YOU BETTER WATCH OUT
Slot players want some Christmas magic, too
By Frank Scoblete
There was a time when everybody celebrated Christmas or, at least, our society assumed everybody celebrated Christmas. It was a magical time of year and, as a kid, I believed in magic. Heck, there had to be magic; I could see it in the world around me, couldn’t I?
There were glowing lights of all colors throughout the avenues and in the stores and store fronts in Brooklyn where I lived my early years. Everyone seemed happy, even the adults who seemed miserable most of the year. At least that’s how I saw the time.
How could it be diﬀerent? The world was a magical place during Christmas, at least to kids. A big, fat man with a long white beard wearing a red suit was coming to give me presents because (in my mind) I had been a good boy. I had probably only been a good boy for the last week but a week to a young kid is a long, long time.
Oh, yes, I believed in Santa Claus, until one Christmas Eve my Uncle Rocco, dressed as Jolly Old Saint Nick, allowed his ﬁve-o’clock shadow and deep voice to give the whole game away. What was this? Uncle Rocco was not Santa Claus. No way!
Still, so what? Whoever was playing Santa (yes, my parents) gave me some presents and that was the whole purpose of the holiday— get, get, and get some more.
Okay, so there was no real Santa, I understood that, just as there was no Easter Bunny, no Fairy Godmother, no King Kong and no Godzilla. I was very sad that there was no King Kong.
The real world didn’t have such magic and as I grew older and wiser, I realized the real magic of the real world was actually the real world. The real world has more mysteries than the worlds we pretend are mysterious. That I truly believe.
Slot players want that kind of Christmas magic too, no matter what branch of actual belief to which they adhere. They want it every time they go to the casinos. Why not? The hum-drum of daily life for most people does not take away from their desire to see the world change into a magical place where they get just about everything they wish for.
They want those machines to release their gold and they want that gold to change their lives; perhaps for the rest of their lives but, please, please, at least for today. Nothing beats going home to alert everyone you know that “I just nailed the casino! Yep, I did it to them!”
For some reason many casino players associate their good luck to something intrinsically good about them. They are the child who was good enough for Santa Claus to shower them with presents. “Look at me, I am good! I am worthy of being rewarded.”
Being lucky doesn’t mean you’re good. It doesn’t mean you’re special. It doesn’t really mean anything except that fortune (meaning sheer, blind, unthinking chance) rewarded you for…nothing at all. It just happened and you just happened to be the one it just happened to.
We know that a machine is just a machine, computerized or not, and it is not looking into the players’ hearts to see who was naughty or who was nice. It’s all just random. It’s the luck of the draw. That’s the real end of it.
Slot players must live with regular disappointments in not hitting that major jackpot or any jackpot or just anything at all to take home with them. They are just like kids who often don’t get exactly everything they want at Christmas. Slot players over time, a long time or a short time or every time in between, face daunting odds of winning. That’s the nature of the game. That’s the nature of slot play.
Welcome to the world of un-magic. Perhaps, overall, that is the better world in which to live. Don’t you believe it is better to know what is actually going on, than to believe in what you wish were going on when it actually wasn’t?
My Uncle Rocco, a wonderful, loving man, was not Santa Claus. He was just my uncle. By the way, he was a generous uncle and had he been Santa Claus I would probably have gotten every darn thing I asked for.
I do believe slot players who have not informed themselves about what really takes place when they play their favorite game are short-selling themselves.
There is no real fantasy to slot machines even though slot players fantasize about the machines all the time. I don’t think that a simple fantasy is a terrible thing. It only becomes terrible when some players can’t realize that a fantasy is just that—a wished-for-world that probably will never exist. Recall how many beauty-pageant contestants desire “world peace” and thus far humans haven’t gotten that during our long sojourn on planet Earth.
All the best in and out of the casinos.
Okay, okay, I do wish you a little magic too.