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Best of Alan Krigman

Gaming Guru

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Stand Up Now for Gamblers' Rights

4 February 1997

Gamblers' rights, dignity, and -- yes -- natural-born entitlements are being violated. By everyone: casino bosses and workers, the liberal-conservative media, non-gaming know-it-alls in general, politicians and government lackeys, and holier-than-thou non-bingo churches... to name all I can think of at the moment.

Something's gotta be done. And soon. Before the situation gets further out of hand. So I'm coming out of the closet (no, not that closet) and unveiling the gist of my formerly secret plan to wind down the war on wagering. It's to form a coalition. The Global Guild of Gamblers, which will forever be affectionately known as the GGG. Our motto, ratified by a raft of beleaguered bettors, is "Strength in Numbers" - double-entendre intended.

Here's the eight-point GGG agenda.

One. Wherever there's a choice of casinos, we're going to boycott and picket joints whose house advantage would embarrass a Mafia Don. GGG rank and file, high rollers and fleas united, will march with such signs as "Don't settle for double odds craps; they give 10 times the action up the way." Or "Six-deck blackjack with resplitting and surrender makes for a better game across town." Or "Video poker next door returns 3 percent more." We'll also be doing advertising and direct mail, and will try to get invited to - or at least call-up - talk shows. This, to educate members and others who care about differences among games. Also to warn them not to be compromised by cheap tricks like exclusive slot clubs and coupons or comps to all-you-can-eat buffets.

Two. We're going to mint our own stiff-a-chips. GGG members can use these instead of tips for dealers who have been arrogant, inattentive, or contemptuous. Leaving stiff-a-chips will be better than simply snarfing at offending dealers, because nobody will mistake the move for mere miserliness or negligence.

Three. The GGG will monitor newspaper and magazine articles, radio and TV shows, and movies about gambling and casinos. We'll protest passionately whenever punters are portrayed as pinheads who squander their hard-earned savings, social security, mortgage money, or other assets, wistfully wishing for wonderful wealth.

Four. The GGG will prepare pocket-sized tracts for members to distribute to non-gaming spouses, friends and co-workers, and strangers they meet at places like the laundromat, unemployment office, or opera. These booklets will spell out the whys and wherefores of the casino experience in plain-English words of one syllable or less. And, of course, they'll give a problem player's 800-number and won't induce the uninitiated to take a shot.

Five. We'll donate to political action committees and detour casino buses past polling places on election days to support pro-gaming candidates. We'll also engage well-connected lobbyists in Washington and key state capitols to supply information, invitations to fact-finding luxury junkets, and other vital support to members of the legislature, administration, and judiciary.

Six. We'll use the power implied by our vast membership along with the best legal maneuvers money can buy to halt government action deleterious to gambling. Targets will range from laws keeping solid citizens from buying keno tickets in casino restaurants to municipal parking fees levied on patrons using private casino garages for nonexistent civic improvement projects.

Seven. We'll publish an interdenominational directory identifying houses of worship in which gambling is not considered a sin. Those that sponsor events like bingo, Las Vegas nites, casino trips, raffles, contests of any type, and pot-luck covered-dish Sisterhood suppers will have the corresponding schedules listed along with the days and times of religious services and whatnot.

Eight. We'll enlist Sumner A Ingmark, poet laureate of the casino scene, to compose clever couplets for use on billboards all across this great country of ours. Couplets such as:

Casino gamblers, be tenacious,
And bet where odds are not fallacious.

Alan Krigman

Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.
Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.