How Your Entertainment Dollars and Gambling Work in Unison

THinking Man Holding Cash on Left and Casino Game Logos on Right

One of the first lessons I was taught is that gambling either needs to be viewed as an entertainment expense or played in a manner that generates a profit. Yet, many gamblers never view the casino as entertainment nor come close to netting a profit.

What are these players doing in the casino?

They are hopefully being entertained while trying to win money. I suppose that as long as gamblers are enjoying the ride, their motives aren’t important.

Average gamblers need to understand how your entertainment dollars and gambling work in unison. That allows you to make the most impressive use of your money and gives you a clearer picture of ways to improve.

Is Gambling a Form of Entertainment?

Gambling can be a number of different things to different people. Whether or not gambling is a form of entertainment is up to each gambler.

I will say that casino games are meant to entertain guests. But movies are also meant to entertain, but some people watch movies to learn or write reviews.

Not everyone that goes to the movies is there to be entertained, and not everyone gambling in casinos sees the activity as entertainment. Fortunately, it’s possible to be entertained while accomplishing other objectives.

For example, advantage gamblers play casino games to make a profit. It’s like going to work for them, but that doesn’t mean casino games can’t entertain them throughout the process.

I’d say that if they didn’t enjoy casino games, they might have never become professional gamblers.

Regardless, it’ll be best for recreational gamblers to view your casino gambling as an entertainment expense. That’s what it boils down to for the majority of casino guests.

Taking the approach that the money your spending is coming out of your entertainment budget can be less frustrating than the thought that you’re merely losing money.

Yes, gambling is a form of entertainment for the majority of people in a casino. But it can also have other selling points depending on your motives.

The Decision Faced by Recreational Gamblers

All recreational gamblers have a decision about what level of entertainment they are willing to pay for in casinos. That can go back to the amount of money you are playing with and whether you decide you aren’t okay with giving the casino your money without a fight.

The line that separates the recreational gambler from the advantage gambler is thin, but the two worlds are miles apart.

Woman With Arms Outstretched Over Her Head Facing a Casino Floor

Before you make another trip to the casino, you need to decide if gambling is purely entertainment or not. If you gamble for the sole purpose of being entertained, you should build your gambling bankroll into your entertainment expenses.

That opens up the door for a ton of leeway in how you pull money into your gambling funds. Still, if you can’t justify gambling as entertainment, you need to have that answer before moving forward.

The most vital question recreational gamblers need to answer is whether gambling is entertainment or something else entirely.

Vacation Dollars Hard at Work in the Casino

When you are of the mindset that casino gambling is an entertainment expense, you get to be a bit looser with how you allocate funds towards gambling. The odds are that you make infrequent trips to the casino that require some travel.

That sure sounds like a vacation to me. So, the money that you’ve been setting aside to get away for a few days can be put towards your gambling activities.

There’s another majority of the group traveling to casinos that only gambles when they’re on vacation. That will leave you more money to play with on your trip.

Imagine you gamble several times a month but are saving for a trip to the Macau casinos. During that trip, you won’t be able to leverage your entire bankroll because you could come home bankrupt.

That would force you to cancel several regular casino trips while building your bankroll back up to par. Not the worst thing in the world, but your entertainment budget could be shot for months.

So, you need to break your bankroll into smaller pieces and only take that slice with you on your trip. That will ensure you can get back into the casino at your first opportunity without skipping a beat.

However, that entire scenario changes dramatically when you only make one trip to the casino every year. Now, you can take your entire gambling bankroll to Macau.

If the worst happens and you lose every penny, you’ve got twelve whole months to build the fund back. Not to mention, you can repurpose any excess funds you have in your vacation fund for gambling.

Knowing How to Set a Bankroll and Stick to Limits

Gambling for entertainment doesn’t mean you can suspend reality or completely ignore sound casino practices. Setting a budget for your gambling is paramount for gamblers of all skill levels and financial means.

Having a gambling bankroll means you have money set aside specifically to fund your gambling. You need to budget this money and be sure you can afford to lose every penny in the casino.

Building a healthy bankroll takes most gamblers considerable time. One tip for helping the money grow more quickly is making deposits each time you get paid or come across extra money.

It would be best to continue making deposits regularly to offset the losses you take in the casino. Because this money is free and clear of all other expenses, you won’t have to stress paying bills if it vanishes.

Casino Table Game with Poker Cards and Casino Chips, Roll of Money

Once you have this bankroll, it’s important to set strict limits on yourself. The optimal way to break this down is to divide your bankroll into the tiniest amounts possible.

For instance, if you have a $300 bankroll for a 3-day trip, your bankroll should be $100 per day. As soon as that money is gone, you need to be done gambling for the day.

Ideally, you should never leverage more than 3% of your bankroll for a single wager. Most savvy gamblers will keep this as low as 1% to get the most bang for their buck in the casino.

Keep track of your bankroll and treat it as the source for how much fun you can have in the casino.

Which Games Provide the Most Entertainment?

When novice gamblers that are strictly looking to be entertained ask about the best games to play, I tell them that it’s entirely up to them.

I can’t decide what game you will enjoy the most. Every gambler in the casino has desires and things that stand out as entertaining.

I shy away from slot machines because I don’t find mindlessly spinning the reels enjoyable. But that puts me in the vast minority of gamblers; slot machines are the most popular games in the casino.

The best game to play in the casino is what you enjoy the most. When you’re gambling purely for entertainment, the house edge becomes inconsequential.

You’re going to lose regardless, so enjoy the time you have in the casino to the fullest.

The Importance of Getting the Most Value from Your Entertainment Dollars

Despite the house advantage being moot, you should still look for the most value. For example, many recreational gamblers love playing blackjack for real money.

The elements of strategy and decision-making make the game feel engaging. It doesn’t hurt that the house edge in blackjack is one of the lowest in the casino.

Closeup of Blackjack Table

A lot of gamblers assume that all blackjack games are the same and thereby have a similar house edge. Yet, the rules on a game can more than double the casinos’ advantage.

There’s not much value to be found when you’re losing money twice as fast playing the same game. Being able to tell the good games from the bad is a staple of advantage gamblers, but it’s equally essential for those gambling for entertainment.

It’s like paying $35 to see a movie showing in the same theater for $15.

You Don’t Have to Settle for Being a Loser

Don’t mistake being entertained for losing. It’s entirely possible to learn to win in the casino, and it’s not as far away as you think.

Those who hope to become advantage gamblers need to focus on a few key areas. Poker, blackjack, and sports betting all have ways for the gambler to make a long-term profit.

Becoming an advantage gambler is hard work, but some people get immense joy from the process of learning to be a winning gambler. If you love a challenge, becoming an advantage gambler could provide you with endless entertainment.

In Summary

Understanding how your entertainment dollars and gambling work in unison depends on what you prefer to accomplish from gambling. The most important thing is to either have fun or make money.

It’s possible to do both, and I encourage you to explore that path. But when you aren’t accomplishing either, you should change your approach or find a new hobby.