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
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.