Andy Rooney and the Gambling Business

When Casino Revenues Drop, Is It a Good Thing?

I have good news for you tonight. According to an American Gaming Association report, revenue from casino gambling fell by almost two billion dollars last year.

A lot of people are out of work and it turns out that when people are unemployed, they gamble less. You'd think they might gamble more but they don't. There's some good things about everything, I guess.

In 2008 the casinos earned $32.5 billion. Last year they earned only $30.7 billion. I use the words "earned" and "only" loosely but casino income was down a lousy little two billion dollars last year. It's enough to bring tears to your eyes.

It's a law for people to protect themselves by wearing seat belts for their own safety when they're in car. How come the government doesn't protect citizens from losing their money by making gambling in casinos illegal? There should be a sign in front of every casino that says "enter at your own risk...of losing your shirt."

The thing that bothers me most about gambling is that people fritter away money so they don't get to spend it on things that someone else has been paid to produce. Gambling produces nothing.

There's only so much money in the world and if it's lost at a gambling table, it's money that isn't spent on things America makes. I mean who's best for this country - a machinist at an automobile plant in Detroit or a blackjack dealer in Las Vegas?

The gambling casinos keep something like 20 percent of everything bet for themselves, so there's no chance of anyone but the casinos winning over a period of time. They make billions - and where do the billions come from? They come from all of us because we're the losers. I mean, suckers is what we are.

If I write as though I was above all this, I'm not writing right. I've gambled half a dozen times in Las Vegas and even though I know how dumb it is. I think I can win. I've never won but that doesn't stop me from thinking "maybe next time."


Written by Andy Rooney
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