Its the opposite of investment. Its the quick fix. The bottomless pit of desire that cannot be sated. The Janus face of capitalism, money and banking. Is the true aim of the gambler narcissistic and aggressive desires for attaining the omnipotent, somehow linked to fantasies of erotic desire? An outlet for hysteria, paranoia and a form of death wish seeking pretexts for suffering? In the end, the House always wins, and losers are needed to subsidize winners and maintain the pyramidal structure. Walter Benjamin:“The fascination of danger is at the bottom of all great passions. There is no fullness of pleasure unless the precipice is near. It is the mingling of terror with delight that intoxicates. And what more terrifying than gambling?” .
So, there is a relationship , between gambling and capitalism, or more specifically a society embedded in the medium of exchange and dominated by the pressures of time; gambling being a vain attempt at short circuiting the time/money paradigm while affirming its existence. Winning is seen to end pain in a sensation of delight, and losing is well, a sublime astonishment. In either case, an affirmation of the active life. Think of the medieval wheel of fortune, the choice of random fate where history is erased by each new spin of the wheel and by contrast, the individual in the center, contemplative and fixed in time.
The subjective nature of the ardent gambler provides insight into the role of money in market based economies. Money is the most sublime object of capitalist ideology, very much in the dynamic of risk and chance; in gambling, the subject engages money in a very direct encounter which avoids the typical symbolic order of capitalism, its trajectory and velocity is localized in a pure state. Zizek with his Lacanian approach says this results in a momentary de-sublimation of money, without the metaphysical properties otherwise accorded to it by capitalism. The kind of virtual industry, faith based like religion. For compulsive gamblers, the de-sublimation has become fixed and enduring, making it impossible for them to function as an ordinary capitalist subject.They are outside the system, victimized. They have come too close to money, resulting in a pathological state of being out of sync with the structure of money and banking. the gamer, the wagerer on sports betting for example, is devoid of any aesthetic, no interest in the drama of a particular game ,other than instantaneous informational updates regarding other scores on which they have multiple bets. The enthrallment is by “the split-second mutability of his wagered prospects.”
“The wager is a means of conferring shock value on events, of loosing them from the contexts of experience” One’s wager may vary in personal significance—though it must be significant to some degree, lest it not be a wager at all: a small stack of jettons,(sp?) a week’s pay, or perhaps the cataclysmic cost of self-undoing and irreconcilable debt. Regardless of the player’s intentions, whether he “steers toward absolute ruin” … in that complete ruin “causes the dice to fall back” (Deleuze) so that the singularity of the dice throw can start all over again] or aspires to “money—in other words, immediate infinite possibility” , the winner’s prize is always the same: delight as it is defined by Edmund Burke: “the sensation which accompanies the removal of pain or danger” (On the Sublime and Beautiful). PERHAPS ANOTHER DEFINITION Delight in this sense is in many ways comparable to the satisfaction of lust, in so far as lust may be regarded as the painful sensation brought forth by an extended and unrequited pursuit of a desired object—the objective of the game [THINK HUNTING and PURSUIT], which Benjamin notes in his chapter on Gambling and Prostitution: compares the elation of the winner “with the expression of love by a woman who has been truly satisfied by a man” ). It is no coincidence that he couples the type of the gambler with the type of the prostitute. For Benjamin, and for those he choses to include in his collection, The Arcades Project, gambling is erotic in nature: “‘The passion for gambling thus serves an autoerotic satisfaction, wherein betting is foreplay, winning is orgasm, and losing is ejaculation, defecation, and castration.’ .Read More:http://www.thelemming.com/lemming/dissertation-web/home/presence-of-mind.html
A genius and/or fool bet $250 on the Cardinals to win the World Series at 999/1 odds when they were five games out of a playoff spot with 15 games to play, Deadspin reports. Now, he will win nearly $250,000 if St. Louis is able to finish off the Texas Rangers.He already won $125,000 on a 500/1 bet for the Cards to win the National League .He placed the bet at the MGM Grand on Sept. 12.Read More:http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-10-20/sports/30301286_1_bet-cardinals-oddsa
“‘The basic principle . . . of gambling . . . consists in this: . . . that each round is independent of the one preceding. . . . Gambling strenuously denies all acquired conditions, all antecedents . . . pointing to previous actions; and that is what distinguishes it from work. Gambling rejects . . . this weighty past which is the mainstay of work, and which makes for seriousness of purpose, for attention to the long term, for right,
for power. . . . The idea of beginning again, . . . and of doing better, . . . occurs often to one for whom work is a struggle; but the idea is useless, . . . and one must stumble on with insufficient results.’ Read More:http://www.thelemming.com/lemming/dissertation-web/home/presence-of-mind.html
Does the guy who bets the Kentucky Derby every year love horses? Or does he just love betting on them?
This Cardinals bettor — and maybe he’s a great fan otherwise — has become something like a team owner. Only, he has no authority and no actual pride of ownership. Just a fleeting monetary investment. To him, the Redbirds aren’t a great comeback story for the sake of being a great comeback story; they are just a deposit to his bank account. A way to pay off his car, or install an above-ground pool, or sock some away for the kids’ college fund. A means to an end. And this is if the Cardinals win….
…If they lose, the Cardinals will always be the guys who almost won him $375,000 (before taxes), but instead only won him $125,000. It’s actually kind of sad, the loss of innocence. It’s like the man says: He who gambles lives in shambles.Read More:http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Fan-in-Vegas-bet-Cardinals-to-win-World-Series-a?urn=mlb-wp24823a
There is a Debate Over Whether or Not Gambling Can be Good For an Economy. Proponents of the view that gambling is harmful use a quote of Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson.
“(Gambling) involves simply sterile transfers of money or goods between individuals, creating no new money or goods. Although it creates no output, gambling does nevertheless absorb time and resources. When pursued beyond the limits of recreation, where the main purpose after all is to kill time, gambling subtracts from the national income.”…
…Other economists have taken exception to Samuelson’s characterization of gambling. They point out that his criticism could be applied to movies or Disneyland. These are products that don’t add to the ability of the economy to produce more. But they still have value because they provide satisfaction, or utility in the economist’s jargon, to consumers. These economists are more concerned about the costs of banning gambling, that is the ensuing enforcement costs and the incentives to lobby and bribe public officials to allow illegal gambling to occur. Read More:http://www.library.ca.gov/crb/97/03/Chapt9.htmla