GWI - Gambling While Intoxicated

Posted 6/25/2009

Gambling produces a potential for extreme risk taking, and casino owners and hosts of online gambling sites understand this. By definition, gambling is the act of risking money or anything of value on the outcome of something involving chance. It is no secret that alcohol lowers our inhibitions thus making us more willing to take larger risks.

Casinos and Gambling Sites rely on your business to make a profit. Although it is certainly possible to win at any gambling game, casinos benefit overall from an increasing frequency and amount of betting. This is where alcohol can play a role. Casinos often provide free alcoholic beverages to their customers. These beverages are not merely a courtesy; they are an investment. As you drink more you bet more, and the casinos can potentially win more money. The idea is that the extra money a casino earns from a customer's increased betting will exceed the cost of the alcohol provided to that customer. This is made possible by the nature of alcohol itself.

Alcohol is contained in various beers, wines, spirits and cocktails. The alcohol content in these various beverages are measured by two methods - percentage and proof. The percentage of alcohol in a drink is straightforward and is merely the fraction of that drink that is pure alcohol. The proof of a beverage is derived from the percentage, and is exactly double the percent alcohol. For example, a drink that contained half alcohol would have a 50 percent alcohol and 100 proof. To put the various beverages into proportion, the following comparison can be made. One 12 ounce bottle of beer is equal to an 8 ounce glass of wine which equals a 1.5 ounce shot of 80 proof whiskey. These equivalents should be carefully considered when consuming alcohol in a casino.

Alcohol follows a very interesting pathway once it enters your body. Casinos and online gambling sites are well aware of this. Once an alcoholic drink is consumed, it is filtered through your liver to remove any toxins. Once the toxins are removed, the actual alcohol contained in the liquid is absorbed into your bloodstream. The amount of alcohol in a person's bloodstream is measured in terms of BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). A beer (or glass of wine or shot of whiskey) is the equivalent to a BAC of 0.02. To put this in perspective, the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle in the United States is 0.08.

Casino hosts and online gambling site operators are also aware of the other properties of alcohol. Unlike those of some other drugs, the body's alcohol receptors do not become saturated. This means that the more you drink the drunker you become. This is the reason casinos are so quick to offer unlimited free drinks. In the same manner that alcohol alters your impairment, it also lowers your inhibitions. Alcohol increases risk taking behavior, and thus may cause an increase in gambling among casino-goers. As players become more inebriated they are much less frugal with there chips. This same concept is applied to online gambling sites. If an individual is drinking at home and decides to gamble on the site, the results are identical.

The bottom line is simple; don't drink and gamble. However, if you do choose to enjoy a modest amount of alcohol while gambling there are a few tricks that can help control its effect. Most of the tips out there are simply not true. Drinking coffee or taking a cold shower will not lower your BAC and thus will not affect the state of your drunkenness. The only way to successfully alter your drunkenness is to manipulate your BAC. There are only a few ways to do this. The most obvious way is to stop drinking. Your body metabolizes alcohol at a rate of about one drink (0.02) per hour. If you wish to continue drinking, however, and still want to prevent yourself from feeling the extent of the effects, there are other tricks you can utilize.

One trick is to eat food while you drink. Since you experience the effects of alcohol by it entering your bloodstream, the goal is to delay this from occurring. Food does exactly this. Although it will not prevent the drunken effect of alcohol, it can delay the absorption into your blood. Food absorbs alcohol when it first enters your stomach before it can pass through your liver and fully enter your bloodstream. In contrast, there are certain items that can increase the rate of alcohol absorption. The most common example is carbonated beverages. Carbonation will not make the effects of alcohol more pronounced, but they will increase the rate at which they occur. This can be especially disadvantageous if many drinks are consumed over a short period of time. Did you know beer is carbonated?

Live casinos and online gambling sites benefit from its players consuming alcohol. Alcohol skews your perception of reality and caution. This has the potential to increase the risk taking behavior of an individual. In conclusion, gambling is by definition an act of risk taking and thus can have a pronounced influence by the effects of alcohol.

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