I'm blogging from Larry Bird's hometown of French Lick; Sullivan U's having their faculty "advance" at the French Lick Springs Hotel this weekend. I'm comfortably ensconced in my room, watching the Pistons beat the Lakers after practicing our skit for tomorrow morning and making a visit to the hotel's casino.
Yes, the casino. They had a $10 free playing money voucher as part of our check-in package. I've never been inside a casino in my life, at least not in the gambling part, other than to momentarily walk past the tables en route to a concert at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant.
Dilemma: do I have the discipline to take advantage of the offer, pocket any winnings off of my freebie, and walk away? Is it sinful to do so? After a bit of prayer and a call to Eileen back in Lexington, I decided to give it a shot.
I got my $10 comp card and headed to the nickle slots; instead of feeding coins in like the old one-armed-bandits, this system has a debit card-like setup. I proceed to make $42 on my $10 of gaming money, cash in my winner slips (getting a bar-coded coupon-like critter for the $31 highlight jackpot rather than a gusher of loose change takes a bit of the mystique out of things, but c'est la guerre) and leave the joint.
I know that the casino is willing to spend $10 on folks, counting on making a gambling fan or addict out of that on some. Was I tempting fate by making my foray?
Good question. I'm not one who has that gambling bug, at least not the casino type of gambling. I don't enjoy the games much and know that the house will win in the long run. However, if the house gives me $10 free, I'm literally playing with the house's money, not mine.
I might get that for sports betting, where there is an art and science to handicapping games and races. However, I know I have that weak spot, and steer well clear of Keeneland in my new home turf of Lexington. Sullivan has Keeneland outings at least once a year, but I've opted out of such trips, lest I get the parimutuel bug.
Question to the Peanut Gallery- Is this a stronger brother-weaker-brother issue? Should I have passed and not given other folks a good example when someone else might get hooked on gambling? Possibly, but I don't know of too many weaker brothers.
It seems odd that something might be legit if it's a freebie but sinful if you're paying for it. If someone hands you ten lottery tickets, do you rip them up? If you think you might get hooked on the lottery, maybe. It will depend on the person, I think.
What sayest thou?