Wayne Knisley wants me to share: "How to identify when you've gone too deep into gambling! Some people don't see it but others do. Like those who spend their paychecks at the casino and can't pay the rent..."
Thanks for bringing up such an important topic. I've written a previous blog entitled Responsible Gambling where I covered a lot about this. I will add more specifics below.
For some people, gambling can become a form of addiction, like a drug. We have talked about the warning signs and symptoms to look for and I've touched on tricks I have used to ensure it doesn't get out of hand. First and foremost you need to recognize WHY we go gambling and WHAT we can expect from it. Ask any gambler why they're in the casino and most will say that they want to WIN A JACKPOT! Although that's fine and dandy, my presumption is that if you polled those same people leaving the casino, the majority are leaving with less money than they came with.
Setting Realistic Expectations
I have always tried to keep it real on my channel and have no issues telling everyone that I lose more money than I make in the casino (as it is for everyone in the long run). The casino has made it so that you literally CAN'T win. They don't leave it up to skill, and they don't leave it up to chance. They leave it up to mathematical equations that leave it up to fact that they will win more money than you do. Every. Single. Time.
Sure you may win today or tomorrow. You may even go on a winning streak. But these complicated computers (aka slot machines) are designed to take your money. So set up the expectation that when you go to a casino, you will LOSE. If a normal night out on the town costs you $100, then that should be your casino budget. Why all of a sudden would you need to spend $1,000 to have a good time? You could just as easily hire a limousine to drive you around the city, with reservations at the top restaurant and hotel in the city for the same price! If you go to a casino expecting to win a jackpot, you are more likely to come out a loser. Go in there and plan to lose it, yet be happy if you win $5. Because you definitely are not winning $5 at Mama Rosetti's Fine Dining Italian Restaurant.
When it becomes a problem
Gambling is a form of entertainment, NOT a form of making income. If you are short on your rent, going to the casino to make the remaining $200 is the absolute worst idea. Chances are (and factually so),that you'll end up losing more. I get it, being short on funds is NOT a good place to be. I've held multiple jobs at times in my life and still struggled to pay the bills. But the casino should not be seen as a bank, but more of a money pit. Food, shelter, family and savings need to come before all else. I personally follow the financial guru, Dave Ramsey on the radio and YouTube. He gives sound advice on getting out of debt and living a safe, debt free lifestyle. Now he is not a fan of gambling, as he sees it as wasting money (and rightfully so). But, if done responsibly, with your entertainment budget - then I don't see an issue. I'd rather gamble with $200 than pay that amount to watch a screen of someone at a concert lip syncing from the nose bleed section.
If you find yourself down on your luck, then you need to reach out for help to your family, friends or other outreach programs to help get you back on track. A casino can be a dark path for many people. We all read those articles of that ONE person who hit the jackpot on Wheel of Fortune, or that ONE guy who won the Grand on an 80cent bet (lucky bum). But the chances of those occurring are extremely rare and can never be counted on. What I do on YouTube is a form of entertainment for YOU. Be entertained, but do not forget that I am losing my ass while doing so. If you need it and are struggling, seek out a friend to slap you upside the head or reach out to your local gamblers anonymous. I'm always there for you if you need a good slap as well 😬. I've placed some links down below for you to check out.
Meanwhile, next week I'll be answering a slew of more questions posed by you all, from people who filled out the form down below. Keep them coming!!
