I have lived in Las Vegas since I was 18. There were a good many years that I had to look but not touch when it came to the slot machines. That goes for gambling of all sorts, as a matter of fact. Now you have to understand that you don’t have to be twenty one to go into a casino. There are lots of things to do for minors in Las Vegas so that their parents can spend their time playing the games. Some of the things I found myself at the casino to do while I was still a minor include Full on circus shows at Circus Circus, seeing the lions at the MGM Grand and going on the Big Shot at the top of the Stratosphere. (What a rush!)
I would often times go to the casino but there were very few times that I made it out without stopping to stare at some of the machines with bright lights and loud music and effects. I remember there were several times that security would ask me for ID and promptly ask me to leave the gambling area without hesitation at all. It did not matter if I was there with my friends or family… It didn’t matter if I was there to see a movie or go to the arcade… Those machines were like Venus Flytraps for me. The Chang, Chang, Chang of coins dropping out of the slots. The bells and whistles and sirens all going off for the latest jackpot or mega jackpot winner. It was always too much for me.
I admit the there was even a time or two that I tried the machines before I was supposed to and what I found is that the Casinos really don’t care who is putting money into the machines. What they really care about is who is taking the money out of the machines. I played, as I mentioned before a handful of times, before I was supposed to because I was too young. I usually lost which is OK but it was the first time I had a hand pay that really shocked me… I tried to cash out but found that the machine would not release a ticket or any change and instead told me to call an attendant. I was shocked and wondered how all of this would play out. As expected when the attendant got there part of the payout process was asking for my ID… I was heartbroken. I turned slowly and exited the casino knowing then and there that I would not play again until I was old enough to collect the winnings. What a waste of money but a lesson was learned.