November 27, 2021

"You can bet on almost anything today. Elections. Literary prizes. If you have a feeling that, say, Lapuan Virkiä is going to beat Porin Pesakarhut in the women’s Superpesis..."

"... the top professional pesäpallo league in Finland, you can put your money where your mouth is. During the pandemic, as casinos and racetracks closed, you could wager on the evening’s forecast in real time, or on the upcoming winter snowfall.... In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, opening the door to online sports betting across 21 states.... Total gambling revenues in the U.S. are set to break the $44 billion mark this year, approaching the size of the market for movies, books, and music combined.... Gambling relies on addiction for its business model to function.... Gambling is an entertainment of uncertainty, a way of turning instability into play, of pretending that the structures of life don’t apply to you, that you are exempt from statistics. It’s also a way of avoiding reality, avoiding the future. When the wheel is still spinning, the fall hasn’t come. Gambling is a symptom, almost an allegory, of American decay.... Gambling is fun because it makes money seem like a game, a trifle. But fiscal silliness has been spreading more broadly recently. Crypto, with a market size that recently exceeded $2 trillion, has caused a widespread questioning of the very nature of money. Since 2008, the Fed has made quantitative easing—printing more cash—a part of its regularly scheduled programming. The U.S. money supply grew by $5.5 trillion, a 35.7 percent increase, from December 2019 to August 2021. Inflation is now rising faster than it has in 20 years. The number in your bank account does not mean today what it meant a month ago. Is currency itself now just the house money of the biggest house in the world? Who isn’t gambling now?"

From "America’s Gambling Addiction Is Metastasizing/When life feels this precarious, it’s only natural to roll the dice on just about everything" (The Atlantic).

56 comments:

Maynard said...

Pro and college sports are all about gambling today. The sports media gambling ads are overwhelming.

Listen to sports experts talk about games and it is all about the point spread and making a smart bet.

Lem said...

Just about all the gas stations in urban areas here in Georgia have these arcade gambling machines.

I know right away there is a 50/50 chance the facilities 🚽 are not available.

CWJ said...

Broadcast NFL games are awash in gambling sites. Including one seemingly owned by the NFL itself. Never thought I'd see the day.

Pete Rose must be saying "tell me again why I'm still banned."

Freeman Hunt said...

Is this regional? I never hear about gambling.

Quayle said...

What are the odds that a devastating and violent social-moral collapse will occur before global warming gets us all? Any of the gambling platforms taking bets on that?

Fernandinande said...

Gambling is an entertainment of uncertainty, a way of turning instability into play, of pretending that the structures of life don’t apply to you, that you are exempt from statistics.

No it's not. I sometimes play slot machines and figure that the money I (usually) lose is the cost of entertainment, part of which is the possibility of winning something. A $1 lottery ticket is worth more than just the chance of winning back 33 cents on average since you get to think about winning the $1000.

It’s also a way of avoiding reality, avoiding the future.

Not as much as reading The Atlantic.

Since 2008, the Fed has made quantitative easing—printing more cash

Those hypocrites get SO UPSET when someone else does the same thing; queue St. George Floyd.

Fernandinande said...

Fun chart! "Consumer price index" was essentially flat from 1775 to 1945.

But then, "One hundred years after its [Federal Reserve] creation, consumer prices are about 30 times higher than what they were in 1913. This pattern, in varying orders of magnitudes, repeats itself across nearly all countries."

rhhardin said...

Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard (A throw of the dice never will abolish chance). I always quote it as "A throw of the dice never will abolish change."

Howard said...

I hate gambling. Very dangerous thing, gambling. Hate. I'm using the word "hate" here, about gambling. Hate.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

gambling addiction? Call 1-800-you-need-help-hurry.

rhhardin said...

The consumer price index has to be plotted on a log scale to be meaningful. Otherwise it's always stable in the old days and exploding currently.

mikee said...

