Presque Isle Downs and Casino Coupons near me in Erie, PA ...

I wrote a piece on my experience with gambling addiction. "Help Isn't Available" (Non-Fiction Essay, 1900 words)

 
Written in 2012, featured on my new blog http://theephemeraleverywhere.blogspot.com/2015/10/test-post-test-post.html (in case reddit makes it a block text)
 
Help Isn't Available
 
Apparently, if you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. No, really, just ask the stickers on the trash cans, or the one peeling off the ATM. There’s a warning on all the ads, and at auctioneer speed during the end of the radio commercial. And while I've only ever been to one casino, Presque Isle Downs and Casino, I go there a lot. Usually it's shortly after payday, but most of the time I go just because I get that itch. You know that itch. It's the same one that presses the snooze and supersizes your fries. It's the force that drives kids to do most of what they do, from sunrise to bed-without-suppertime. Much the same, when I enter the casino, it's Chuck-E-Cheese all over again.
 
If you or someone you know has an epilepsy problem, I hope there is help available. The lights on the ceiling are dim, but the hundreds of slot machines all flicker and blink like mad. Simultaneously I'm hit with enough sound effects from the dozen themed-machines by the door to believe I really am trapped in a castle in the jungle, under the ocean, and in ancient Greece all at once. I'm not a slot person, but my friends, all staring at the screens, live in their spinning worlds. I see no point in differentiating between the computerized games; they all follow similar rules and betting options. Plus, I don't trust them. I used to play them, I really did like the whale game, but the computer deciding whether I keep my paycheck or not gave me a new Orwellian mindset. Besides, I never want to be the hunched, long-haired woman with oxygen mask in one hand and shrinking cigarette in the other, petting her machine and whispering to the characters. She reminds me too much of my mother.
 
If you or someone you know has a smoking problem, an ashtray is available. During the days, the air filtration works fine, but on crowded nights you can't see through the haze even when if you do remember your contacts. I'm not an avid smoker, but I'm probably up a pack by the time I get to the table games. If the five dollar buy-in blackjack tables aren't too crowded I'll claim a seat. The other players cramped shoulder to shoulder will look up hollow-eyed and fancy the idea of how long they've been playing, or how much they've spent, for just enough time that it takes the dealer to clear the last hand and start slinging the next. I'm familiar with a few regulars that haunt these tables. The slim older man, whose hairline could use his goatee, nods at me. His name is Bill, or Bob. He smokes clove cigarettes that will make your stomach ache even if you had eaten breakfast. Before that happens, on a usual night, I'll have to make my first visit to the ATM. The closest one is ten paces across a blue and green floor dancing with Model-T cars and gold swirls. The next is maybe fifteen farther. ATMs in a casino are easily accessible; everything in a casino is easily accessible.
 
A casino designer is equal parts businessman and psychologist; they've spent a lot of your hard earned money to research the proper AC temperature and carpet pattern to ensure that people postpone their bills. They have classic tricks of the trade, namely removing all clocks and windows from the building and allowing gamblers to lose track of time. They also have more subtle avenues to the senses. Recent studies have found red-hued lighting and fast tempo music to increase the speed of gambler's betting. Other scientists have experimented with different aromas being ventilated throughout the casino. To design casinos is to have an innate sense of human nature, and to prey on it. The concept of casinos, by nature, piques any gain-driven brain: put a dollar down here, press this button, and then watch two dollars come of it.
 
A study of Capuchin monkeys by Yale economist Keith Chen has provided wonderful insight into behavioral economics and incentives. Chen, by utilizing a Capuchin monkey's “bottomless stomach of want” has successfully implemented a system of currency with the animals. By training the monkeys to realize the buying power of small silver discs, he was able to conduct economic experiments with them. One such experiment involved two gambling games. The first game involved Chen giving a monkey one grape, and, depending on a coin toss, the Capuchin would either retain the original grape, or win a bonus one. In the second game, the monkey is given two grapes, and depending on the coin toss, keeps the two, or loses one.
 
Essentially, these games are the same economic gamble, only that one is presented as a potential win, and the other as a potential loss. Performed on humans, the outcome of this experiment shows a preference for the first option. Not surprisingly, the monkeys also choose the potential win. What this says about the nature of gambling? That it's in our nature. Now up the ante, from grapes to dollars, and the temptation grows. If a grape is dangled before me, sure, I'll flip a coin for it. If half my paycheck could be doubled and then tripled on the spot? Well, that's the kind of place I could spend all summer at. After all, it's only a gambling problem if I'm losing, right?
 
