Responsible Gambling Tips from NETG’s “Gambling Cats”

Cats Playing Blackjack

Cats Playing Poker

Just about everyone tries gambling of one form in their lives.  Some involve money, others may gamble at running a red light.  Each has its own degree of risk and consequences.

There are professional gamblers who have been able to gamble for a living and not fall into the dark side of addiction.  These Advantage Players, or AP’s, know the importance of knowing how they react to the rush of winning and the down side of losing.

Cat Advantage Player

Cat Advantage Player

But professionals also detach a lot of the emotion – it’s a business – which helps keep those fiery endorphins more stable.  Most humans can gamble, whether money based or consequence based (or both) without concerns, but some have trouble when any gamble turns into habit – especially casino gamblers.

With the help of the “NETG Gambling Cats.” this post includes simple tips and a few items to help responsible gambling.  While many have a fun, exciting gambling experience without them, these tips and forms may be something to consider.  As far as the cats know, they are the “purr-fect” answer to responsible gambling.

Take a look at the following tips; they’ll help you to learn more about how you can enjoy gambling without putting yourself at risk for problem gambling.

  • Have the right attitude – gamble for fun and entertainment.  Cat playing pokerIf you are considering playing poker, video poker, blackjack (probably the only casino games you could make a living in), be well-practiced, well-funded, and strategically perfect – that’s all!  Otherwise, keep it as a leisurely activity.
  • Set a limit on how much money and time you can afford to spend gambling. Try not to change this limit while you play.  If so, it must the next bankroll negatively or put off your next gambling trip.
  • Leave any extra cash at home, and think twice about taking your bank and credit cards with you. When you run out of money, don’t borrow from family, friends or others so you can keep gambling.Credit card Cat
  • Don’t gamble for comps.  Gambling for comps is a rabbit hole that will swallow up extra money you didn’t expect to spend.  Comps will accumulate.  Check rewards clubs for the best deals, and compare to the best games, or an experience you prefer.  Then, just let it happen.
  • Plan for sessions by bankroll increments, not by time. Have a clear plan on what you will do if you spend all that money sooner than expected.  Eat, walk, people watch?  Something to lengthen the time between sessions.  Or, there’s another option – go home.
  • Know how much it costs to play per hour on the games you enjoy.  cat at pokerWhile you win sometimes, you also lose, so it is important to know the average cost per hour. Click HERE for your free chance to calculate your own cost of play, provided by the Addiction Foundation of Manitoba.
  • What is your reason for gambling?  Don’t know? You should.  Be aware of your own reasons for gambling. Remember that, while gambling can be fun, it is not a way to solve problems, get away angry, or spend time depressed.  Have fun, enjoy time with friends and family.  Make it something you would do again with no consequence.
  • Balance gambling with other leisure activities.Gambling shouldn’t be the only activity you do in your spare time.  Other activities can blur into other casino events, such as culinary interest, music performance, and sports.Cat playing soccer
  • Finally, if you gamble on a regular basis, keep track of the money you spend. Most people would never think to keep track.  It’s no fun to track your gambling, and lets face it, most of us are just TOO lazy.  Statistics don’t lie. Print out the NETG Gambling Log 3 to keep track – it will help you to keep a realistic record of your gambling expenses.

Please note: The above log is not to be used if you claim gambling losses for your taxes.  A much more specific log of your gambling is needed.  

We hope this helps.

Binbin

New England Casino Gambling History – Updated

What seemed to be a slow trot towards socially approving gambling in New England has changed to a sprint, with no finish line in sight. Expansion continues, with the word “saturation” thrown around annually. While we don’t know what the future holds concerning sports betting, casinos in Bridgeport, CT., East Windsor, CT., and southeastern Massachusetts, and the future competition in southern New England, we can look back to see how we got here.

My interest in gambling history began with playing card games – playing cribbage and Michigan Rummy while in elementary school. With visits to Hartford Jai-Alai and Plainfield Greyhound Racetrack during my twenties, visits to the Sands in Atlantic City and Foxwoods Bingo in my thirties, and the Connecticut expansion in the 1990’s, I was hooked.