The house wins, always, in the end, if players keep playing. The only way for a player to win is to stop playing if momentarily ahead. Han Solo says, "Never tell me the odds!" because he's read the script before acting the scene, but when he gambles, he loses to cheaters and has to cheat to win. And having a positive balance as a player presumes the game is honest. There are soooo many ways for the house to win other than honestly, without the player ever knowing, it is often a sucker's bet to lay money on the line.

Why not just save up your money for ayear to buy a nice turkey next Thanksgiving instead? Or whatever soylent product is being manufactured then to replace the overly expensive real birds?

Sebastian said...

"Since 2008, the Fed has made quantitative easing—printing more cash—a part of its regularly scheduled programming."

It is one of the most shocking public policies of all time, executed without much criticism or accountability, which makes it even more shocking.

"America’s Gambling Addiction Is Metastasizing"

The biggest addiction is progressivism itself, gambling the very future of the courtly away, playing the entire population for suckers.

rehajm said...

Government is the biggest addict driving gambling and legalized weed. Now that government has exceeded the economic limits of taxation and we’re rapidly approaching the limits of government debt, what is left for an addict to do?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

"No Lisa, the only monster here is the gambling monster that has enslaved your mother. I call him . . . Gamblor!!!"

rehajm said...

Pete Rose must be saying "tell me again why I'm still banned."

…while we’re at it could someone explain to me and Pete how Alex Cora still has a job in baseball?

Curious George said...

"CWJ said...
Broadcast NFL games are awash in gambling sites. Including one seemingly owned by the NFL itself. Never thought I'd see the day.

Pete Rose must be saying "tell me again why I'm still banned."

NFL players will get the same treatment as Rose if they gamble on games.

TheDopeFromHope said...

The writer for the Atlantic claims "Gambling is a symptom, almost an allegory, of American decay." But it's worldwide. Does he think there's no gambling anywhere else? He should live in Britain for awhile. The left is very xenophobic and close-minded.

And sports betting is much different from slot machines, for example, which are evil. The mindless play the slots, at least there's some thought that goes into betting on sports and the horses.

William said...

Random walk: When money loses its purpose, very little else in life is purposeful. The Germans were able to shake off the death of God, but the hyperinflation of their currency caused them to spin into nihilism.....I just hope sports gambling doesn't corrupt the purity of the Women's Olympic Curling events. This is the last unsullied sanctuary of amateurism. None of the participants have been in any way abused nor have they abused themselves in their pursuit of excellence. They compete with just the right degree of fierceness. Who wouldn't want their daughter to be on the Women's Olympic Curling Team?....A small bet on a dull game increases its interest exponentially.

Spiros said...

Gambling has the highest rate of suicide of all addictions. The National Council on Problem Gambling claims that one out of five problem gamblers attempt suicide. I wonder if gambling, which is so much more accessible and acceptable than it has ever been, is driving this country's suicide crisis?

Critter said...

Gambling is essentially entertainment. The thrill of gambling, the adrenaline it pumps, can be addictive to those with addictive personalities and make gambling a financially destructive addiction. Gaming companies make the lion’s share of profits from high rollers that can afford big losses. To them, it’s an affordable entertainment/addiction.

I’m not much of a gambler but I can see why some are and no longer pass judgments on them (although I was raised to do so). There is nothing new or special about Americans’ growing gambling. Ancient societies also saw lots of gambling, Rome being a prominent example.

Life is uncertain. Financial hedging in business or investing is a form of moderating inherent risk. We all calculate the odds in life whether about a potential spouse, major purchase like a house, career, college, etc. We decide to purchase insurance and at what levels. I have even been known to calculate the odds of a good meal at a restaurant. All more acceptable forms of risk taking where outcomes are not entirely under your control,

Personal favorites for extremes on gambling are slot machines next to toilets and in-game gambling for sports (e.g., which players scores nect in a football game).

Lucien said...

Sounds like a bullshit think piece to me. Let’s toss in COVID19, crypto and sports betting to make random dire predictions (hope they don’t leave out the uncertainty of “climate emergency”).

Rollo said...

Thanks for the reality show idea: Superpests!

But doesn't that describe a lot of shows that are already on the air?

Yancey Ward said...

