Gambling has never held much of an attraction for me. I guess you could say that the thrill of occasional victory isn’t worth the agony of defeat. I used to work at the racetrack. My family and I lived over there one summer when my stepfather got a job training horses there, but even then I watched the races every night, but rarely ever bet on them.
I did develop a system for betting on the horses when I lived at the track. First of all, never bet on the odds on favorite. They don’t pay anything if they win. Instead take the number 2 horse and bet him to place. You also might throw in a long odds horse just in case the number 2 odds horse doesn’t place.
The last time I went to a casino was the brand new one downtown; Lumi√®re Place. A couple of things I noticed was that they don’t have any slot machines that take coins anymore. You have to load up your card and then insert it into a slot on the machine like a credit card. And playing has become a lot more complicated, with all kinds of lines and arrows instead of the straightforward three cherries.
The one-armed bandit has also become a no-armed bandit. The slot machines don’t have the arms anymore. The video poker has also changed. The machines no longer deal you a 5 card hand and it plays a lot like 21 instead of poker.
According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, “gambling is up 10 percent this past year at casinos in St. Louis. According to the Post, “much of the increase was due to October having five weekends – casino business often spikes in five-weekend months – but it may also reflect the impact of the slowly-improving economy and the removal of Missouri’s $500 loss limit.”
The Post also says that: “Business grew at the region’s three busiest casinos – Ameristar in St. Charles, Harrah’s in Maryland Heights and Lumi√®re Place downtown – while falling at the other three: Argosy Alton, Casino Queen, and the President. In all, casinos brought in $87.4 million in gambling revenue in the month.”
Aside from physical casinos, the rise of poker online gaming activities is also noticeable. According to studies, a lot of players are now starting to play poker at the comfort of their home through online gambling sites.
And now we are in a huge controversy about building another casino on the riverfront on a stretch of undeveloped property in north St. Louis. The property lies in a flood plain and also in one of the poorest areas of the city. Since people who don’t have a lot of money like to gamble a lot, building at that site is sure to increase gambling, but is this necessarily a good thing?