"Roll the Bones" by Dr. David Schwartz

“Roll the Bones” by Dr. David Schwartz

One of my favorite books is “Roll the Bones” by Dr. David Schwartz. In his book, Dr. Dave explains that “….the human predilection for a wager shaped human history from the Ice Age to the Information Age. People spend nearly one trillion dollars worldwide on gambling a year–wouldn’t you like to learn a little about how we got there?”  The fact is, I did!.

To read our NETG review, click here.

New England played a big part in the assertion of gambling in America. According to the California State Library, English settlers differed from their Puritanical neighbors in New England in many ways, but one influenced the early colonies to continue traditional styles of living in a new world , which included gambling, considering as a “harmless diversion, a popular and accepted activity.” Lotteries were used to bail out the Early Colonies when financial backers of the colonies began to see gambling as the solution to diminishing finances needed for the war effort. All 13 original colonies established lotteries, usually more than one, to raise revenue. Lotteries continue to be a main source of revenue for all six New England states.

Once Upon a time….

The Pequot War of 1637 set the stage for the separation of Pequot & Mohegan Tribes. Over 350 years after, both tribes started the New England Casino expansion we see today.

The Pequot War of 1637 set the stage for the separation of Pequot & Mohegan Tribes. Over 350 years after, both tribes started the New England Casino expansion we see today.

The Pequot and Mohegan Tribes were once one tribe, but war with colonists, differences with other tribes, and different tribal and colonial alliances caused a split that continues to this day.  Over 250 years later, a bingo hall in 1985 began the history of gaming in New England.

I should mention that casino gambling found a home in the 1800’s in Newport, Rhode Island, not to mention the numerous greyhound & horse tracks, parimutuel parlors, and Jai alai frontons in Milford & Hartford CT, and Newport, RI. However, in the past ten years, the horse-racing industry has seen a major decrease in raceway operations, Jai-Alai has moved out of the state, and parimutuel parlors continue to diminish in popularity, which may change with more legal sports betting in all six states

I you enjoy my look back at the journey of legalized gambling in New England below.

The New England Casino Historical Dateline:

Foxwoods Started it all with Bingo. This picture is the expanded Bingo Hall before Casino Expansion

Foxwoods Started it all with Bingo. This picture is the expanded Bingo Hall before Casino Expansion in 1992.


1992

The first New England Casino as Foxwoods opens its doors in Mashantucket, CT

The Rainmaker at Foxwoods Resort Casino - part of the original casino before many expansions.

The Rainmaker at Foxwoods Resort Casino – part of the original casino before many expansions.

Rhode Island approves VLT gaming machines (classII) at Lincoln Greyhound Park & Newport Jai Alai Originally built for greyhound racing, Twin River Casino is now a full casino.


1996

The Mohegan Tribe opens the second NE casino in Uncasville, CT

A Dollar Coin from Mohegan Sun Opening

A Dollar Coin from Mohegan Sun Opening


2005

Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway opens in Bangor, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine

Hollywood Casino, Bangor Maine


2007

Lincoln Greyhound Park turns into Twin River Casino with class III gaming; Newport Grand soon follows, redesigning without Jai-Alai

Twin River as Lincoln Park before Major Expansion

Twin River as Lincoln Park before Major Expansion


2008

MGM joins Foxwoods with additional hotel / casino

MGM Tower at Foxwoods - Right side.

MGM Tower at Foxwoods – Right side.


2011

MA legislature approves Expanded Gaming Act allowing construction of 3 Resort casinos & one “slot’s only casino”


2012

Oxford Casino opens in Oxford, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine

Oxford Casino, Maine


2013

MGM pulls out of it’s Foxwoods partnership

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods

MGM Ends Agreement with Foxwoods


2015

Plainridge Park Casino Opens at Plainridge Raceway as the first Massachusetts casino (slots-only)

Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts


2018

     A Big Year for Gambling, Casinos and Hotels in           New England:

Oxford Casino, Oxford ME, adds Hotel, expanded casino and Ox Pu

Oxford Hotel & Casino

MGM Springfield Resort Casino opens

MGM Springfield

Newport Grand Slots Casino closes

Newport Grand Slots, Newport, RI

Tiverton Casino & Hotel opens

Tiverton Casino/ Hotel.