By far the most common ads I get on Youtube videos are Liberty Mutual Insurance and Caesars' Gambling App with what looks like an aging Urkel.

typingtalker said...

Life is a gamble. What are the odds that you or I will be alive tomorrow?

We have some control over those odds (bullrunning anyone?) but not total control.

Have a nice day.

Maynard said...

Every single regular gambler that I know (from casinos to sports betting) believes that they are getting free entertainment because they usually "break even". Uh huh.

The old cigarette smoking slot machine addicts are much different than the younger sports gamblers. It seems that the latter are looking for a thrill while the former are working through long term depression. In either case, the addictive potential seems to be pretty high.

Rt41Rebel said...

The Rolling Stones covered this phenomena in 1981 with Hang Fire.

Darkisland said...

Fernandinand,

Actually, the article headline says that inflation in the US took off in 1933.

Hmmm.... What happened in 1933?

1) FDR devalued the dollar from 1/20th of an ounce of gold to 1/35 of an ounce. The first time ever. Except for a 20 cent adjustment in about 1820.

2) FDR made private ownership of gold illegal.

3) FDR started doing serious deficit spending.

So, elimination of any control on the money supply (1) inability to own solid assets like gold (2) and massive deficit govt spending. What did anyone expect? We got an inflation that remains with us today.

The scale of the chart does not show it clearly but the other serious inflation we had was in the 1860s when Lincoln stopped issuing gold backed dollars and issued "greenbacks" backed only by their green ink.

When we went back to a gold backed dollar in the 1870s, there was a severed deflation back to 1860 value.

The chart itself should be familiar to anyone who ever took econ 101. I first saw it in 1974 in Samuelson's "Economics" textbook.

From 1800 to 1933, there is no inflation. Except Lincoln's as mentioned. Some slight ups and downs but a stable, level, trend line.

John Henry

Darkisland said...

For the trivia minded, there have been 4 great periods of inflation in European history:

1) 1300s due to the invention of fractional reserve banking by goldsmiths. This allowed a dramatic increase in "money" even though the gold supply stayed fairly constant.

2) 1600s due to massive importation of Gold and silver from Spanish South America.

3) late 1700s & early 1800's due to increased velocity as society moved to a more money based economy. Workers got money wages and spent them on goods.

4) 1930s to present as governments found out about the joys of fiat money and started increasing the money supply willy-nilly.

John Henry

Roger Sweeny said...

We won WW II because nobody in the Armed Forces ever gambled. Oh, wait ...

Joe Smith said...

'The number in your bank account does not mean today what it meant a month ago.'

So you finally scraped together a million dollars and you think you're a millionaire?

Think again.

Inflation is an insidious tax on everyone, but it hits the middle-class and the poor most of all.

And the extremely low interest rates are killing seniors and those on fixed incomes.

Gospace said...

Well, I now know what pesäpallo is. Might be fun to watch. More fun than watching paint dry or soccer, that's for sure.

But gambling- who gambles? Well, not me. My father went to the track on a regular basis. Said one time if he stuck to his original plans each trip- but after winning on race instead of waging the before planned amount on the next- he'd get the gambler's high and put all his winnings from the previous race on it... and lose. I learned from his experience...

Have you ever placed a bet with a bookie? I suspect if I looked for one I'd end up placing a bet with an undercover cop- much the same as what would happen if I went looking to buy something from an unlicensed pharmacist on the street. I've known as least one. Went to work one day and mentioned that someone with the same name as one of the workers in another area of the facility had been busted for bookmaking. The other workers and my supervisor started laughing. Turns out I was the only one not aware of his other activities. Did he get fired from his state job? His wife was the local union president- you do the math.

So there's this whole gambling industry that ruins life that some of us never participate in. Same as there's this whole "recreational drug" industry that ruins lives that some of us never participate in.

Is the pandemic the cause of more gambling? No. It's increasing anyway. Is it more socially acceptable? Not that I see. No one I know ever talks about the gambling sites they use. No one talks about the bets they make. The only gambling I ever hear about is the various bets on Superbowl Sunday when people buy squares- and I have no idea how they work.

