wagering of money on a game of chance or event with an uncertain outcome
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Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value (referred to as "the stakes") on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods. Typically, the outcome of the wager is evident within a short period.

I know good and well y'all ain't gambling back here, this is supposed to be a Chinese restaurant! ~ James Carter
Slot machines in Las Vegas


  • The gambling known as business looks with austere disfavor upon the business known as gambling.
  • Well the Devil went down to Georgia
    He was lookin' for a soul to steal
    He was in a bind 'cause he was way behind
    And he was willin' to make a deal.
    When he came across this young man
    Sawin' on a fiddle and playin' it hot
    And the Devil jumped up on a hickory stump
    And said, "Boy, let me tell you what"
    "You probably didn't know it
    But I'm a fiddle player too
    And if you care to take a dare
    I'll just make a bet with you"
    "Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy
    But give the Devil his due
    I'll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul
    I think I'm better than you.
  • I enjoy gambling, I find ample opportunity in gambling to engage my mind and study.
  • “Gambling houses stay in business by making it pleasant, even exciting, to lose,” said Aaron. “They treat the loser like a king, providing him with food and drink in a luxurious setting, allowing women of easy virtue to rub up against him. They will ply the loser with every pleasure known to men so he may give up his money and come back when he has more. Most gamblers lose. Not one in twenty has a bank account. Some play poker like assassins, and throw their winnings away on the ponies. Winning takes hard work and strict accounting. Losing is open to all. That is the secret of losing.”
  • Gambling is risk-taking. It might be said the owner of a casino gambles, takes risks, but he has the odds in his favour, so that's intelligent gambling. If I wanted to gamble, I'd buy the casino.
    • Jean Paul Getty, Sr. (1892–1976), American oil tycoon. From his 1963 interview with Alan Whicker, as quoted in Whicker's book, Within Whicker's World', Part V. 'Sutton Place: The Rosebud of Citizen Getty' (1982).
  • Gaming in all its forts is too big an evil for the regulation of positive law. Subject it to that, and the event is, you restrain it not at all; but the honest party suffers doubly; and the knave escapes and triumphs. The former loses, he pays; it is a debt of honour: The latter happens to lose, then the condition is changed: I would have taken, if I had won; but now, I'll pay you in law. This is gaming very high indeed; tends to a monopoly; enhances the price of one of the necessaries of life; and therefore merits all the discouragement we can give it.
    • Lord Mansfield, Coote v. Thackeray (1773), Lofft. 153; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 99.
  • Take a breath, take it deep
    "Calm yourself, " he says to me
    If you play, you play for keeps
    Take the gun, and count to three
    I'm sweating now, moving slow
    No time to think, my turn to go.
  • He who flatters his vanity so far as to believe that Fortune favours him can seek her favour in more exciting ways; and her favours are just as clearly shown when the stakes are low as when they are high. The taste for play, the result of greed and dullness, only lays hold of empty hearts and heads; and I think I should have enough feeling and knowledge to dispense with its help. Thinkers are seldom gamblers; gambling interrupts the habit of thought and turns it towards barren combinations; thus one good result, perhaps the only good result of the taste for science, is that it deadens to some extent this vulgar passion; people will prefer to try to discover the uses of play rather than to devote themselves to it. I should argue with the gamblers against gambling, and I should find more delight in scoffing at their losses than in winning their money.
  • You've got to know when to hold 'em / Know when to fold 'em / Know when to walk away / And know when to run;
    You never count your money / When you're sittin' at the table / There'll be time enough for countin' / When the dealin's done.
  • Never put money down unless you're sure in advance you will win.
    • Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (1906-1947), American gangster. A quotation attributed to Siegel by the American harmonica player Larry Adler (1914-2001), in his interview for the London Jewish News, 11th February 2000.
  • That the chance of gain is naturally over-valued, we may learn from the universal success of lotteries.
  • When you're betting and you win, naturally you have that satisfaction, and the profit.
    • George Soros, from an interview with Niall Ferguson, in the Channel 4 television series, The Ascent of Money, broadcast on 22 December 2008.
  • People think I'm a gambler. I've never gambled in my life. To me, a gambler is someone who plays slot machines. I prefer to own slot machines. It's a very good business being the house.
    • Donald J. Trump with Tony Schwartz, Trump: The Art of the Deal (1987) p. 48
  • Gambling, in the ultimate study, stems from the passive, the submissive, the irresponsible in human nature; the gambler is one of an inferior lickspittle breed who turns himself belly-upward to the capricious deeds of Luck. Examine now the man of strength and action: he is never led by destiny. He drives on a decided course, manipulates the variables, and instead of submitting to the ordained shape of his life, creates a pattern to his own design.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 306-07.
  • Whose game was empires, and whose stakes were thrones;
    Whose table earth, whose dice were human bones.
  • The gamester, if he die a martyr to his profession, is doubly ruined. He adds his soul to every other loss, and by the act of suicide, renounces earth to forfeit Heaven.
  • Our Quixote bard sets out a monster taming,
    Arm'd at all points to fight that hydra, gaming.
  • Shake off the shackles of this tyrant vice;
    Hear other calls than those of cards and dice:
    Be learn'd in nobler arts than arts of play;
    And other debts than those of honour pay.
  • Look round, the wrecks of play behold;
    Estates dismember'd, mortgaged, sold!
    Their owners now to jails confin'd,
    Show equal poverty of mind.
    • John Gay, Fables (1727), Part II, Fable 12.
  • Oh, this pernicious vice of gaming!
  • I'll tell thee what it says; it calls me villain, a treacherous husband, a cruel father, a false brother; one lost to nature and her charities; or to say all in one short word, it calls me—gamester.
  • Ay, rail at gaming—'tis a rich topic, and affords noble declamation. Go, preach against it in the city—you'll find a congregation in every tavern.
  • How, sir! not damn the sharper, but the dice?
  • It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.

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