The sport of gambling is no Johnny-come-lately attraction. It is likely that it predates recorded history, as employed, for example in the ancient game of knucklebones. Too, archaeologists have discovered dice in Egyptian tombs. In the 16th century, Venice’s Il Ridotti gambling house was formed as what could be considered the first casino.
Gambling may be not just a sport, but also a concept (in that case, distinguished from gaming, that is, accessing online casinos). When you go to a crowded bar during a pandemic, you are gambling – that is, you are playing the odds that you will not become infected with the circulating virus. However, whether you look at gaming or gambling as entertainment or gambling as a decision-making tool, they hold great appeal. Why do men (and women) gamble? The reasons are many, but a few stand out.
At the top of the list must be the chance at a payout. Some hope for the big win and the security that bounty would entail – consider that when a state lottery increases significantly, purchase lines also grow, though odds of winning decrease. Those who choose to take a chance overlook that their odds of winning are infinitesimal. Not everyone gambles for a chance at eternal wealth. For others, it matters only that they break even. For those, perhaps gambling serves a deeper meaning
A cultural anthropologist coined a gambling-related term deep play: the ritualistic undertakings in which people give meaning to life while going beyond the events that make up their days. This concept applies in particular to casino excursions. There is a reason these destinations are popular with groups; a sense of community permeates. Even when you do not win, you may be happy when others do hit the jackpot.
Casinos themselves carefully foment this sensation of stepping into an alternate world and joining a community. You will see not clocks inside or windows to the outside so that you lose a sense of time. They present images of people winning by flashing lights and sounding alarms. They offer free drinks so that you feel like a winner from the start and part of a party. Most importantly, all the activities, layouts, and numerous employee movements are planned to provide a sense of action and excitement, just as seen on digital and televised casino advertisements. At the end of the day, communal casino gambling stems from an innate human need to have fun.
Love of Sports
Americans love sports; football dominates that affair as indicated by 37% of respondents in a 2017 Gallup pole choosing it as their favorite. Yet, not everyone can play at the high level they would like to. Because of the growth of the internet and mobile platforms, however, individuals can participate in sports rituals in some form from any location, including online forum discussions and fantasy leagues. Betting on sports, in particular, has becoming embedded in the national psyche, a beloved ritual for those who love the competition, since sports betting is now legal in the US. The American Gaming Association estimates that 40 million people had planned to bet on football in 2019.
The fact that that is even possible stems from the growing list of states that have legalized online gambling. This opportunity provides an avenue for those who desire the rush that comes from high-stakes betting on sports. It is not just the possibility of a payoff; gamblers in this area enjoy preparing for each wager, whether researching a thoroughbred’s bloodline or the head-to-head match-up history of two baseball organizations. Thus the appeal: a sense that the sports better is playing an intellectual, yet exciting, game.
After all, gambling and gaming are meant to be thrilling and fun. The rush of a win can wipe out the disappointment of a loss. In the end, however, it is the process betting and playing that offers the greatest appeal.