Honestly, if I go to the casino more than most people, it's because my mom works there. If it's around eight- or nine-o'clock on a weekday, I'll sit at the bar and get a fishbowl-sized drink with my own mother who just got off work at the horse track. If you or some horse you know has a drug problem, help is available. My mother is one of the people who ensure a race is won fairly by drug testing the horses like they do athletes; that is to say, by testing their urine. Once again, to get a racehorse's urine those casino scientists have devised a clever plan. A middle-aged woman is sent into a small stall armed with only a stick and a cup, this pee-catcher then whistles to imitate morning birds, and tries to elicit a typical post wake-up urination. It works surprisingly well. This is also why, if standing by the paddock where they walk the horses before the race (to allow viewers to bet nonsensically on who looks the best) guards will approach anyone whistling and ask them to please stop.
 
I haven't been to the track part of the casino, or even visited my mother, in over a month. The last time that I did, I waited, leaning on the fence near the edge of the racetrack, for her to walk up from the barns and wait for the race she'd been assigned to begin. Eight races are run in the course of the night, and the third was just underway. As the horses and their riders thundered around the second turn and passed the crowd, the lead pair went down, cartwheeling through the sand and kicking up a cloud of dust. As is with any sporting accident, the crowd was instantly frenzied. There was no signature sickening crunch, as oftentimes there is during a horse wreck, so the spooked filly was able to leave her jockey in the dirt and take off after the pack. She was able to reach full speed in her escape, but her brain was in fight or flight mode. Again, she spooked and took a jagged right turn. She slammed full-speed into the metal guard rail that separates the track from the workers from the crowd. Her chest plunged into the metal and she pitched over it. It was all human gasps and horse screams. Kicking violently for a few seconds, a puddle was already formed by the time she righted herself; her sagging chest ran like a faucet. Guards swarmed and hurried her back to the barns, amazed that she hadn't broken any bones. The races went on.
 
I stood by the fence until they hosed off the metal and the ground nearby. I watched an old Mexican man walk the same path the filly did, spraying down the trail she'd left all the way to the barns. In the Erie Times, following the accident that night, the article interviewed the horse's owner. He was quoted saying that her gash required over three hundred stitches to close. The next quote was his disappointment that she wouldn't make the next big stakes race, that she was sidelined until next season. And while I hate his attitude, I know that this 2-year-old race filly, Princess Baby, does want to keep racing. It's what she was trained to do, it's become her instinct. The Casino has manufactured her as a means to their end. I understand that filly. I can cut a three-hundred stitch hole in my wallet and be begging to return next weekend.
 
That night I walked back into the casino and sat at the first blackjack table I found. It was the day I met Bob, or Bill. He offered me a cigarette and I played, numbly, for a few hours. I'd never won so much money than I did that night, probably four hundred dollars, but I wasn't counting. I was feeling smaller than a Capuchin monkey and duller than a horse. I played so much that the man in the suit that oversees the dealers walked over and gave me a coupon for a free Presque Isle Downs and Casino baseball cap. And at the bottom of the coupon, right below the Downs logo, there's a little warning, “If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available.”
 
And I know I do have a gambling problem. If I called 1-800-GAMBLER, right after the nice older lady says, “Pennsylvania problem gamblers helpline, how may I help you?” I could go hoarse over the problems I have with gambling. I'm not the first monkey to get riled and refute this system, throw his feces at the scientists and retreat to the far corner of his cage. I could chain myself to the doors of the Presque Isle Downs and, tear-streaked, carry on about the monkeys and the horses. PETA would put me on posters; that's until my human rights campaign began. Then, everyone would just wonder what I was carrying on about. I can hear them already. “Sure, sometimes you'll lose a hundred bucks, so what? I think I'm smarter than some animal,” or “It doesn't mean I'll go back. I'll just have some self-control.” Then, “well, the place was so colorful, and, wow, come to think of it, I could win next time, and then it wouldn't be like I lost at all, right? Didn't it smell great in there!” Yeah, the men at the door would probably recognize me anyway. They would welcome me in, and sit me at a table. They would give me a hat and validate my parking. I used to wonder why the casino would put up so many warnings about gambling and offer help against their business. I've since realized that you can offer all the help you want, and not make a difference, if you've got people by the hopes.
submitted by EphemeralEverywhere to problemgambling [link] [comments]

