Down the Rabbit Hole

By: Denia R Martinez


Gambling. Some people see it as a fun way to pass the time while on vacation, others as a profession; but there are those few…million people who do become addicted to gambling. Gambling addiction is one of the hardest addictions to overcome with the highest suicides rates because it is completely mental. It is literally mind over matter.

But whose fault is it that people get addicted? Is it in someone’s genetic make-up to become addicted to the slots, or doubling down on blackjack or playing the ponies? How are casinos making it so that people will come in and put down their hard-earned money and waste it away on the chance, the very slight chance that they might make it big? People have tunnel vision when it comes to gambling. It’s all about the next big score or they just need to get their luck back. And if they lose their money, well they can just acquire more in order to “win their money back.” (If I had a dollar for every time I heard that I wouldn’t have student loans.)

Casinos… with their bright lights, free drinks (if you are playing on the slots or tables), easy access to your cash (for a fee) and their incentives to go from a red label card (no perks, only comp dollars) to the black label card (free parking, shorter lines, exclusive lounge) to the titanium card (free parking, an even more exclusive  & upscale lounge, and higher level room accommodations) that would have most people be all about getting to the next level.

Casinos do make it as easy as possible for people to be able to access their money from ATMs, to check cashing, and cash advance (all three for a fee) or depending on certain criteria they can apply for a credit line that is connected to their personal checking account (no fees). And once you see how it is to borrow money, you keep doing it. And if you run out, then you ask for a little more, then a little more until you increase your line so high and lose so much money that you go bankrupt. In the 6 years that I have worked at Borgata, I have seen it happen countless of times.



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