Do you love gambling? Are you addicted to it? There’s a big difference between gambling a little for fun and gambling a lot because you’re trying to win. Las Vegas didn’t get as big as it is because gamblers are winning.
When you’ve won, have you ever requested your win/loss statement to claim your losses against your winnings on your tax return? If so, I’m sure you noticed that your losses were higher.
Of course, gambling occurs in more places than casinos. Millions of people play various lottery games, place bets on sports, place bets at tracks, and play poker with friends at home. I could go on, but you get the point.
What about the stock market? Have you considered that some people actually gamble instead of invest? I do not recommend gambling in the stock market. Yes, investing involves risk. However, buying several thousand dollars of a penny stock is gambling, not investing. I know a gambling addict who gambles in the stock market, and it’s very scary. I’ve also seen tax returns for several non-professional traders who always have huge losses. I’m not sure why they continue actively trading. I like my long-term investment strategies.
I occasionally have fun gambling. I no longer go to casinos, but I would only spend $40-$60 per day when I did visit them. I had several wonderful nights when $40 would last six hours, and I had a blast! Whether I broke even or walked away with nothing, the $40 was an entertainment expense. When I stopped having fun, I stopped going to casinos.
Now, my biggest gambling expense is the lottery. When the jackpot is big enough, I’ll buy a ticket. I’ll spend $2 per week until someone hits the jackpot. About once per year, I’ll have fun with $10 worth of scratch-off tickets. So, I spend less than $104 per year on the lottery. How much do you spend? If your answer is zero, that’s awesome!
Once per week, my dad takes me out to eat. After dinner, we throw darts. It’s been our tradition for many years. We have a lot of fun, especially because we never know who’s going to win. Almost every game is incredibly close. We’ll play several games, and some nights one of us will win most of the games. Other nights, we need a tie-breaker.
Last weekend, he wondered if he would win more games if money were involved. He’s a much bigger gambler than me. I think the extra pressure will hurt him, not help him. We’re going to see though. This weekend, we’re playing for a quarter per game! Since I’m both competitive and very frugal, I’m looking forward to the results. Wish me luck!