of casinos makes the fantasy of wealth accessible to the middle and lower class. Winning a jackpot feels more authentic when you’re surrounded by mirrors, flashing lights and ringing bells. You’re not going to get that effect sitting at home in your slippers.
As far as the article is concerned, it’s a no-brainer that overeating and smoking are some of the major hazards, but the thing the article does not elaborate on is the effects and stresses of gambling. While there are always winners at casinos, odds are you’re walking away a loser.
But does this loss affect more than your wallet? Is it possible that the disappointment of losing subconsciously hurts you physiologically? Of course, I’m sure the casino owners would pay millions to stop such research, but I’m curious (as always) to know.
I’m sure almost everyone out there has a great Vegas or Atlantic City story. But how did you feel after you lost a huge bet? Lost it all in the slots? Let me know what you think.
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* What’s Playing on Cityfilter (my iPod) right now: “I’m A Wheel” by Wilco, from the album A Ghost Is Born.