Not so Poor Now; Breaking the Gambler Stereotype

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No one hates the gambler stereotype more than the gambler. Rumors and hurtful words have

painted an unpleasant picture over the years. This article is about taking each of the cruel and

unfair statements said about gambling enthusiasts and debunking each one.

“Gamblers are all poor.”

The stereotype may be that people only gamble if they’re poor, but there are gambling

enthusiasts from every walk of life. According to a study by Peter D. Hart, only 15% of

households that include gamblers are making less than $35,000 per year. In fact, about half of

households with gamblers are making $60,000 per year or more. The majority of households that

include one gambling enthusiast or more is living quite comfortably and can afford a trip to the


“Gamblers can’t handle money.”

This is the argument that has shut down casinos around the world, making gambling illegal or

restricting it to a choice few activities. It is also not true for the vast majority of people who

enjoy gambling.

A 2012 study is out and ready to turn some opinions around. It demonstrates that even if people

sometimes lose money while out gambling, the real cash sinks are other things like going out to a

restaurant or buying new electronics. The study shows an overwhelming difference between the

small amount people lose at the casino and the large sums of money people spend going out to

eat and buying consumer electronics. Here is the total expenditure for Americans in 2012:

Commercial casinos: $37.3 billion

Consumer electronics: $204.0 billion

Full-service restaurants: $202.2 billion

It’s almost laughable to think that someone would look at the numbers and think playing at the

casino is a problem for the majority of casino-goers. Certainly, it can be a problem for some, and

it’s a mistake to assume every trip to the casino will be a profitable one, but there are many,

many more expensive things out there.

“Gamblers are alcoholics.”

This blanket statement is hurtful and downright untrue. It may be true that certain individuals

within the community struggle with drinking, but this is not true for the community as a whole.

In fact, according to a Peter D. Hart study, only 42% of casino visitors even visit a bar or

nightclub, meaning that they are likely there to visit the casino, not to drink.

“People just go to the casino to gamble.”

To someone outside the gambling community, it may look like gambling is the only thing to it,

but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The casino grounds are full of entertainment and

recreation of nearly every variety, from spas and pools to restaurants and live shows. These

functions see a lot of use, almost as much as the casino, itself, sees. In fact, according to a study

by Peter D. Hart, more than half of casino-goers like to see a show or two while they’re there.

69% visit one of the restaurants surrounding the casino, and 45% go shopping during their down-

times. The fact is that casinos offer a multidimensional experience, and they are designed to be

fun, not just to get people hooked.

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