The House Always Wins
| Risky Business |
The allure of a casino is like none other. One of the most popular phrases about the casino is "The house always wins." This means that regardless of how lucky or special you feel, the casino is always going to come out on top, which makes you the loser. Yet, despite the popularity of this phrase, people believe they can out-duel the casino. Why is this? What drives this idea? and Why is the casino so captivating that people flock to it knowing that the house always wins?
I used to be an avid gambler before Christ. In fact, my first encounter with the Lord was in a Las Vegas casino hotel room (but that's a story for another day). I used to gamble with online casino, online sports betting, and also in person whenever I had the chance. My games of choice were Blackjack and Caribbean Stud Poker. I know exactly what it feels like to believe you can win it big if you play your hand right. There's an exhilarating thrill and rush that comes with the idea of winning. You know that risk is involved, and for some reason, that makes it even more exciting. Every roll of the dice, pull of the slot machine, or hit on a blackjack hand is the perfect example of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
There's something about human nature that salivates over risking it all for pleasure. Lust, greed, and pride will deceive us into believing that we can beat the system. We can stand at the craps table and see a guy crap out, but stay because we don't think it will happen to us. Many of us take this approach to life. We roll the dice with sin believing that the risk is worth the reward or that the consequences won't come to our front door. We convince ourselves that we are in control - in control of our fornication, in control of our alcohol, in control of our drug use, in control of our gossiping, etc.
The truth is that the world is one big casino that is ran by Satan. He is gambling on you to gamble with your life. The bible refers to him as the god of this world and the prince and power of the air. When you look at the glitz and glamour, the trinkets and merits of life, and the overall pleasure palace that the world system offers, it's easy to recognize these parallels. Many of us are seduced into believing that we can stay at the table and play Russian roulette with our souls, but it's a dangerous risk to stay in the house. Recently, I came across a video with 10 tactics/secrets that casinos use on their patrons and it is a striking resemblance to Satan and the world system. I'm going to briefly list them and reveal these parallels.
10. Free Stuff
Casinos use "comps", which are complimentary free items, as an incentive for you to stay with them and gamble more. Comps can include membership rewards cards, free alcohol, and sometimes free rooms. The more you participate, the more perks you receive. This is the exact program that Satan runs. When Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by Satan, Satan offered Jesus all of the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them. The only requirement was that Jesus bowed down and worshiped him. Satan's dominion over this world allows him to be able to offer people status if they are willing to debase themselves and become subservient to him. It's well documented that many celebrities and everyday people are willing to sell their souls in order to gain this world. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?
9. Money Maze
Many casinos are strategically designed like a maze to make it harder for you to escape, resulting in you staying and spending more money. Casinos sprinkle slot machines, restaurants, and various distractions to keep you there. God is not the author of confusion. Satan is the father of lies and thrives on confusion and chaos in order to keep people bound. The last thing that the enemy wants is for you to be able to separate from the world, because you are no longer a valuable consumer at that point. You're also no longer a victim if you decide to cut your losses and leave out. Jesus referred to himself as The Way. This means that He is our only path and salvation for escape from this maze. Anyone who doesn't know The Way is the blind leading the blind and they fall into a ditch.
8. NORA Software
NORA (Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness) Software monitors casino players and figures out their patterns and nuances. The rewards card is one way that they are able to figure out player habits and how valuable you are to the casino. NORA works hand in hand with CCTV cameras and a team of experts hired by the casino. These include security pros, cryptographers and game theorists. The chips have RFID technology to monitor players that may try to cheat and also their information. Eventually, the entire world is going to be tracked by Satan. The bible speaks to this in the book of Revelation, where no one will be able to buy or sell unless they have the mark of the beast, the number of his name, or his image. This type of tracking is going to be commonplace in the last days and it's no coincidence that many suspect that the mark of the beast will be in the form of RFID technology.
7. Free Drinks
The enemy's goal is always to keep you intoxicated with the pleasure of life. This is why God commands the Christian to be vigilant and sober-minded. Temperance (or self control) is a fruit of the Spirit and nothing should have mastery over a believer. The enemy knows that the easiest way to control someone is to get them to relinquish control of themselves. The more that people become drunk in this casino, the more they are likely to stay and give money to the house. Likewise, the deeper that people get involved in sin, the more blinded they become and no longer see things clearly.
6. Chips Not Cash
Casinos use chips instead of cash for several reasons. One is security, but another one is the psychology of a person being more likely to wager a high dollar chip than cash. I can speak to this personally because online gambling uses digital chips and moves lightening fast. I lost thousands because I wasn't thinking of the realistic dollars I was losing. This is liken to Satan because he thrives on people living in fantasy and not reality. The world is saturated with fictitious movies, social media, entertainment, and literature. None of these are inherently evil, however they do condition us to live in a fantasy world instead of the real world, which is a battle for our souls. Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. If Satan deceives the whole world, the only way not to separate from the world, right?
5. Clocking Off
Most casinos do not have any clocks in their facilities. This is because they do not want you aware of what hour it is. Satan knows that his time is short. Jesus said that He will be returning like a thief in the night. One of the worst positions we can find ourselves in is not being aware of the hour. We are living in a time of wickedness and God has called believers for such a time as this. But if you don't know what time it is, then how can you function? If you are living in sin and Jesus is returning, how can you be ready?
4. Windows to the World
Similar to #5, casinos do not have any windows because they want you to lose track of time. If you were able to look out, then you would have perspective. Instead, the casinos present a sealed world, where all that matters is their brightly colored environment. Jesus is the light of the world. Anything that Satan can do to prevent light from shining through, He will do. No windows means that you lose track of what's really going on. Jesus said that if we can discern the seasons, then we can discern the last days. How can we discern the seasons, if we are stuck in a building with no windows and false light. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
3. Big Brother
See #8, but I'll add this. Without Christ, we are in a world of sin. In the world, we pick up sins, vices, and strong holds from which we need deliverance. The enemy sees this and treats it as a scouting report. Every human has a playbook of things that the enemy has used that have worked on you in the past. If drugs are your weakness, then he will tempt you with drugs. If women or men are your weakness, then he'll tempt you in that way. This is why we have to leave the house and seek deliverance from every area.
2. Sights, Sounds, and Smells
Too easy. If this isn't the devil, then I don't know what is. Casinos use bright lights to captivate your attention. They use music to excite you and keep you enthralled. They use smells to intoxicate you and keep you in the house longer. The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes have always been a major part of the enemy's strategy. This first worked with Eve, when she saw that the fruit was good for food and one to be desired. Believers are called to walk by the Spirit, so that we do not fulfill the desires of the flesh. 1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1. Hidden Fees
Finally, casinos are notorious for hidden fees. There's going to be a cost that you weren't banking on. In God's economy, the price of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. If you are still hanging around the casino (the world) and rolling the dice with your soul, you will eventually crap out. Jesus died on the cross to forgive us from sin, deliver us from sin, and pay the price of sin. Far too many people have played Russian Roulette with their souls and ended up losing it all. We see this every day in the newspapers and in our everyday lives. If you are reading this, then you have an opportunity to get out while you still can. As detailed above, the world system is designed to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus said that He came to give us live and abundant life. True victory is found in Jesus Christ. So, please understand that you cannot continue to roll the dice with sin and expect to have victory because the house always wins. Be blessed.