I was in Las Vegas today.
I don’t gamble. I don’t know how, and I really don’t want to know. But I do spend that obligatory twenty dollars in a machine when I am there. I find a Wheel of Fortune machine with a progressive jackpot. I noticed that no machines take coins anymore, and they also don’t spit out coins anymore. That rewarding chuck – chunk – chuck that you used to hear no longer happens. Machines don’t have trays anymore. There are no more plastic buckets for coins that people walk around with. If you want to cash out, it gives you a barcoded “ticket” which you can feed into another machine or cash out at the cashier. The idea is that you never make it to the cashier and the next machine eats the ticket.
Playing only with credits saves time. No fumbling for coins, no grabbing and pulling arms. Just watch the display of credits and push a button. The wheels spin. Often there are no wheels but only screen displays. You can lose money with lightning speed.
That twenty-dollar bill went into that slot. I pushed the buttons a few times. And in less than a couple of minutes the credits were gone. I could not have fed the money into a paper shredder faster than that machine digested it. There was no reward. There was no satisfaction.
I just shred a twenty-dollar bill.