October 24, 2007

Keno Con-O

Carroll Andrew Morse

I don't know a whole lot about the world of illicit gambling, but I've heard it mentioned that successful bookies don't believe that they ever give their money away. Bookies take the attitude that gamblers on winning streaks are winning nothing more than the meager privilege of holding the house's money for a short while because, with the help of some teasers, some parlays and maybe a prop-bet or two, "winners" can usually be convinced to hand back everything back they've won -- and eventually more.

Where I'm leading to is this: how does the big advertising blitz for the Rhode Island Lottery's "Keno Doubler" make the State of Rhode Island any different from a bookie seeking to take advantage of his regular patrons by trying to convince them that an extra win or two means they're on a hot streak and should be betting more -- knowing full well that it really means they'll be losing more?