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> gambling is a scam, please don't participate

I disagree. To some extent slot machines are more scam-like than the other games, but I think the table games (roulette, black jack, craps) all have well known odds and are generally honest games.

They are not "fair" in the sense that the odds are stacked against you, but I don't believe that that's a reason to completely boycott them.

Gambling is fun. As long as you know going into it that the odds are stacked against you (and how badly they're stacked against you) and you don't go into a game without being prepared to lose your entire stake, there's nothing wrong with gambling.

Don't bet the farm, but go into it knowing you could lose everything, and enjoy a few hours of gambling and "free" drinks. Every once in a while you'll beat the house, and _that_ is quite enjoyable.

Nope. Every single game played in casino is a scam. If you figure out any way to beat them, you will be in huge trouble and even behind the bars. Casinos are powerful enough that they have made this in to actual law. Police will literally be after you if you ever beat casino consistently in any of their games. There are tons of stories on people figuring out how to beat casino in black jack and they were ruined by casinos because of that. This would sound ridiculous to most sane people but casino's have done great marketing and physiological twisting that people now go there with full knowledge of this and think losing is actually fun and its quite enjoyable. Basically what you are saying.

No, a scam requires dishonesty; it is right in the definition of the word.

A casino tells you the exact odds, and everyone is freely able to decide if they want to play given those odds. Yes, they are in the house's favor, but that is what a player trades in return for the whole setup (the casino, the workers, the free drinks, the entertainment, etc)

You can still argue casinos are immoral, but they are clearly not a scam. That would be like saying cigarettes are a scam, just because they are bad for you.

"Malfunciton voids all pays and plays"

The house can claim malfunction on anything and refuse to pay you. You have little to no recourse. I've witnessed people having their jackpots declared invalid for ridiculous reasons such as a faulty door sensor on the machine (having nothing to do with the game itself.)

You're essentially gambling that you can win the game and the house won't deny your win.

Yes, a casino COULD commit fraud and say a game malfunctioned when it didn't, but that is also illegal, and they do get punished for that. In Nevada, for example, the gaming commission would certainly go after a casino doing that.

If you see a casino cheating, you should report it.

Scam does not require dishonesty and no one is saying anything about morality. I can tell you that you can play poker with me and because I'm so good at it, your chances of winning is 1 in 100. If you still decide to play, it's your choice and it's neither immoral or a scam. However, somehow if you turn out to be better player than me and suddenly I'm losing in droves and then I call police to not only confiscate all your winnings but also bankrupt you and then put you in jail. Now, that's a scam. Being able to pass laws through political lobby and making this whole process legal doesn't make it any less of a scam.

Card counting in black jack is not illegal, and you will not be prosecuted for it or have your winnings withheld (unless you're using a device to help). As long as you and the casino are playing the same game, you are not violating any law (at least in casinos on US territory, e.g. Vegas/Atlantic City, some quick googling suggests that some Native American casinos take a bit more liberty with this and not pay you your winnings).

If a casino catches or even suspects you're card counting, they are well within their rights to refuse to let you play that game anymore.

If, on the other hand, you and the casino are playing different games, e.g. the dealer is playing black jack, but the player is playing I-know-what-the-dealer's-down-card-is-because-of-manufacturing-imperfections-in-the-card, then is it really that unreasonable for the casino to have a case that they don't owe you the money that you won, especially if they can demonstrate intent? (I'd argue that they should give you a bug bounty, but that's a different story)

To address your poker example - say I'm your guest in your hypothetical and, were we playing fair poker, your 1 in 100 odds were correct. Let's also say that I have undetectable X-ray vision contact lenses, thus changing the odds such that I will always win - would you really consider it unreasonable to use the government to get your money back in that situation? The agreement was to play poker, a game which necessarily presumes hidden information from all players. If one player has all the information, the game isn't poker anymore, it's robbery/con.

I agree that the computerized games are a different story, though I believe that consumers have some protection in the form of the various gaming commissions. If you win a jackpot and are denied the payout, contact the gaming commission! The laws are very strict on the points of fairness of those machines, forged in the fires of decades of mafia controlled casinos (at least in Vegas/Atlantic City).

Gambling is a drug. It has all the health benefits of a recreational drug, but at least in (most of) the US, it's not a scam.

Obviously you have rather romantic and idealistic view of how casinos work. When I go to Vegas I often see casinos full of clearly lower middle class crowd wasting away hours on putting in their hard earned cash in slot machines in a hope to win jackpot. Those are the times I am glad I have had some education in math of probabilities and more importantly how powerful tilt rules in their favor.



My view is neither romantic nor idealistic. I understand that casinos do fuck people over, exploit addiction and use numerous tricks to cross the wires of people's (already flawed) internal statistical calculators.

Yes, sometimes casinos will use their political strength to not payout a jackpot (malfunction voids all play), but a player does, in fact, have some recourse if the casino is full of shit.

Regardless, if you're going to a casino intending to win a jackpot, you're doing it wrong (because math). If you take a measured approach and enjoy it for what it is (entertainment, not a way to make money), you'll have a much healthier relationship with a casino.

As an aside, there's another industry that uses it's massive political clout and every trick in the book to refuse to pay in situations where one would intuitively believe one should be payed: insurance.

If by "ruined" you mean "banned by casinos", then yes. Otherwise, excepting people who actually attempted to defraud the casinos by cheating in ways we'd all agree are in fact cheating, I think yours might be difficult argument to support with evidence.

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