Hippoi Athanatoi

A Trip to the Casino

Last night Linda and I went out to the casino with her parents. Nothing dramatic happened—we broke even, which isn’t bad after three hours in there. Her mother, of course, ended up 600 crowns richer, and that’s after taking out money she insisted on giving to the unlucky (i.e., everyone else). The interesting thing about it was that the experience was noticeably different thanks to a recently passed law.

Gone was the need to run to the non-smoking side of the casino (where the games are fewer) after twenty minutes or so, and (mostly) gone was the grungy-feeling nose and throat following three hours in there. Smokers were now exiled to a couple of ... well, cages. Glass, with sliding doors, but cages. I actually was sort of non-plussed about it, as it struck me as a palpable example of social ostracism. I suppose it’d be cheaper for them to just set up some glass walls rather than making some proper rooms, but it was just ... a bit wrong. Gittan didn’t much care for it (she’s the only smoker out of the lot), as it was much too smokey in the rooms, so she braved the thunderstorm outside as needed.

I’m not too much into gambling, to be honest. It can be an amusing pastime, and certainly it’s nice when you win (from the records Linda has kept—yes, she keeps records—we’re still up over our 7-8 visits), but it can get a bit repetitive. You can stretch it out, of course, which we do—we put in a bill and cash out immediately, and then just feed in coins. We browse the new machines, mostly lose, sometimes win a little, and that keeps one going. But .... repetitive, yeah. Three hours would be about my absolute limit (unless, I suppose, I’m raking in cash hand over fist—then I’m sure it’ll be fun). They do have an interesting horse racing game, by Sega, which I can happily while away those three hours+ on without too much difficulty (or much cost—the equivalent of $12 can be stretched to last an hour, at least—more if you’re lucky). Unfortunately, Linda prefers the slots, and it gets boring sitting there examining virtual racing sheets, punching in wagers, and watching the little jockeys go around in circles without some company. So, it’s mostly slots.

Eventually I’ll work up the nerve to lose some money at the ever-popular poker tables (poker really has taken the world—at least, the western world—by storm), but that will be when I’m comfortable with the very high likelihood of dropping a couple hundred dollars for a few hours amusement. ;)

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