‘008 Casino Royale

by

For the fourth of July, my parents decided to take my sisters and I to Shreveport. Shreveport is like a mini Las Vegas with towering casino resorts, fabulous shopping and dining, and a lively boardwalk that runs along the river. We stayed at one of the casino resorts for one night, spending our first day in Shreveport relaxing, watching TV, and gambling and the second day shopping.

It was my first time to ever go to a casino. My parents had been a few times and this time, my dad wanted me to see what it was all about. My family is not the gambling type. In fact, the whole time we were there, my parents kept explaining how to set a limit as to how much you will spend, making the experience something like a this-is-just-for-entertainment, see-how-long-you-can-play-the-game idea rather than a this-is-the-last-ten-dollars-to-your-name, try-to-win-big mentality.

It was fun, I suppose, watching those brightly colored icons spinning around over and over again in their rhythmic patterns. Hey, there were even exciting bells and ringing noises that would sound off when I would earn a whopping single point. I guess my point is that I looked at the people’s faces around me and all I saw were sad, hopeless-looking people walking around like zombies. I felt sorry for them. Those who were there, racking up the last of their available credit, trying to get a little cash to make their next bill payment. No one should ever have to feel like gambling is the answer for their financial problems.

It is a completely different story though if someone wants to gamble for fun and it does not matter if he/she wins (or loses for that matter). However, even in this case, I still feel like there are better things to do with money than to spend it on a machine that tends to eat money rather than spit it out. For instance, instead of spending twenty bucks on a measly fifteen-minute game of Wheel of Fortune, I could have sent twenty dollars to some organization to feed the starving children in Africa or to find the cure for breast cancer. If I did that, I would feel better about myself and I would be doing something positive for my community and for the world in which I live.

At any rate, I had a wonderful time shopping with my family, watching an entire afternoon’s worth of NCIS, laying out in the sun by the pool, and eating fine cuisine at the resort. I experienced the casinos and can now check it off my to-do list. Instead, next time I go to Shreveport, I may just stay in the hotel room with my precious sisters, watch “007 Casino Royale,” and give my twenty dollars to the Blood:Water Ride:Well Tour which can provide twenty African villages with clean water for a year. That sounds like a much better trade off to me.

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