Saturday, November 24, 2007
In Nevada Airports
Children under 18 are not allowed in gaming areas of casinos, for very good reasons. Those reasons are being graphically illustrated to me as I sit in the airport, where it is much harder to keep children from the slot machines and other "toys." Three children under the age of seven are watching their father play a blinking, signing slot machine from across the walkway, far enough from him to really be illegally close, but still within earshot. They are enchanted. They track his wins and losses excitedly, calling out "You almost had it!" and "Ooh!" They are thrilled. He his their hero playing the fascinating money machine. They look like a very nice family, but the gleam in the oldest's eye makes me worry. He is too excited, too invested in the game. I can easily imagine him growing up and seeking that thrill he remembers from when he was a boy, forever chasing the glamor that only appears in the eyes of children waiting in a tiny airport, watching their hero playing the magical money machine.