Living in Souther California has it’s benefits, yet year after year I find myself making the same trek to the hot and arid Nevada desert. Las Vegas probably feels like a second home to a lot of SoCal’ers since it’s just an hour plane ride or a 5 hour drive away. But for me, I rarely go more than 1-2 times a year and since I’ve already been twice this year, it looks like I’ve hit my limit.
Since I traveled the first couple times for my second job, flights and hotels were paid for but there was still a lot of down time left over to get into trouble and spend some money. I’m not your typical 20-something in Vegas, I would never pay for bottle service and wait in long lines to get into clubs or bars(unless someone else pays for it!). But I probably get into just as much trouble; I can have fun walking the strip, interacting with local residents and of course gambling.
Gambling From an Early Age
My gambling habits probably stem from when I was little growing up with a family that loved to gamble. With my mom’s side of the family, we would always play a game called Fish, Shrimp and Crab(yes that’s really the name – it’s a Chinese game). It was a very simple game in which there were six squares you could bet on and three dice that the dealer would roll – each dice had one of the six figures on it’s face. If you bet on the correct figure, you would win that ratio(1:1, 2:2 or 3:3).
Even though we had kids gambling at a young age, it was never with more than a few dollars worth of quarters. Whenever one of my uncles would lay down a dollar bill we would all ooh and ah! Today, I still gamble here and there but it’s never for significant amounts of money. I bet on sports games with my friends, play iphone casino, enter into a couple fantasy leagues and have poker nights once in a while.
Even though I love gambling, I rarely gamble to excess. When I go to Vegas, I like going to Hooter’s Casino or Casino Royale since they have $3 blackjack limits. You’ll probably get bored before you lose too much money when you’re only gambling $3 a hand. When I play poker with friends, we do a $5 or $10 buy in. I just like to win, doesn’t matter if it’s $50 or $500, although the latter would be nice if there wasn’t also the risk of losing $500.
Sometimes, it’s fun having a little money on the line since it will make people take things a little more seriously. Playing poker with no repercussions can be no fun and trust me, it’s a lot easier to watch a Bengals vs. Dolphins game when it’s the last leg of a 3 team parlay to win $200!
I know that gambling is an addiction for some people but I think of it just like credit cards. It’s not my job to babysit people and tell them they shouldn’t use credit cards because they might overspend. We are all adults so have a little self control and don’t overdo it. It’s ok to indulge once in a while as long as you do it responsibly. I open up a ton of credit cards for the bonuses, but I pay my bill off every month and keep track of all of them in a spreadsheet.
Like investing, you should never bet or take on more risk than you’re willing to lose. I know how hard I work for my money and I also know that mathematically the more I play, the more I will lose. That is a fact that you can’t argue with. So when I gamble, I set a limit as to how much I can lose and once I hit it, I stop. Sounds easier than it is, but that’s what you have to do if you want to gamble responsibly.
Readers, do you ever gamble to excess? What do you think it is about gambling that allows people to so cavalierly lose hundreds or thousands of dollars when they go to Las Vegas?
Track All Your Accounts With Personal CapitalPersonal Capital lets you see all of your accounts in one convenient place. Sign up now for free.
-Harry @ PF Pro