Twin River Casino adds Hotel

Twin River Hotel Lobby

Mohegan Sun opens Earth Expo Center

Mohegan Expo Center

Rhode Island approves and opens the first Sports Betting in New England

Opening day of Phase I Sports Book at Twin River Casino


2019

Encore Boston Harbor to open in the fall

Encore Boston Harbor rendition, courtesy of Encore Boston Harbor pressroom


You can find this post as a permanent menu item in our header above.

Binbin

Recreational Gambling and Acceptance

Acceptance is the key to your gambling woes. As we say at NETimeGambling, “Embrace the math, not the myth.”

Many recreational gamblers use exaggerated statements or claims that are meant to be taken literally by the listener.  Aside from the nonsensical myths and mathematically proven superstitions that permeate the gambler-sphere, three sayings are often heard – I always win, I always lose, and the casino is paying out today. Let’s take a look at the truth behind these three sayings.

Who wins and who loses

Let’s first look at all those casino payouts.  I swear that I have no idea how these properties stay afloat. Signs exclaiming “millions of dollars paid out!” – implying that players at “Best World Casino” can expect to be winners.  The numbers of the daily payout keep scrolling higher and higher. How could you not choose to play at “Best World Casino?” (Just once, I’d like to see another running total next to it showing the money being made by the casino in real time) One CT casino is always announcing “another jackpot winner.” No specifics, but another jackpot winner. 

The math insists the casino is the big winner. Al Moe, in his article How Casinos Make Money: The Handle, House Edge & More, explains that “Casinos make a profit by offering games of chance where the average payouts are lower than the income produced by the overall wagers.”  With so many bells, whistles & lights showing other guest wins on your walk around the casino floor, it makes sense that you can win if they can. And everybody knows you can’t win if you don’t play, right?

Embrace the math – and the math says the Casino Industry is in the business of making money. You should expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less.

Now, what about Willy & Whinny, the luckiest people on the planet – you know, those people who say they win all the time?. LOL!

I hear that so much that I’m surprised casinos are still in business.  Usually I hear it from a third party – “My wife never loses at slots – it’s uncanny.” Or  “My brother-in-law told me his cousin’s sister’s mom always wins at blackjack.”

The math tells me to not believe it.  Sure, there are lucky sessions, and lucky people, but even playing a $5 slot machine at an approximate house advantage of 95% is going to end up biting you in the butt in the long run. The fact is it is getting more difficult to win – lower VP pay tables, confusing bonus slots with higher volatility, and new table games without knowledge of correct strategies all lead to the road to ruin.  So how can there be so many winners?

And then there’s unhappy Harry (or Harriet) – those recreational gamblers who are so annoyed that they never win.  What they don’t realize is that at times they might get ahead, they continue playing. They continue to play – unhappily losing and playing  forcing themselves to live their self-fulfilled prophecy. Much revolves around how many gamblers love to whine and complain. But gambling addiction is a huge concern if the whining turns into more playing beyond one’s means and bankroll. 

What The Research Suggests

Mark Maremont and Alexandra Berzon at the Wall Street Journal analyzed new data that shows that on any given day, the chances of emerging a winner aren’t too bad—the gamblers won money on 30% of the days they wagered. But continuing to gamble is a bad bet. Just 11% of players ended up in the black over the full period, and most of those pocketed less than $150.

This particular study, they said, used 4,222 casino customers of different levels of play. It showed that just 2.8%—or 119 big losers—provided half of the casino’s take, and 10.7% provided 80% of the take. Such revenue concentration long has been quietly acknowledged in the casino industry because it does show that the casino industry takes advantage of high-end addictive gamblers. But that’s a topic for another time.

The fact is, if you want to leave a winner, you need to leave after you win. Sounds obvious? Yes! But, although gamblers know the house has an edge, the average person doesn’t understand that casino games are nibbling machines, and the more nibbles you have, the bigger your losses. The recreational gambler should accept the following:

1) The Casino Industry is in the business of making money. I should expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less.

2) Bankroll should be determined before a casino visit. Only take what you can afford.  The money you win is not “house money” – it’s YOUR money. try leaving when ahead.

3) Don’t believe in absolutes. No one always wins or always loses.  But everyone can enjoy gambling on their own terms.

4) Gambling is recreation. Recreation should bring joy, but only if you accept the basic realities of the casino’s take. If Gambling doesn’t make you happy – find another recreational activity.  Life’s too short – and gambling can be TOO expensive!

That’s all for now.

Binbin