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This is why I hate Las Vegas

I saw this talk live a couple years ago, and it perfectly communicates everything I hate about Las Vegas and why I think it's one of the worst places on earth, designed to bankrupt people, enable addicts, and generally just be a horrible place for humans to be.


This talk is from someone that embedded themselves in the gambling industry and shares how the gambling industry talks about its customers behind their backs, and how the design of Las Vegas is optimized to take every penny they can from people.

  1. Gambling is a form of entertainment. Its not like you don’t know they have casinos in Las Vegas, no one is surprising you with a slot machine here.
    If you don’t have self restraint, don’t come to Vegas and gamble. If you live here, then move away. I know a few people who have left town because they couldn’t control their addiction. Though they’ve just swapped their gambling addition with something else that gives them the rush they need.
    Your comments about Vegas always seem to have malice ascribed to them. As if casinos are trying to send people to the poor house. Their goal is to maximize profit, just like every other publicly traded corporation. There isn’t anything thats wrong with Vegas that isn’t wrong with capitalism in general.
    /Grew up in Vegas, lives in Vegas, has for 25+ yrs, knows the system back, forth, left, right

  2. Oh, I understand they gotta do what they do, but there’s some ethical line that gets crossed pretty soon after you go down a path of trying to get every dime you can out of gamblers. I think of State Lotteries as the same ethically dodgy territory if that helps (it’s not just me hating Vegas). Lotteries prey on lower income people with mostly bullshit stories of how wealth will come to them and make everything better.
    After seeing that “circle” illustration of a gambler’s life, I honestly don’t know how people in the industry sleep at night knowing they design games to bankrupt others. Again, that’s my own personal ethics showing through and I’m fine with that, but I’ve always asked myself at every job I’ve ever done or taken “is this doing good for the world” and I’ve quit things that weren’t a resounding “yes”.

  3. I totally agree. For every sensible gambler having some fun with their expendible income, you have one (or many) who are “playing” with money that they don’t have to play with and are battling an addiction.
    I find it kind of gross that our state has hooked up necessary social services and other perks to lottery and casinos. I proudly voted against another casino in this state — anything that profits on the stupid is not something I really want to support.
    I also worked at a video poker/deli in college and could not believe the amount of money moving through that place.

  4. I’ve only been to Vegas once, but I like to recommend to anyone of a geeky bent who isn’t thrilled by gambling to take the time to visit the Pinball Hall of Fame ( If you’re going to spend time putting quarters into machines, you can have a lot more fun, and slow your rate of spending by playing pinball.
    Vegas as a whole seemed like a crazy land. I visit Niagara Falls, ON two to three times a year, and compared to Vegas, it seems so sedate and calm in comparison now that I’ve seen the real thing.

  5. I visited Vegas for the first time this year (at age 46) and I was appalled by pretty much every aspect of it. I saw it as an atmosphere that encourages people to ‘let loose’ and do things that they wouldn’t normally do–to excess–all of which costs insane amounts of money. But maybe I’m just cheap and uptight.

  6. I kind of wish that all the work they put into ergonomics for their video slot machines would make their way into office furniture and computer equipment. But I guess there’s not nearly as much money in that.

  7. Businesses are not altruistic enterprises. They provide some sort of value in exchange for money. That is their mission.
    Gambling caries a bit more stigma but are casinos any worse from bars? I’m not sure they are.
    I am a semi-pro poker player. I’ve played with a lot of people over the years. I can think of some examples of people just wasting their money, but I can’t really think of anyone where gambling in poker really negatively affected their life. In contrast, I can think of several people where alcohol was the cause for life-affecting problems.

  8. We make judgments all of the time about appropriate boundaries as parents and as citizens. Is it healthy to have an obviously addictive force available everywhere?
    Does the question even have to be asked? These are the consequences of an ignorant and passive community under the domination of a extremely powerful corporate oligarchy.
    The irony is that the market will be eventually sucked dry and decimated.

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