I was introduced to the slot machines by a friend when we visited a nearby Casino about ten years ago. I wasn’t immediately drawn into this form of entertainment, but over the years I have had my share of good and bad days at the Casino.
Now it is one of my favorite types of entertainment. I am not always successful, but I did get lucky this past summer and won $2,500 on a penny machine at the Taj Majal Casino in Atlantic City. On another excursion to Las Vegas with some friends – which included the friend who initially drew me in – I won $1,250 on a penny machine on the first night I arrived. This financed my gambling for the next five days that we were there, and I came home about $200 richer than when I arrived. Here and there, I have come out ahead with $850, or $375, or $70, but I will confess that I lose much more often than I win.
However, my constant cry has always been “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, but I gamble for entertainment.” The secret is to walk away when you are ahead. I confess that I do not always follow my own advice.
But yes, it is a great pastime for senior citizens. Nevertheless, I do not advise anyone to begin this habit if you have lived happily without this stimulation in the past. It is highly addictive. If you don’t have the will power to stay within your means, or spend only current income that you can afford to lose, this type of entertainment is not for you. The number of bankruptcies in my area have soared since casinos have become legal in the western New York area.
I have tried my luck in several casinos within driving distance from Buffalo, New York. The Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, New York is a popular destination, managed by the Seneca Indian tribe. The Senecas also operate the Seneca Allegany Casino not too far away in Salamanca, New York. Across the border into Canada is the Fallsview Casino as well as the first casino built in this area, the Casino Niagara, both of which are in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Then we have the Fairgrounds Gaming Center at the Hamburg Racetrack and across the border, the Fort Erie,
Ontario Racetrack which has also installed slot machines. Without this added attraction, racetracks would not be able to survive financially.
If you look around at the patrons in any of these casinos, it is obvious that most of the people are retired senior citizens who have found gambling an invigorating form of entertainment. We are probably the first generation of senior citizens who might be loosely termed “independently wealthy” with social security and pensions to give us the freedom and self-reliance to spend our days on whatever leisure activities we choose to pursue. “Playing the Slots” is just one of those choices.