He who leaves a gambling casino with merely his pocket may consider himself lucky. The reason : In the never – never land of the casino world, players especially big - money players – assume lifestyles that are bad for their health, as well as bad for their gambling. Indeed a casino player’s worst enemy may not always be the house. Often, it is the player himself.
Here’s why:

  • Non-Stop playing is counterproductive. Studies show that intense concentration can be maintained for no more than an hour or so. That the one’s ability to do mathematical calculations slows and errors increase. Dealers are given frequent rest periods.Players should allow themselves the same.
  • Playing into the early hours of the morning further stacks the deck against the player. The body is a finely tuned machine that operates on a 24 hour clock. Each bodily functions is in high gear at certain hours an in low gear at other hours. The brain for most people is set for sleeping at 2 and 3 AM. Anyone who gambles at these hours is not dealing with a full deck.
  • Continuous sitting or standing in one position results in fatigue, back-ache, swollen legs and host of other conditions. Fatigue results in shortened attention span, poor concentration and sometimes sleeping problems. The net result: another edge for the house. The body needs a little movement from time to time. Even we sleep, we change our positions every 20 minutes or so. In Japan, many workers have breaks for calisthenics when their jobs are tedious, require concentration and involve prolonged sitting. Players should exercise at least as much while gambling s while sleeping.
  •  Liquor is as conducive to optimal gambling as wiping a car windshield with a greasy rag is conducive to good visibility. Yet most player drink while gambling. Indeed, most casinos supply free drinks. Those free drinks may, in the long run, cost the player a fortune.
  •  Ditto for cigarettes. They’re free at most casinos, but increase carbon monoxide to the brain. The amount of the carbon monoxide may be minimal, but does affect concentration.
  • Many players become absorbed in gambling that they forget to eat - an expensive way to lose weight. Lack of food worsens fatigue. Also, a lack of food further worsens the effect of drinking, smoking and insufficient sleep. The Las Vegas Rescue Squad each year is called to aid dozens and dozens of player who simply forget to take their usual medications - digitalis, insulin, blood pressure pills and such.
  • The Pounding heart, lump in the throat, racing or irregular pulse, tight feeling in the chest, "butterflies" in the stomach and undue perspiration that many players experience are not necessarily harmless emotional excitements. These are symptoms of stress and anxiety and are merely always accompanied by significant boost in blood pressure and a few extra zigzags in the electrocardiogram. Therefore these symptoms should not be ignored.

Most at risk are people already coronary-prone - the several million who have already had coronaries (some undetected) as well as the 30 million known hypertensives and the estimated 20 million undetected hypertensives.

Risk even higher for players who wager "meaningful amounts" That is "money that hurtswhen lost," "money credit", "money my wife will kill me if she finds out that I lost." It may be $50 for some, thousands for others.

Oddly enough, casinos are often not the worst place to have heart seizures or otherillness. In Central Europe, many of the big casinos are located in health resorts just chip's throw away from medical facilities.

Some casinos have "Ambulance Only" loading platforms - to whisk fallen playersaway as fast as possible without interrupting the action and, sincerely, to speed thestricken player to a prompt recovery.

For if the players survive, they will, regardless of medical advice, probably be back to gamble and risk their lives and fortunes on yet another day.
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