For someone who’s interested in risk management, gambling and casinos provide abundant examples of the psychological element that comes with risk taking. Especially from those who have a shallow understanding of risk, I often read a lot of derisive commentary about gambling. News flash: casinos aren’t the only businesses that want to lure more customers and keep them spending for as long as possible. I’m pretty sure McDonalds does this too, so does your local grocery store, so does the cable and cell phone companies. And its not because they are sinister, its because they are seeking profits. Maybe eating french fries 3 times a day isn’t very healthy, and we all see a full isle of chips and pop in the grocery store, and texting all day is probably a waste of time. Gambling all the time in casinos is probably going to blunt your senses. But eating, gambling, or chatting with friends on Facebook all day long all are each unhealthy. Compulsive gambling leads to financial ruin, but eating hamburgers all day will probably cause weight gain and other health issues too.
The derisive comments I read in books and other media about gambling is usually connected to the author’s personal opinion of the value of gambling. Often times, its assumed by a critic of gambling that the activity is a complete waste of time. The author will fail to understand the positive elements of gambling such as the thrill, the escape, the philosophical elements of leaving yourself exposed to pure chance. A lot of people find playing cards for stakes with friends to be a fun experience. A better understanding of the individual nature of value is something more of us should understand.