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My New Gambling Philosophy

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How Las Vegas and Atlantic City gave me a whole new philosophy on life and money, and how to spend both wisely. Hot News, a private book publishing newsletter, recently quoted from a letter written by Nathan Rothschild, founder of the London branch of the Rothschild family: "I don't read books,- I don't play cards, I don't go to the theater. My only pleasure is my business."

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"That little statement . . . amused me," wrote the editor. "It caused me to reflect on the many wealthy men and women I've known. Most of them had the talent to accumulate large sums of money, but few had another talent: the talent to enjoy it."

The editor was right on target. The quote caused me to reflect on my philosophy concerning the role of money in my life, how it ranks in importance, and how I use it. I look back now at how my cash consciousness has radically changed in the past four decades, and the role the casinos played in that change.

Money was green paper that I had earned. I'd spend some and I'd squirrel away some. That was money to me. Then I discovered Las Vegas and the casinos, and suddenly money had a new exciting dimension. I felt much more free in both handling it and spending it.

Whenever I came into a casino windfall, I further honed my spending skills. One of the reasons I got to this mind-set was a comment by casino mogul Bill Harrah. When told that a high roller had just walked out of his casino with a big wad of the casino's cash, Harrah assured his executive, "Don't have to worry, he'll bring it back. I just consider it a temporary casino loan."

Well, with no malice intended, I respectfully say, "Screw you, Mr. Casino Honcho! When I hit it big, I spend it, and you can eat your heart out because you'll never see it again!" With a tight rein on my stop-limit pocket seed money, along with my unwavering no-credit policy, I make sure that I never bring it back. I also make sure that I make use of my winnings, both wisely and frivolously. Recall I even fucked away a nice wad of casino cash during my X-rated days, winning harems of wanton women, all funded by casino money. That they definitely can't win back.

I learned the art of buying on impulse with my windfall cash. At times I bought my girl friends expensive presents, often right there in the posh casino shops, and often paying with chips I had just won from the green-felt tables. And on impulse once, flush with casino cash, my girl friend and I flew to exotic Monte Carlo for three mad, exciting days and nights. What a James Bond weekend that was!

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