I wrote a piece on my experience with gambling addiction. "Help Isn't Available" (Non-Fiction Essay, 1900 words)

 
Written in 2012, featured on my new blog http://theephemeraleverywhere.blogspot.com/2015/10/test-post-test-post.html (in case reddit makes it a block text)
 
Help Isn't Available
 
Apparently, if you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. No, really, just ask the stickers on the trash cans, or the one peeling off the ATM. There’s a warning on all the ads, and at auctioneer speed during the end of the radio commercial. And while I've only ever been to one casino, Presque Isle Downs and Casino, I go there a lot. Usually it's shortly after payday, but most of the time I go just because I get that itch. You know that itch. It's the same one that presses the snooze and supersizes your fries. It's the force that drives kids to do most of what they do, from sunrise to bed-without-suppertime. Much the same, when I enter the casino, it's Chuck-E-Cheese all over again.
 
If you or someone you know has an epilepsy problem, I hope there is help available. The lights on the ceiling are dim, but the hundreds of slot machines all flicker and blink like mad. Simultaneously I'm hit with enough sound effects from the dozen themed-machines by the door to believe I really am trapped in a castle in the jungle, under the ocean, and in ancient Greece all at once. I'm not a slot person, but my friends, all staring at the screens, live in their spinning worlds. I see no point in differentiating between the computerized games; they all follow similar rules and betting options. Plus, I don't trust them. I used to play them, I really did like the whale game, but the computer deciding whether I keep my paycheck or not gave me a new Orwellian mindset. Besides, I never want to be the hunched, long-haired woman with oxygen mask in one hand and shrinking cigarette in the other, petting her machine and whispering to the characters. She reminds me too much of my mother.
 
If you or someone you know has a smoking problem, an ashtray is available. During the days, the air filtration works fine, but on crowded nights you can't see through the haze even when if you do remember your contacts. I'm not an avid smoker, but I'm probably up a pack by the time I get to the table games. If the five dollar buy-in blackjack tables aren't too crowded I'll claim a seat. The other players cramped shoulder to shoulder will look up hollow-eyed and fancy the idea of how long they've been playing, or how much they've spent, for just enough time that it takes the dealer to clear the last hand and start slinging the next. I'm familiar with a few regulars that haunt these tables. The slim older man, whose hairline could use his goatee, nods at me. His name is Bill, or Bob. He smokes clove cigarettes that will make your stomach ache even if you had eaten breakfast. Before that happens, on a usual night, I'll have to make my first visit to the ATM. The closest one is ten paces across a blue and green floor dancing with Model-T cars and gold swirls. The next is maybe fifteen farther. ATMs in a casino are easily accessible; everything in a casino is easily accessible.
 
A casino designer is equal parts businessman and psychologist; they've spent a lot of your hard earned money to research the proper AC temperature and carpet pattern to ensure that people postpone their bills. They have classic tricks of the trade, namely removing all clocks and windows from the building and allowing gamblers to lose track of time. They also have more subtle avenues to the senses. Recent studies have found red-hued lighting and fast tempo music to increase the speed of gambler's betting. Other scientists have experimented with different aromas being ventilated throughout the casino. To design casinos is to have an innate sense of human nature, and to prey on it. The concept of casinos, by nature, piques any gain-driven brain: put a dollar down here, press this button, and then watch two dollars come of it.
 
A study of Capuchin monkeys by Yale economist Keith Chen has provided wonderful insight into behavioral economics and incentives. Chen, by utilizing a Capuchin monkey's “bottomless stomach of want” has successfully implemented a system of currency with the animals. By training the monkeys to realize the buying power of small silver discs, he was able to conduct economic experiments with them. One such experiment involved two gambling games. The first game involved Chen giving a monkey one grape, and, depending on a coin toss, the Capuchin would either retain the original grape, or win a bonus one. In the second game, the monkey is given two grapes, and depending on the coin toss, keeps the two, or loses one.
 
Essentially, these games are the same economic gamble, only that one is presented as a potential win, and the other as a potential loss. Performed on humans, the outcome of this experiment shows a preference for the first option. Not surprisingly, the monkeys also choose the potential win. What this says about the nature of gambling? That it's in our nature. Now up the ante, from grapes to dollars, and the temptation grows. If a grape is dangled before me, sure, I'll flip a coin for it. If half my paycheck could be doubled and then tripled on the spot? Well, that's the kind of place I could spend all summer at. After all, it's only a gambling problem if I'm losing, right?
 