Brian xoxo ❤️
For more information or if you think you may have a problem, I encourage you to reach out to friends and family and to visit these suggested places as outlined on HelpGuide.org :
The National Council on Problem Gambling Helpline – Offers a confidential, 24-hour helpline for problem gamblers or their family members in the U.S. Call 1-800-522-4700. (NCPG)
Gamblers Anonymous – Twelve-step Gamblers Anonymous program, an international support network of meetings to assist people who have a gambling problem. Gam-Anon for the problem gambler's spouse, family members, or close friends. (Gamblers Anonymous)
Gamcare – Offers support, information, and advice for those with a gambling problem in the UK. Call the helpline 0845 6000 133. (Gamcare)
Gambling Help Online – Provides 24-hour helpline in Australia for counseling, information, and referrals. Call 1800 858 858. (Gambling Help Online)
Canadian Resources for Those Affected by Problem Gambling – Find help and information on problem gambling in your area of Canada. (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
What Is Problem Gambling? – Learn about the gambling continuum and the key differences between recreational gambling and problem gambling. (British Columbia Responsible & Problem Gambling Program)
Freedom from Problem Gambling (PDF) – Self-help workbook for compulsive gamblers, with tips on how to avoid relapse and fight gambling urges. (UCLA Gambling Studies Program and California Department of Public Health)
Choosing a Treatment Facility – Learn what treatments are appropriate for problem gambling and what questions you should ask when look at facilities. (National Council on Problem Gambling)
Problem Gamblers and their Finances (PDF) – In-depth guide for treatment professionals on how to help a problem gambler cope with financial problems and pressures. (National Endowment for Financial Education)
Help for Family, Friends, Employers, and Co-Workers – Learn how gambling addiction affects family and friends and what you can do to address the problem. (Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services)
Personal Financial Strategies for the Loved Ones of Problem Gamblers (PDF) – Designed to help families deal with personal financial issues due to a loved one's problem gambling. (National Council on Problem Gambling)
John McDonough - "I would love to know the behind the scene stuff like who helps you with filming, editing, travelling etc. Also what it looks like when you are playing a slot machine and filming it. I always wonder what the people around you are thinking ( and how they are reacting ) when you are talking to us while filming, lol"
No question, I lead an interesting life. As I often say however, it is not as interesting or as exciting as you may think. Today's blog for example is being written at 10:43pm after a long day full of meetings, interviews and work. (I also managed to squeeze in putting together a new chair for our living room and cooking an awesome meal on the grill for dinner!)
Generally on a regular trip to my local, I go it alone. It's just me, my iPhone, phone charger and monopod. I leave the house between 12 and 1pm to avoid rush hour traffic which takes me about 90 minutes. In rush hour it can double! If I need to film some videos for the channel, I'll head straight there. Otherwise if I'm just going to do a live stream, I will make a stop at a coffee shop near the casino and work on my laptop for a few hours.
Double Camera Set-Up
Now if I need to film for my weekly series, I film it on two cameras and from two different angles. For that I'll bring double the equipment and ask my Rudies if someone is available to help. I don't like asking, but they sure love to help (and I also pay them for their time, so it's a win/win). If I'm flying out of city I will often fly out a friend to help me, ask a friend who is local or another slot channel too. I've had Slot Queen accompany me on a few trips as her and I get along awesome and she's a huge help. I'm also helping to mentor her for her channel, so it's a great opportunity for her to learn. I'm currently hiring for a full time personal assistant (as opposed to a part time one I had in the past), and they will accompany me on my trips going forward so it will no longer be a hassle to organize.
When I'm filming alone and talking to myself, yes, I get a lot of looks and stares. It used to bother me more at the beginning, but not any longer. I've gained a lot more confidence over time so I think people now see me filming and they get a sense that there is a purpose to what I'm doing as opposed to some crazed guy filming a losing session haha.
Once filming is complete, I'll have hours and hours of footage on two different cameras. I upload them both to my computer and start to organize them. (That said, I haven't organized my videos in 3 weeks, so I have to organize videos from Vegas, Niagara Falls, Detroit, Reno and California!!). Then I will put them into proper folders by days and then upload all of them to the cloud along with instructions for my editor. My editor's name is John and he lives in Kentucky. We've never met, but he's worked for me for the past 2 years and does an amazing job. In fact I recently moved him into full time from part-time as well!
There are still times I do still edit myself - such as a HUGE surprise that will be on my channel either today or tomorrow (this is the biggest editing job of my LIFE!). I do enjoy the editing process, but it became too lengthy for me to handle alone.
I love to travel. Traveling for work is somewhat of another story since I don't really spend time out of the casino to explore the city. That's something I need to start working into my schedule. I employ a manager reaches out to casinos on my behalf to try and set everything up. His name is Scott and is relatively new, but doing a fine job. I've instructed him to set me up with 2 trips per month maximum so that I don't overwork myself and still get my quality time at home with Marco. As much as Marco would like to join me for my weekend work trips, it's not fair to expect him to spend his only time off traveling and working. As much as I'd love to go to every casino people ask of me, you would be surprised just how long it takes to gain permission from a single casino. Mohegan Sun took me 11 months! But it was darn worth it and we'll be returning for sure!
The other aspect of this world is all of the social media I have to put out there. I have a Social Media agency who helps me set up all of my posts across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Every single post is approved by me before it goes out there and we work on everything in unison. The main lead at the agency is Stephen, and he's also from Toronto and a neighbor! We ended up meeting on a neighborhood site when he was looking for poker players haha. (I'm a kick ass poker player FYI...though I never won a tournament at his house!). Stephen will give me a concept, I'll approve or make any changes, then he'll send it to his team to create, then send it back to me to review and give final approvals. It is because of this whole song and dance of everything I have written above, why it takes me 2-3 months on average from the time I film something, to the time it appears on YouTube. I try and always be one month ahead on my videos and social posts. Currently I've slipped behind, but we have all videos and posts created for the next 3 weeks!
