Slot machines aren't just the most popular games in Las Vegas, they also happen to be the most profitable for casinos. As games that require no skill to play, slot machines attract more than their share of ridiculous players. It's these very people that David A. Goldberg mocks in Stupidity and Slot Machine Players in Las Vegas. The book isn't just filled with hilarious incidents witnessed by slot machine attendants, but you'll also learn valuable playing tips that you can take to the bank.
David Goldberg opens Stupidity and Slot Machine Players in Las Vegas with an assumption that anyone who’s interested in Las Vegas will agree with. Goldberg suggests; “In any bookstore you can learn about Las Vegas history. Even more prevalent are books teaching gambling strategy.” Goldberg’s book promises to buck the current Las Vegas book trend and offer a view of “another side” of Las Vegas, what he calls “the truly ugly side of the city”. However, the other “side” Goldberg reports on throughout his text is actually more farcical than “ugly”.
As you can guess from the title, Goldberg, a former slot floor supervisor at a “major casino on the Las Vegas Strip” recalls throughout his book the funnier side of slot attending, specifically the outlandish comments and behaviour he’s witnessed from slots players. Goldberg’s book is already on tricky territory, as let’s face it, there are more slots players than slots attendants and he could be at risk of alienating his core audience, the slots players, by discussing their cruder and crasser moments. However, throughout the book Goldberg manages to provide endearing snapshots of slots players, such as when he recalls the following anecdote:
When certain slot machines run out of money, a screen will appear with the message ‘hopper empty – call attendant.’ A ditzy, young, blonde girl approached an attendant and asked ‘are you a hopper? We need help at our machine and it said to call a hopper.
Stupidity and Slot Machine Players in Las Vegas is bursting with such amusing anecdotes and makes for an incredibly enjoyable read. Yet, while Goldberg’s book, on the whole, is a stellar work, during some sections he fails to realise that what he finds to be an annoying comment is more likely to amuse his readers. Take for example, the following brief anecdote recounted by Goldberg:
When the slot attendant tells the customer their machine is out of money and the customer says, ‘that must be a first for Vegas! I didn’t think that was possible.’ (Why do you think we have jobs, moron?)
While such moments are rare, Goldberg can seem rather sardonic, but as the title of the book suggests, Goldberg’s book is largely about “stupidity”, so his brief sneers at slots players are certainly within context. There are also moments when Goldberg’s tales of Vegas are genuinely enlightening, such as when he notes how casino employees are constantly monitored by surveillance and if they’re caught slacking, photographic evidence of them lounging around is often pinned to the employee notice board.
Overall, Goldberg’s book offers a whistle-stop tour through the “other side” of Las Vegas and is an essential read for slots players and casino workers alike. It contains both laugh out loud moments and helpful advice about slot machines, making Stupidity and Slot Machine Players in Las Vegas both an informative and funny read.