I do buy an occasional lotto ticket when the prize gets really big- if I remember to. One of the inmates where I worked asked me once if I gambles- I said yes, I bought an occasional lotto ticket. He laughed and informed me that's not gambling. What was he in for? Running a backroom casino. Was he going to end up in jail again? He ensure me know- he now knew who to pay off to keep operating.... Sounds like a gamble to me.

JMW Turner said...

For possibly the first time *ever* I totally agree with Howard.

Gerda Sprinchorn said...

Gambling is a symptom, almost an allegory, of American decay

Hoo boy.

You know when you see tropes like this that you are in for a long stretch of bloviation.

Gerda Sprinchorn said...

Anybody know what's up with all the strip-mall storefronts with "slots"?

Are they real slot machines? Are they some sort of pathetic version of real slots? They didn't legalize real slot machines everywhere when I wasn't looking, did they?

Yeah, yeah, I could just go inside one of them and find out what is going on, but what fun would that be?

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“And sports betting is much different from slot machines, for example, which are evil. The mindless play the slots, at least there's some thought that goes into betting on sports and the horses.”

True, though I’m not sure I’d lump the ponies in with team sports. My gambling is limited to modest bets on the Triple Crown races and, where there’s no overwhelming favorite, the outcomes seem almost entirely random.

Yancey Ward said...

"You know when you see tropes like this that you are in for a long stretch of bloviation."

I figured that out when I saw it was in The Atlantic.

Gerda Sprinchorn said...

rhhardin said:

The consumer price index has to be plotted on a log scale to be meaningful. Otherwise it's always stable in the old days and exploding currently.

Thanks.

I find data tricks endlessly fascinating.

Narayanan said...

Q to ask and answer : is deficit financing = gambling?
Q: with whose money?
Q: what is money?

CWJ said...

Curious George wrote -

"NFL players will get the same treatment as (Pete) Rose if they gamble on games."

My hypothetical Pete Rose statement was only meant to contrast his official punishment then against today's environment of official promotion of sport's betting.

But to your point. No, an NFL player did not get the same treatment as Rose. Josh Shaw was caught making a three-way bet, a bet which included his own team; something even Rose claimed to never have done. Shaw was suspended and reinstated. He was not banned, and to my knowledge is still active. So no, he did not receive the same treatment as Pete Rose.

BUMBLE BEE said...

A genuine outlier... https://neveryetmelted.com/2021/11/26/bella-twins-1953-world-record-grizzly/
Keeps things interesting.

Will Cate said...

Have never gambled on anything but the office NCAA basketball pool.

Narr said...

Many years ago, when riverboat casino gambling came to Tunica, Mississippi, I let my slot-loving mother and younger brothers talk me into a trial. Took my son with us--he was about eight I guess--to enjoy the big play area.

It took me about 15 minutes to lose my $50.00 purse at Blackjack and a few pulls on the slots. That accomplished, I wandered around marveling at all the money and time being wasted.

After a couple of hours we were all ready to pig out at last at the buffet, and leave.

Ma and bros continued to go until first one brother and then ma died. Youngest bro goes very occasionally now, but I haven't even been tempted.

I've never bet on a game either.

Ralph L said...

We had an illegal gambling den a hundred yards away in the former Salvation Army store and in sight of police HQ. It was the most popular attraction downtown by far for about 2 years before it was shut down. Can't have any competition for the state lottery. The building was originally a Goodyear shop. Gambling seems to attract the people who can least afford it.

rcocean said...

Libtard Reaction: Gosh, well if Biden did it - inflations a good thing. I'm perfectly willing to suffer as long as it hurts those Goddamn Republicans.

Internet "Smart Take" - Well, I saw all this coming. Put all my money in hard assets. Gosh, I'm smart. Not that I'm lying or nothing.

Leora said...

I bet they didn't mention the normalization of gambling by the institution of state lotteries.

Josephbleau said...

