I have never been a good gambler, but I do enjoy a game of cards, perhaps with a small stake to add to the interest of the game. My canny background would never allow me to play for high stakes. Slot machines are one of the worst games of chance, they leave me cold. I know that they are all pre-programmed to win, with odds loaded heavily in favour of Government and the owners. To see people sitting alongside a row of machines, all with pottles of real money, trance like and seemingly mesmerised by their flashing screens. It makes you wonder if they have more money than sense. Many of these too are well on the way to becoming ‘Problem Gamblers’. I would imagine that many times the family’s food money, went down the tube. Reason and logic should tell them, in the long run they can’t win.


One amusing incident in my past and involving my gambling happened soon after I had joined the Bank. I was given the task of overseeing the destruction of the banks collection of cheques and vouchers all kept and stored on the premises. Several truck loads in fact. By law, they had to be kept for a statuary number of years, and naturally they took up a lot of space. Rather than just burning them in an industrial furnace as in the past, the Bank this time had arranged with a paper salvager to shred, and recycle our many years supply of paper. Unfortunately, a few of these cheques had a carbon backing, so a copy could be kept by the issuer. Seeing this was a contaminant, it had to be removed before they were pushed into the shredding machines. I soon tired of watching this operation, I inquired from the owners if they had a spare pair of overalls, I would then assist with the task. Because of this gesture, I was then invited to be included in all their other activities. One of which was the card game of ‘Euchre’ which they all played with a passion, without fail in every break, morning and afternoon tea, and as well lunch. I soon summed up their playing skill, which was not very high. They, (the employees), it seemed were more focussed on gaining a Euchre, which they enforced with whoops of joy. Not looking at the big picture and the winning of the game. To play, it cost a shilling a game, the Boss and I quickly formed a partnership, and we over a month, managed to extract a small but steady stream of income from these clowns, amounting to five, six, or even seven shillings a day. Not much, I hear you say, but when you are only earning Six Pounds a week (Twelve Dollars) my winnings really took on some significance. Everyone in the Bank seemed to be taking an interest in these games of skill as well. The Accountant’s first question on my return each day was. ‘How much did you win today’? On receiving an answer, it was quickly passed around the Bank. However it all changed one day, and all turned to custard for me, when the owner of the factory said, ‘He had received a ‘Hot’ tip on a horse. Would I give him ‘Ten Shillings’ and he would then include me on the bet he was going to place’. Before I left to go home that night he passed me Eight Pounds, my winnings. Wow! The effect this news on my return was nothing short of astounding. This win, on my return was quickly flashed around the Bank, even reaching the Manager, who popped out of his office demanding, ‘Why didn’t I think to ring the Bank, and pass on this priceless piece of intelligence?’ The fact I didn’t even know the name of the horse, wasn’t a valid excuse. Upshot was, I was immediately removed from my job and replaced by, ‘A more responsible Officer’. The manager said, ‘He didn’t want any of his young employees corrupted by an addition to gambling’. I should tell you that at the time I was thirty years of age, married with two children. I had grown up very fast in the Army, which I had entered as a private as an eighteen year old, as soon as I could however, transferred over to the Air Force where I became a Pilot. I considered myself very worldly wise. If you want to learn about life, join the Services during a War.


I have never yet made a visit to our local Casino as I’m not attracted to what they have to offer. However, in Australia, we were regular patrons to gambling establishments because of their dining benefits. Also, the Australian Sporting Clubs which are also heavily into gambling machines, row upon row, all fully manned with patrons feeding their money into them as fast as they can. Which in turn, is subsidising their food and drinking facilities, again, we were quick to exploit this subsidised dining.




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