Mittwoch, Juni 01, 2011

Why Doesn't This Surprise Me?

Casinos are cool, right? Bright lights, music, cheap drinks and food, and who knows, ya might win big.


First and foremost, casinos exist for one thing only: to separate money from those who are bad at statistics. Nothing more, nothing less. There is a single verity when dealing with gambling, be it legal or unlawful: at the end of the day, the house always wins. Always.

Sure, you read of the guy tossing in a quarter and winning $10mn from the slots. The casinos need these stories to distract you from the fundamental fact that the guy winning $10mn didn't get that money from the casino: he got it from literally hundreds of blue-haired grandmothers feeding the slots, from hundreds of blue-collar workers out for a thrill and losing their paychecks at blackjack, from hundreds of office workers trying a system in roulette. The casino exists to provide a thrill in a mundane life, of the never-to-be-vanquished-hope of winning it big, of being someone special, of having the skill to beat the house and break the bank.

What fools we be.

Casinos bring all sorts of secondary effects. First and foremost, there is the problem of gambling addiction, of those who are so convinced that the next pull of the handle, the next deal, the next turn of the wheel will finally bring in the big bucks, that they are psychologically impaired and do foolish things in the pursuit of something that is extremely unlikely to happen. This addiction, like most, is destructive and insidious, affecting both rich and poor (with the only real difference being the length of time before they hit bottom). It breaks up families and destroys careers. But hey, it's not the casino's fault that these folks are susceptible to the allures, the bright lights and fleeting fame that gambling brings.

Second, casinos don't come alone. People out looking for a wild time will seek other ... distractions, and there is no casino out there that doesn't have the twin companions of drugs and rented sex. Maybe you didn't win big at the tables, but hey, you can still have that threesome you fantasized about, or you can get higher than a kite and what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Which is why Vegas is coming to Chicago.

Why doesn't this surprise me? Simple: because it is, after all, the logical next step on the road to perdition.

The City of Chicago is expecting upwards of $1bn of additional revenues from no less than 4 casinos, slots at the racetrack and at the two remaining Chicago airports.

Consider it instead a tax on statistical incompetence and stupidity. The City will need the revenue as bad money drives out what little is left of the good money.

Sin City just got some competition. Hope you like your new Mayor, Chicago, and what he is going to do to your city. Lock up your daughters (and sons!) and hope that the damage won't be too severe.

But this doesn't surprise me in the least. Letting casinos operate is a sign of desperation, not a sign of intelligent planning. Casinos are parasitical: they don't create meaningful jobs, but exist to take money from those who do not know better and serve the baser instincts. Expect fawning stories about job creation in the MSM, since they won't report on the thousands of lives destroyed.

But it doesn't surprise me: it is, if anything, the logical consequence of having Democrats running Chicago for so long, and also the logical consequence for electing the Mayor that Chicago apparently deserves.

It doesn't surprise me at all. Expect a move to decriminalize the sale of both soft drugs and sex; expect a police force interested in making sure the casinos work smoothly and keeping the human debris from showing up; expect strange deals and odd developments aimed at washing money. Standard operating procedures for a Democratic county that is already infamous for corruption and outright thievery of tax monies.

It doesn't surprise me at all.

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