98% Payback

98% Payback

This is where dreams go to die.

The parking garage behind the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas houses a little graveyard of slot machines. The shiny, flashing, chiming machines are silent, dismembered, and gathering dust in the oppressive summer heat.

This one, Chthulu’s second cousin by way of R2D2 and C3PO, presides over ranks of less glitzy minions. These are the troops upon whose loyal corpses the wealth of casinos is built, two percent at a time. They are programmed that way, and no amount of human hopes or tears will alter their cold equations.

Note that, even in death, this specimen clutches a cup. Its overlords know all too well that if you provide a drink for free, the house edge may drop to 1.7%, but the player will have even more fun when winning and less misery when losing. She will play more and longer, and time is on the house’s side. Keep the anodyne flowing!

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