Honestly, if I go to the casino more than most people, it's because my mom works there. If it's around eight- or nine-o'clock on a weekday, I'll sit at the bar and get a fishbowl-sized drink with my own mother who just got off work at the horse track. If you or some horse you know has a drug problem, help is available. My mother is one of the people who ensure a race is won fairly by drug testing the horses like they do athletes; that is to say, by testing their urine. Once again, to get a racehorse's urine those casino scientists have devised a clever plan. A middle-aged woman is sent into a small stall armed with only a stick and a cup, this pee-catcher then whistles to imitate morning birds, and tries to elicit a typical post wake-up urination. It works surprisingly well. This is also why, if standing by the paddock where they walk the horses before the race (to allow viewers to bet nonsensically on who looks the best) guards will approach anyone whistling and ask them to please stop.
 
I haven't been to the track part of the casino, or even visited my mother, in over a month. The last time that I did, I waited, leaning on the fence near the edge of the racetrack, for her to walk up from the barns and wait for the race she'd been assigned to begin. Eight races are run in the course of the night, and the third was just underway. As the horses and their riders thundered around the second turn and passed the crowd, the lead pair went down, cartwheeling through the sand and kicking up a cloud of dust. As is with any sporting accident, the crowd was instantly frenzied. There was no signature sickening crunch, as oftentimes there is during a horse wreck, so the spooked filly was able to leave her jockey in the dirt and take off after the pack. She was able to reach full speed in her escape, but her brain was in fight or flight mode. Again, she spooked and took a jagged right turn. She slammed full-speed into the metal guard rail that separates the track from the workers from the crowd. Her chest plunged into the metal and she pitched over it. It was all human gasps and horse screams. Kicking violently for a few seconds, a puddle was already formed by the time she righted herself; her sagging chest ran like a faucet. Guards swarmed and hurried her back to the barns, amazed that she hadn't broken any bones. The races went on.
 
I stood by the fence until they hosed off the metal and the ground nearby. I watched an old Mexican man walk the same path the filly did, spraying down the trail she'd left all the way to the barns. In the Erie Times, following the accident that night, the article interviewed the horse's owner. He was quoted saying that her gash required over three hundred stitches to close. The next quote was his disappointment that she wouldn't make the next big stakes race, that she was sidelined until next season. And while I hate his attitude, I know that this 2-year-old race filly, Princess Baby, does want to keep racing. It's what she was trained to do, it's become her instinct. The Casino has manufactured her as a means to their end. I understand that filly. I can cut a three-hundred stitch hole in my wallet and be begging to return next weekend.
 
That night I walked back into the casino and sat at the first blackjack table I found. It was the day I met Bob, or Bill. He offered me a cigarette and I played, numbly, for a few hours. I'd never won so much money than I did that night, probably four hundred dollars, but I wasn't counting. I was feeling smaller than a Capuchin monkey and duller than a horse. I played so much that the man in the suit that oversees the dealers walked over and gave me a coupon for a free Presque Isle Downs and Casino baseball cap. And at the bottom of the coupon, right below the Downs logo, there's a little warning, “If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available.”
 
And I know I do have a gambling problem. If I called 1-800-GAMBLER, right after the nice older lady says, “Pennsylvania problem gamblers helpline, how may I help you?” I could go hoarse over the problems I have with gambling. I'm not the first monkey to get riled and refute this system, throw his feces at the scientists and retreat to the far corner of his cage. I could chain myself to the doors of the Presque Isle Downs and, tear-streaked, carry on about the monkeys and the horses. PETA would put me on posters; that's until my human rights campaign began. Then, everyone would just wonder what I was carrying on about. I can hear them already. “Sure, sometimes you'll lose a hundred bucks, so what? I think I'm smarter than some animal,” or “It doesn't mean I'll go back. I'll just have some self-control.” Then, “well, the place was so colorful, and, wow, come to think of it, I could win next time, and then it wouldn't be like I lost at all, right? Didn't it smell great in there!” Yeah, the men at the door would probably recognize me anyway. They would welcome me in, and sit me at a table. They would give me a hat and validate my parking. I used to wonder why the casino would put up so many warnings about gambling and offer help against their business. I've since realized that you can offer all the help you want, and not make a difference, if you've got people by the hopes.
submitted by EphemeralEverywhere to addiction [link] [comments]

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Presque Isle Downs & Casino Family Night Horse Racing ...

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