Why $200 Lost Gambling Was Better Spent Than $200 Cirque Du Soleil Tickets

For my birthday, Lauren and I drove up to Vegas for a weekend getaway. We were excited for a weekend away to sit by the pool, see a show, walk around, and of course, gamble a little bit.

On Friday, we played craps, and we loved it. There are so many options and the anticipation is amazing. We won a whopping $37 in about an hour and then walked away to go back to our hotel.

photo by rendezvouscp

We went to see Mystere on Saturday night, which was really cool. The acrobatics are unbelievable, and seeing some former Olympic athletes after watching Olympic gymnastics for the past week made for some perfect timing. I think I want to be a trapeze artist at some point in my life, it is just so freaking cool.

After the show, we went back to the casino and played some more. We were up another $50 but pressed our luck, got greedy, and ended up losing $100. We put in another $50 and lost that too. But the people at our table were lots of fun to talk to, so we plopped down our $37 winnings from the previous night, but a few unlucky rolls later, we were out that money, too. After 3 hours of playing, we finally stepped away. It was a great night. Plus, we got some ultra-cheap drinks.

On Sunday, we went back with $60 more for one last hurrah. We went back to our lucky table, where the dealers remembered us (everyone remembers newlyweds), but we weren’t so lucky and after losing $50, we decided to walk away with our last $10 intact. It was our small win to know that we walked away before hitting rock bottom.

In all, we spent about the same amount on the Cirque Du Soleil tickets as we lost playing Craps over the weekend. Where did we have more fun? Without a doubt at the craps tables. We’re not big gamblers (this was actually the first time I’d gambled in over a year), but despite watching our money go to the casino, we were laughing and smiling and the whole time. Rooting together was so much fun.

The Cirque show was really cool. The way these people control their bodies and flip upside down and inside out is incredible. And seeing 50 people do it at once is unbelievable.

But in the end, it didn’t compare to the quality time we spent together. Gambling by myself isn’t that fun (unless I’m winning). But playing Craps with my wife was fantastic.

Even from a financial standpoint, this is a no-brainer. The show lasted 2 hours, so we paid $50/hour for the two of us to watch the show. We played Craps for about 4 hours over the course weekend. That comes out to just $25/hour. And we had more fun doing it, too!

We always hear that gambling is bad and a waste of money because in the long-term, the house always win. But guess what, there are other benefits to gambling! It brought us closer together. I consider our $200 lost as spending on fun.

Readers, what do you think? Is gambling always bad or does it depend on how much fun you have?

Why $200 Lost Gambling Was Better Spent Than $200 Cirque Du Soleil Tickets

Sweating the Big Stuff

14 thoughts on “Why $200 Lost Gambling Was Better Spent Than $200 Cirque Du Soleil Tickets

  1. I think gambling when you haven’t set a limit is always bad. Whenever I go to Vegas, I have an amount that I’m prepared to “donate” to the casinos, and when I’ve reached that number, I stop and enjoy the rest of what Vegas has to offer – the shows, food, shopping, etc.

    As someone who just celebrated her 15th year anniversary, I know that spending time and creating memories with your new wife will pay dividends in the long run and for a long time.

  2. I think that as long as you aren’t addicted to the gambling, it can be a reasonable fun activity, especially if you were able to enjoy it with your wife (and maybe “made” some friends). I think that if you “knew” from the get-go, you will spend a limited amount of money, it can be fun together.

  3. Craps is about the only place in the casino anyone has any fun losing. If you don’t have the (relatively hard to achieve) gambling skills to beat blackjack, poker, or sports betting then losing a little at craps is a good choice for entertainment.

    People who get excited about gambling losses frequently fail to compare their magnitude to other financial outflows. Of course, some people do have a real gambling problem (I personally know people who have lost millions at craps) but losing $200 isn’t a sign you’ve got a problem.

    1. @Lance@MoneyLife&More, as a card counter (eeee, maybe the casino will blacklist me now), I expect to come out ahead and have fun at the same time (only for blackjack, though). :)

  4. I’m exactly the opposite — I loathe gambling, it makes me feel icky to part with money in such a risky way. But the shows? Oh, the shows! I’d go back to Vegas just for those.

  5. I love going regularly to the casino with my hubby for a fun night out. We typically have a set amount that we go with and if we spend it, we’re done and if we win, we leave. It’s usually the first part and not the second, but we know what we’re in for when we go there. We have the mentality that we are paying for entertainment. We could have easily spent that money on dinner and a movie, but decided to spend it at the casino instead.

    1. @Stephanie, exactly, you’re paying for a fun night out, not necessarily losing money to the casino. You can even budget for gambling if it suits your lifestyle!

  6. I usually dont gamble, but the few times I’ve done it’s it’s been fun, as long as my cash burn rate isnt through the roof. When I played poker, I lost in about 15 minutes, which was 100 bucks, but I played roulette for about 2 hours and ended up only losing 20 bucks.

    1. @Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog, I hate playing poker, mostly because I’m terrible at it and I don’t have the patience. With craps and roulette, you’re rooting the whole time (and get to roll the dice) so the anticipation is always high.

  7. The prospect of gambling makes me feel ill, but my husband views it more as entertainment. I take your point that in the case of a show you’re paying to be entertained and create some memories, and the same thing can be accomplished through time spent gambling with friends. Our scale for entertainment is a lot lower than yours, though, apparently!

    Obviously when you get into addictive behavior you can’t view gambling simply as entertainment. I find that you kept upping the amount that you were willing to lose a little disturbing, but thankfully it didn’t add up to a huge amount.

    1. @Emily @ evolvingPF, We actually set a maximum of $300 that we were comfortable spending, but we didn’t want to risk it all on Friday. By Saturday night, we knew we weren’t going to hit it, so why not keep going?

  8. We saw Jubilee show while we were visiting Vegas. Believe me its total value for money for $80 or something. I’d say $80 on some non-CDS show is better than $200 at casino.

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