Winning money, or hitting the jackpot, is the ultimate dream. Pulling the handle on a slot machine or playing a game of poker feeds human nature’s need for excitement, risk taking, and playing the odds. The sense of anticipation and the adrenaline rush as you watch the slots fall into place is a source of entertainment that many people just can’t escape.
It seems easy to understand why people play for money. A trademarked lottery slogan says, “Hey, you never know.” A winner will come forward. Trying to understand why hundreds of millions of people play betting games they might never win, requires you to put away logic and consider betting through a different set of ideas.
If you have ever walked into a casino you will see many different personalities of people sitting at the slot machines, working the tables or playing keno. This is their form of escapism and it can be addicting. Betting stimulates the senses and provides a feeling of maybe you will “beat the odds” this time. Betting is “taking a risk in order to gain some advantage.” People love to go to casinos as a way to have fun, to win money, or to find excitement and a challenge. Betting is a way to take a chance in life.
Theories exist on why people bet for money and it is not all negative. Arguments abound that playing for money is a harmless diversion, it is a way to escape from reality for a few hours, and a path to build a potential dream – winning enough to make life comfortable. Psychologists claim that those who play for money do so for a way to deal with the pressures of life. Not to be so serious, but if you were to interview people in a casino they would simply say, betting for money is fun.
“My dad plays for money. He takes his $10, enters a game and sometimes doubles his win.” This is the reason people play for money. For the chance to double their money.
WHO PLAYS FOR MONEY?
Studies on playing for money tend to put people into categories. Perhaps this is to define why so many people bet.
MEN AND WOMEN
Men and women play for money in different ways. Men are more likely to play for money in blackjack and lotteries and women love bingo and raffles. Slots tend to be divided equally between the genders, but men are much more aggressive in their play.
YOUNG, MIDDLE AGED, OLDER
Studies say that the older one becomes the less likely they will bet on games of chance. Yet, walk into any casino ad you will see all ages sitting at the slot machines or throwing out dice at the crap table. Glance in the windows of a high stakes poker game, and there are ages ranging from men and women in their twenties to gray and bearded grandfathers. Age really is not a factor.
RICH OR POOR
Social scientists say that betting for money has a class designation. People of every class play games of chance. Depending on the type of game of chance you are playing, it can indicate on your social class. But these studies and designations tend to get quite stereotypical. One stereotype is people from “high society” will play poker in swanky casinos while sipping martinis from crystal glasses. If you’ve been in a casino, and looked at the poker tables, you know this is quite removed from the truth.
Another stereotype claims that middle class folks will drink beer or coke from bottles while they pull the handle of a slot machine. However, in reality, there is no class distinction. You can see folks from all walks of life who love to take a night and just whittle the time away while playing nickel machines.
MARRIED OR SINGLE
It is true that single, divorced, and separated people are more likely to bet on games of chance and play for money than married people. Makes perfect sense.
This group of people are just looking for a bit of inexpensive entertainment and have less responsibilitie
keeping them away from the tables.
URBAN OR COUNTRY
This is a good classificiation. Studies show that players who live in big cities go for money more than those who are from rural areas. Urban dwellers are closer to casinos and games of chance than your normal rural inhabitant.
WHERE YOUR WORSHIP
This particular segement is strictly the opinion of a specific researcher. Yet, interviewers found that Catholics were the religious group that played for money or bet more than Protestants and other Christian religious groups. Perhaps this is because there are literaly more Catholics than any other Christian groups. It was also found that Catholics were more understanding of playing for money than other religious groups. Wonder who did this reseach?.