When I was young my dad took me to a greyhound dog racing evening, or as it’s more affectionately known amongst cockneys and mockneys, The Dogs. I remember betting a pound ‘to win’ on what I thought would be a guaranteed spindly canine speeding champ – well actually my dad placed the bet as I was too young to gamble (it was probably his pound), but I certainly felt the sense of risk. Greyhound racing, as a sport, is arguably fairly basic, the dog only has to complete a single lap. My chosen dog and perhaps the only one in greyhound sporting history managed just half a lap. He was not the speeding champ I hoped for, more a distracted dope, as halfway around the course he decided to wander off into the paddocks, or whatever they call the backstage area for sporting hounds. Bizarrely, in the same race, the dog my dad had bet on managed the extreme opposite of mine and refused to stop running, the stewards had to chase it around the course several times after the race had long finished. We both lost our pounds and from that point on I realised my family was not gifted with gamblers’ luck.
I’d never tried an online casino before and being a horrendous gambler, I was a little nervous. I choose http://www.888.com because as far as I knew it was the most reliable and successful, based purely on how many of their posters I’ve seen around London. First of all I was instructed to download some software on to my computer, which made me more nervous, then I had to register to play. They asked for a username, however I kept receiving an error message informing me that my username was already taken, so after trying every combination of my name and date of birth I just hit some random keys and settled for ‘Neilfsfsf1981’.
I deposited £20 into my new casin0 account. Now, I appreciate that £20 is literarily a speck of dust in the world of gambling, but I really am quite broke and also had no idea what I was doing. As a welcome bonus from the casino my deposit was instantly doubled, so I had £40 to whack on the digital tables – great.
I clicked on the Roulette tab and was greeted by a video feed to a live croupier, which I was a little surprised by I was expecting the entire experience to be computerized. A game was already in progress. The croupier, whilst spinning the wheel, was talking into the webcam about the design of a suit he was getting fitted for his daughter’s christening, which I thought a little odd. If my hard earned £20 is on the line then I want some kind of focus from the staff.
The croupier announced the names of the winners each time the spinning ball landed on their corresponding number or colour. I felt a little guilty whenever he tried to pronounce Neilfsfsf1981 and wished I’d tried harder to find a suitable username, at the same time the childish part of me wanted me to back and change my name to bigschlong1.
After placing bets on random numbers, which seems the only way to approach Roulette as there really can’t be any skill to it, I got up to £80 in the bank. I decided this was a suitable win to walk away with and clicked for a withdrawal, of course it wasn’t that simple. The computer told me I was only allowed to withdraw £20 (the original amount I transferred) because I’d been playing with the bonus money they’d given me. It seemed, and I maybe wrong, in order to withdrawal my winnings of £60 I had to add thirty times the amount of their bonus into my account, which is £600. I decided to lose my winners and just get my £20 back. I walked away neither a winner nor loser, just happy I’d probably never experience online gambling again.
In conclusion, as my Nan always said to me about gambling, it’s a mug’s game.