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Best of Mark Pilarski
The legacy of The Gambler17 December 1999
If you believe in the Navajo legend, of The Gambler, you would know that gambling has a deep cultural resonance for the Navajo. Their oral tradition has many stories warning against the dangers of overindulging in gambling. Also, tribal president Albert Hales opposed the measure because federal law requires the Navajos to negotiate a casino agreement with the states. Hale believes that such an agreement erodes the tribe's status as a sovereign nation. Plus, the tribe voted against casino gambling on their reservation just three years ago. So, Brady, for the above reasons, particularly the traditional myth of an out-of-control gambler who goes out and wins-and then loses-everything, I was not surprised by the Navajo's rejection of casino gambling.
As legend has it, the tale begins when the Spirit of the Sun, a gambler himself, wants a large piece of turquoise held by a Pueblo tribe. The sun sends his son, The Gambler, to Earth to wager for the invaluable sea-green stone. The Gambler is unbeatable.
He wins the rain, snow, plants and flowers, and everything else in sight, leaving the tribe impoverished. Eventually The Gambler wins the turquoise but wants to gamble against his father for it. So the Spirit of the Sun teaches his other offspring how to gamble and win the turquoise back from his brother. The second son is victorious and ultimately he shoots The Gambler into the sky with his large bow.
So, Brady, you decide. Was it being at the states' mercy, a rebuff three years earlier, or folklore that tells its people to be very cautious when it comes to gambling? Myself, I believe in ni'hwiilbiihi, "the one that wins the people."
A pass line bet is a contract wager committing your participation until an eventual outcome. Sorry, Don; it lays, it plays.
The "big deal" is that the casino knows
the average Joe and Josephine don't play through their money just once
but keeps playing their tray (credit) return over and over again during
the course of their stay. That's why finding higher payback machines is
so important. Example: On a 93% return machine if you were to play your
entire $100, you can expect back, "in theory," $93. Of course, the
casino anticipates your playing the $93, so expect a return of $86. Put
in the $86, and your return will be $80. Play through the $80, get back,
$74. Can you see, Noreen, how the casino is grinding away at your crispy
Best of Mark Pilarski