When I decided to become highly capable Psychological Operations (PSYOPS)Specialist, I had to undertake a special pilgrimage, to learn as much as possible. The places I visited, the people I met, they were often questionable, but they shared the most crucial information with me. I asked all of them simple question: how do you pursue your business operations? Some of them asked for money in return, to release information. Some of them were glad to share the data free, and others just didn´t care.
One of the most inspiring, but also the most controversial places was the gambling business. There, I could understand the basic principles of gambling and casino psychology. But I was never a gambler myself. Good for my safety, I guess – there was so much temptation.
However, I met an “insider” person there, called M., who wanted to share the life tale. He even wrote a book later, called simply: “I, Gambler.” There, he described his gambling affair in detail. But some information was missing there, and I could answer his basic question: “How could this happen to him?” What psychological games was used against him?
M. was once a young successful man. He started with nothing, but his effort, hard work and ideas allowed him to slowly go up in the business ranks. His core business was tennis training, because he was a player himself, so why not to teach other people? He was good at this, and his pupils liked him.
Later, he started with realties. And he was good there too. The company he worked for appreciated his sales skills, and they commited greater tasks for him with trust. Soon, he was one of their aces, able to sale any house or flat for a good price.
His extrovert, friendly personality and pleasant smile was attracting all people around him. It helped him in his career considerably. But a large pressure was on him too. Maybe too large, and this contributed to his later decisions.
The problem was, that to be able to provide tennis lessons, he needed both a court, and a good weather. Many proprietors with courts raised their rents immediately, when they saw, how successful he is, and how is his tennis school growing – he even hired two another trainers, to serve all clients.
But to buy a court, or to build it, it is not an easy task. Of course, that he dreamed about an own property, where he could build an inflatable hall, and then he could be completely independent on weather and hungry proprietors.
He was doing quite well financially, and managed to save cca 45.000 USD for this purpose. But that was not enough of the money needed. The winter was coming, and he had still not enough money. He was really eager to do it finally. But he couldn’t, and he started to feel uneasy.
Also, he wanted to please his girlfriend he really loved. He wanted to allow her a lifestyle from the magazines. So, he bought a BMW, to be able to travel everywhere he needed for business. The time became his enemy. There were that so hectic days, when he finished a tennis training and immediately had to move to another part of Prague to sell a realty, so he barely had time to change his dress.
He just wanted to achieve something. But this hard effort soon turned against him.
The bartender girl
One day, a friendly colleague approached him, and suggested, that they could have a beer, to relax, to release the steam. That he knows a good place, where a really beautiful girl works as a bartender.
M. needed some relax indeed, so he gladly accepted. This was the worst decision in his life, he found much later.
The problem was, that this “nice place” was a bar, and a gambling spot combined. He ignored it, he never played and considered gambling as total waste of money. He was used to make his money by work.
But the girl was really pretty. And she showed her theoretical interest to M. She was simply nice and kind to him, there was something so maternal in her. It was easy to succumb to her magic. The feeling was so unique to him, that intensive relax, after all of that stress. She took care of them personally, so they drinked, talked, and the hours ran.
He simply felt so good… like never. The place had some magic. He couldn’t understand, why, but he didn’t wanted to leave. There were no windows deliberately, so you couldn’t watch the time passing.
It was a great evening, M. agreed. It really relaxed him. Next day, he felt born again. He was smiling and happy. All problems seemed not so critical suddenly.
No wonder, that he repeated the visit. This time, his colleague asked him to wait there alone, because he would like to play a small, short roulette game.
M. didn’t like to be alone, so he joined his colleague to the roulette, only to watch of course. He had no interest in gaming, but the atmosphere was a pure electricity there! That excitement… a guy just won large sum of money, and the whole bar was full of joy and happiness!
The girl served them their drinks and asked M., if he will play too? No? Come on, she said! Here, take this free bonus chip, she flirted, because he was allegedly likeable to her.
How could he resist? And it was free!
The gaming went really well. M. walked home with 1.000 USD, made in an hour! How long would he have to work for this money on a tennis court?
Yes, he was back soon. They welcomed him, as a good friend, and the girl was so cute. And that “rush”, when the money was on the table and all eyes watched the ball with hypnotized looks! That adrenaline! It was so addictive.
Turn of luck
Soon, M. was completely caught to this new, magic world. And he was more winning than losing, so everything seemed fine yet. Why not to make an extra money, and buy something nice for his girlfriend?
When the first large losses came, it was still no problem for him. It is just temporary lack of luck, he thought.
But the hours he spent in the casino were rising. He was coming home later and later, and once, he left the casino at 5 in the morning! The time was flying there so fast.
He started to be tired in the day, and he was looking forward to the night. The things he loved before were not so important suddenly. Every day, his addiction became more and more significant.
The game starts
One evening, he lost every money he had in his pockets. But he wanted to win the money back, so he went home, to get more money, from his savings, and returned. But he lost again.
He went home really angry. He must win it back! But it was morning already, and he had to go to work.
The following evening, he came to the casino really soon, decided to win everything back. He fought hard with the rulette for the whole night. He lost almost everything – 4.000 USD he took with himself.
And again, it was morning, and he had to go to work. He started to hate this routine. But he could’t stop thinking about that humiliation, and about the girl. He felt bad to look like a loser in front of her. So he kept coming back and back, losing more and more money. But soon, he couldn’t stop thinking about that ‘rush’ in the casino.
The game bill
His addiction took several years, and he lost around 450.000 USD there, including ‘dirty’ money from questionable transactions he made, to cover his losses. His girlfriend left him eventually. A criminal investigation was very close to him, because he lured money from people in advance, and lost it. He started taking credits from shady persons, unable to repay them.
But he survived. He was still young, so he started again, and moved abroad, to get away from remorses and bad feelings. But he knows, that he can’t visit a gambling place again in his life.
When a manager of an unnamed casino was asked to provide his expertise, he explained the basic principles:
M.’s friendly colleague was allegedly a decoy, to get him into the casino, motivated by money, offered by the management, if a ‘bird’ would be caught.
That beautiful girl was there allegedly to keep him aroused, attracted and willing to come back (in fact, a basic “Honey Trap”).
All people, including alleged fake players around, were allegedly hired by the casino, and they also had clear roles in this simple, but the most effective psychological operation. And M. ate the bait completely, as many men and women before him and after him. It is not a matter of intellect. That methods work just for anyone.
“The only way to win in a casino, is to own that casino,” the manager said with detachment. “But it is the law of an offer and a demand. People want this, so we are obliged to give it to them. They make their choices, and they enter the game.”