Monday, February 9, 2009

Hit Me

Last week I was working on a commercial shoot in Oklahoma at a casino. These are nothing like those in Las Vegas. The glitz and glamor have been traded in for four walls in the middle of a corn field and some slot machines. It's not that these establishments are small by any means there is just something a little, well, sad to them.

In Vegas everything is big and flashy. The waitresses buzz around to bring drinks to the busy gamblers, pit bosses patrol in suits and there is no time of day, just existence. I know there are plenty of people who gamble their lives away in Vegas, but you don't really see it. So many out-of-towners fill the casinos 24 hours a day so you have a hard time distinguishing them from the locals. However, if you head just north of here an hour and a half on a weekday afternoon you can visit a sad sight.

The parking lot is full of cars, and I don't know many people who vacation in lovely Oklahoma. If you want to gamble and take in a holiday you go to Vegas, Atlantic City or even Shreveport, but not Oklahoma. All of these slot jockeys must be "pro-gamblers" who spend their workday pumping money into machines, or playing some of the few table games. There are ATM like machines for cashing in your game receipts or cards. The few I saw make a transaction were not big winners at all. Totals in the 20s or 30s. Is it really worth it?

I used to think they should legalize gambling in Texas so they could turn Reunion Arena into a huge casino, but after witnessing the sad weekday crowd I think not. Dallas could never be Vegas, so who would travel here just to play some games of chance? It would just be the addicts pissing their money away all the time. At least with having to drive or fly to a casino they can keep a little bit.


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