A Reason to Gamble

Berger stated that “Photographs bear witness to a human choice.” And the point that I want my photo essay to emphasize the choice that people make to gamble. A person can come to a casino, gamble a couple of bucks, win, lose, or break even; then they would catch dinner and a show and move on.  However, there are those special people who come back over and over and over again, every weekend… to gamble.  What is so enticing about taking the hard earned money  and just taking a chance at losing it? Why? To try to double it? I have worked at the Borgata for six years and I’ve asked random people that question throughout the years and some say, “I’m just having some fun,” while others have said, “It’s the rush, I love it.”  And come to find out that Philadelphia is looking to open another one and that will be their 12th casino. Have they learned nothing from the crisis going on in Atlantic City?  I just don’t understand. Maybe this essay will help me and others figure that out.

So because I need to get special permission to take pictures on the casino floor (from security, surveillance, and then the Division of Gaming Enforcement), I’ve been looking around and narrowing down my field of focus.  So the subjects (which employ about 5 things off this list) that I am considering to help are the 3 players cards to signify the levels of play, the different tables (craps, blackjack, roulette with chips taken from the dealer’s side), the Poker room and the Racebook (for betting on horses), the box office (for entertainment), the outside of a particular restaurant (for the fine dining), slot machines, and Pit 16 (which is one of our two high level pits for high rollers, to show decadence.)  These might change depending on my clearance.

The overall feeling that I’m trying to achieve is bright, crystal clear images that clearly depicts the non-stop gambling that goes on in these casinos.  The only way to close a casino is to shut it down or a state of emergency. I haven’t ruled out using black and white shots; but I think I’m going to strive for color images in order to really illustrate the brightness of the casino floor.

I will be using my Olympus FE-4010 digital camera.  I was thinking of leaving the time on the photos if I am able to get pictures of certain areas so that I can showcase how gambling doesn’t stop.  Time does not matter in a casino (especially since there are no clocks.)  I also haven’t decided whether I will be using any applications; but I was looking at the Pro Shop 7 which has free trials so I might check that out.


One thought on “A Reason to Gamble

  1. Hi Denia,

    We talked about this in class, but I do want to mention something you wrote in your proposal: “the choice people make to gamble.” For many, it is not a choice; it is an addiction, and it will be important to understand that as you move forward, because it is a system that often takes advantage of people—and state governments are using it to help generate revenues. So, the I’d like you to try to build those ideas into your approach–that is, the idea that people, especially regular gamblers, are being taken advantage of, that the system is designed to do so, and the results are more often than not, quite negative.

    Glossing over these ideas would just be replicating the bright light no window sheen timeless sheen that casinos great.

    Let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like to change your topic based on what I have written.



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