Someone on Twitter asked if I won any $ at Marina Bay Sands yesterday. Of cos not, natch!
After all, as a Singaporean, I was $100 down even be4 I walked through the door of the casino, as the levy had to be paid be4 one entered. Couldn’t even step past the entry barriers to take a look first be4 deciding if it’s worthwhile to throw down that money, just for a look see.
Even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid $100 when he and some grassroots leaders visited Resorts World Sentosa “to take a look” a few weeks after it opened.
But unlike him and his grassroots leaders, I actually threw away another $250 during the time I was inside the MBS casino, which was $50 more than i had intended.
I had budgetted $300 — $100 for the entrance fee and another $200 for gambling money, reckoning that if I could throw away $300 on a meal at Gunthers, I could do the same at the casino, which is after all Singapore’s duopoly, unlike Gunthers.
But because I could pay the entry levy by credit card instead of cash, as detailed in the post be4 this, I walked into the casino with $300 in my handbag.
From the time I entered the casino at 2.40pm and the time I left at 6.05pm (about 3.5 hours) I managed to fritter away all that money on a host of slot machines, lured by the fact that they were everywhere, offering all sorts of combinations I had never seen be4 and most importantly, I could bet as low as a 1-cent credit.
Because I machine hopped restlessly to try as many as I could — and with some machines needing as much as 5 cents per bet — I soon got hoplessly confused and distracted, as to what strategy to adopt, counting my winnings and losses and trying to remember which machine paid better.
Also, the money evaporated a lot faster than I imagined because while a single bet on a single line might be 1 cent, one could bet as much as 500 cents which is $5. Many machines had minimum bets, eg one must bet at least 10 lines, which even at 1 cent per bet, meant an outgoing of 10 cents per click of the machine.
All the incessant clicking, clanging and loud music pouring out from the various slots soon mesmerised. It was as if I was possessed and couldn’t keep my fingers off the buttons to press and make my money disappear.
But the time of my next appointment made it imperative for me to leave, even if my depleting funds didn’t make it impossible to remain, without raiding my bank account further, from the easily accesible ATMs.
Because I left in such a hurry, I didn’t have time to cash in my cashout tickets, one of 18 cents and another of $49.63.
Which now leaves me with a dilemma: do I go back within the 30 days the cashout tickets are valid and pay another $100 entry levy and possibly incur more losses? Or do I just let the cashout tickets lapse?
If I do go back, I must plan my visit better; stay longer; be more disciplined; have a strategy. Now, if I can stretch my gambling capital to last double the time I was there yesterday, I would consider myself a winner.
Though I won’t mind being declared a real winner as some woman was yesterday when the casino announced over its broadcast system for all to hear that Ms ??? was the winner of $200??? from Cash Express (whatever that is).