Totally more than a $ billion

A former mayor of San Diego took $2.1 million (£1.35 million) from her late husband\’s charitable foundation during a decade-long gambling spree when she wagered and won sums totally more than $1 billion.

Like, totally. Sadly, Valley Speak is from LA, not San Diego.

Her net gambling losses topped $13 million from 2001 to 2009, her lawyer said.

That\’s interesting though. The losses were something like 0.13% of the turnover. A billion turnover to lose $13 million?

Worth recalling this sort of thing when discussing gambling. There\’s a vast difference between turnover, or the amount gambled, and net losses (or income to the casinos and bookies). You\’ll find the former number usually being the one talked up of course.

4 comments on “Totally more than a $ billion

  1. The sums don’t sound right. Video Poker has a payout rate of around 70-75% of the money gambled, and the only way to improve your performance is to watch other people lose and then get on the machine when it’s ready to pay out.

  2. There are incredible problems in measuring this stuff. You bring $1000 into the casino. Lets just assume slot machines with a 98% payout rate. You gamble for an hour, in which case you have made a total of 1000 $10 bets. On average (assuming your balance has not gone down to zero in this time), you will have made $10,000 in bets and lost 2% of that, and so will have lost $200, leaving a balance of $800, and a net loss to you of $200 or 20% of your total money gambled.

    On the other hand, if you put $500 into the machine, and assuming your total loss at no point went above $500, the same betting pattern would lead to a 40% loss. So it depends incredibly on how you measure it, particularly when you are reinvesting wins at once, and particularly when you are not waging your whole stake on every bet.

    For games that are partly skill, casinos will vary the odds for high rollers, sometimes to the point that the game is winnable. How much the odds are varied depends on how good they think the player is. This is a famous story about someone for whom they did this, and got it badly wrong. (He was a much better player than they though, and got $15 million out of them before they realised it).

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/04/the-man-who-broke-atlantic-city/308900/2/?single_page=true

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