I think if you gamble you will have to visit your estranged professor mother to drain her retirement account to keep the mob from cutting off your hand. I think that was in a movie. but if you can drain your mothers account, you will bet it all before paying off because you think you can win and come out of it all. I am a statistician so I don't do gambling. If the lotto is above 200MM it's probably a fair bet to buy a $1 ticket.

Jamie said...

"America’s Gambling Addiction Is Metastasizing"

The biggest addiction is progressivism itself, gambling the very future of the [country] away, playing the entire population for suckers.


All day long I've been thinking, in relation to this post, "The Atlantic is making a virtue of necessity," without being able to articulate my thought better than that. The above comment gets me closer: The Atlantic is normalizing gambling because progressivism is a kind of weird, high-stakes, low-reward gambling.

And the only way to sell it is to get everyone to plod along in gray despair, living with the constant awareness that the odds of their success and prosperity are tiny and their ability to affect those odds is miniscule - but at least everyone else is in the same boat. Life is hopeless and there's nothing to do but gamble, have meaningless sex with anyone who will have you, abuse substances, commit crimes petty and grave... But everyone is doing it so no one will hold you to any higher standard.

rehajm said...

This is the last unsullied sanctuary of amateurism.

Curling is a professional sport with prize money. Does it still count as an unsullied amateurism sanctuary?

Fernandinande said...

The consumer price index has to be plotted on a log scale to be meaningful. Otherwise it's always stable in the old days and exploding currently.

Sort of, but not really. Here's the CPI data for England, 1750-2011, in both linear and log scales (pg 5...or 7).

The overall effect is the same: lots of inflation starting ~1945 and not much before that, and not monotonically increasing before 1945 as it is after 1945, where it starts "exploding".

Lurker21 said...

I don't think gambling becoming is prevalent in America. It's been a part of urban life for some time now and degenerate gamblers are nothing new. Somebody who plays fantasy football with a small amount for amusement isn't like somebody who puts down thousands on a game, and people were doing that even before we were born.

Connections between the mood of the moment and the ways we amuse ourselves are always a bit sketchier or flimsier than people who want to make a political point maintain. The present age is always made out to be a great time of troubles, while the anxieties and precariousness of life in even the recent past is ignored.

I do see more channels available for people who want to gamble. The internet has made everything expand, even explode -- gambling, home deliveries, porn, opining -- and I might actually read an article exploring the similarities between online gambling, Amazon, Door Dash, porn, and what we're doing right here, right now.

Iman said...

“A Fool And His Money Are Soon Parted”

Curious George said...

"But to your point. No, an NFL player did not get the same treatment as Rose. Josh Shaw was caught making a three-way bet, a bet which included his own team; something even Rose claimed to never have done. Shaw was suspended and reinstated. He was not banned, and to my knowledge is still active. So no, he did not receive the same treatment as Pete Rose."

Incorrect. Rose admitted to betting on Red's games. But the big difference is that Rose illegally bet on games for years, as a player and as a manager, but denied it until 2004. If Josh Shaw did that...or Paul Horning and Alex Karras in the past...they would be banned too. Shaw made one legal bet, and Horning and Karras admitted to their betting and agreed to one year suspensions and strict restrictions about behavior including not betting at all, even legal wagering on horses.

The NFL and MLB gambling rules are pretty much the same.

JAORE said...

"Life is a gamble. What are the odds that you or I will be alive tomorrow?

We have some control over those odds (bullrunning anyone?) but not total control."

Well I did the running of the bulls in Pamploma once. But I was younger then at 65.

My kids are starting to say I need to stop riding motorcycles. But I'm still five weeks short of 70, so stuff that.

It's called living for a reason.

CWJ said...

So in other words, no true Scotsman.

Narr said...

I don't have moral objections to gambling, I just find it a waste. But I find a lot of things to be wasteful of time and money, and even do some of them.

My preferences aside, my experiences tell me that it is an addiction, and that gamblers are often (NOT always) addicted to other things. Saw plenty of addictions--substance, gambling--in my family and some in my wife's. Sometimes they end before death, sometimes not.

Always a drag on the normies and the not-so-addicted.