Gambling in America
Did you know that Hawaiians are huge fans of Las Vegas? At Main Street Station in downtown Vegas they estimate that about 80% of the people on the gambling floor are from Hawaii. I suppose that when you are surrounded by water, the desert looks attractive.
This being so, you can understand my experience being married to a Hawaiian. Las Vegas is a very familiar place to her, and now to me. We both really enjoy gambling, though we are decidedly low stakes sort of players. We play blackjack, 3 card poker, pai gow poker and roulette. I think we both just love to take risks and gambling is a fun way for us to feel the excitement of leaving a few dollars to chance and lady luck. For us, gambling is a fun and engaging experience.
We Americans should be so lucky. After this year, I will never take for granted the presence of a disposable income. In places like Macau, off the coast of China, gambling takes on a completely different meaning. The casino experience is exactly the same, the drinks are still free and games have the same rules. However, the gamblers are very different. They don't drink, they don't party. They don't hoot and hollar. In Macau, gambling is about one thing: making money. As serious as a business transaction, the folks I saw had no time for smiles or fun. Of course, this was in stark contrast to me, who morphed, quite regrettably, into a loud American as the night went on. Sachi described me as a "spectacle" to the business like people around me. But it was OK, I had a great time and no one got hurt. What the experience did help me appreciate was that I can gamble a few dollars and still be able to feed myself and have a place to live. It's fun to me because it can be and for that I am very lucky, no matter what cards the dealer holds.