CRAZY the amount of work that goes into something so silly as a little slot channel. So no, I don't just gamble non-stop every day as most people assume. I work super hard with numerous staff members and another one on the way. It is a blessing that I can am able to do what I love and also provide job security for others. I don't take any of it for granted, which is why I'm not answering to Marco's calls to come to bed at 11:38pm, haha. Actually, no, it IS time for bed as my alarm is going off at 8am for another day to start all over again!
I tell you it is one thing trying to avoid all of the negativity in the world, and it is quite another trying to avoid getting eaten alive by the casinos themselves! How on earth can we as gamblers protect ourselves from getting in too deep? I'll offer some tips next week to ensure your gambling adventures don't get too far out of hand!
Brian xoxo ❤️
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Becky Dalton-Taylor wants to know my “..casino bucket list”.
It’s funny, when I decided to answer this question, the number one answer was to LAND THE GRAND! Now having hit that, my list has slightly changed.
What am I missing? Probably a lot, haha. Let me know what your goals are under the Facebook post for this post! There's just so much going on in my life that you guys mostly probably have no clue about. So next week, I take you behind the scenes!
Brian Christopher xoxo ❤️
I asked my Rudies Fan Club what questions they wanted answered, so here are a select few:
Leslie Pravda Grossman: When are the picks during a bonus game predetermined and when are they actually your choices?
Slot Manufacturers don’t publicly announce it, but the general rule is that in a bonus when you must match 3 identical symbols or even just 1, if after making your selection, the slot reveals what the other options would have been had you chosen them, then it is NOT pre-determined. Such examples include bonuses from Quick Hit, Enchanted Unicorn, Cleopatra 2 and Pharaohs Fortune. Casinos in the New York State Lottery for example, do not allow real choosing. It is the only instance I’ve ever seen a pre-determined quick hit bonus.
If on the other hand it does not reveal what the other options could have been had you chosen them, chances are it is indeed pre-determined. Most games involving a picking bonus for a progressive win are pre-determined including Dancing Drums, Fu Dao Le and 88 Fortunes.
Carol Leonard Reynolds: (What are) The pros and cons of having a successful youtube channel.
Well that’s a difficult one, haha. I’m absolutely humbled to have become successful on Youtube. I worked hard to get where I am and I have no regrets. The cons come from the negativity. Most of the negativity comes from other channels and their followers, which is quite ridiculous to say the least. As if they have nothing better to do than run their mouth about someone they have never met. I suppose it really is no different than a workplace job where there is always that one person who is always running their mouth and doesn’t know when to be quiet, lol. The hours I work is another downside. Most people assume I just gamble and then sit on my butt. Truth be told I end up working from 8am until 8pm, seven days a week. I’m even writing this blog during my flight rather than watching ‘A Star is Born’ which is on my bucket list! Marco has been most generous of his time with me. The Pros are endless which is really what keeps me going. The constant messages I receive on a daily basis from people whose lives I have changed for the better – those who have been dealt a poor hand, are disabled or are stuck in a hospital with little to do with their time. Holding my numerous events also gives me the opportunity to meet everyone which is something I absolutely love. Thanks to my channel I now have a full-time career which is rare for most entertainers. Most people don’t realize that most entertainers work paycheck to paycheck or even can’t survive on their income alone. It is reported that 70% of SAG actors make under $16,000 a year! For many years I was a bartender and lyft driver to supplement my acting income. The biggest pro of course, is my Rudies. They’ve truly become an extended family. I love hearing about their casino trips, especially when they’ve formed new relationships from within the group itself. Another great perk is the fact that I’m able to employ staff and pay them a good wage. It’s very important to me to always provide quality content while sharing the success with those who got me there.
Sandra Howe-Forney: Being a You tube Slot personality; how to remain positive although you are hitting nothing!
Haha, it’s funny but true. One thing I have never hid from you all, is the fact that I (everyone really) lose more than I make at the casino. It’s not possible to make money at it long term. So when I’m doing a live stream or sitting through a losing streak where I can’t seem to get a break – it’s important for me to remember that slot machines are designed to take my money. I understand how they are created and that my only goal should be in enjoying the ride. The destination is as important as the journey. It’s all about the anticipation of that big win that could come at any time. It only takes one!!
Kimberly Nolen Glover: Ways to get people to move who are hogging 3 machines at once.
Understanding the rules of a casino is the first step. At my local casino, San Manuel, players are not allowed to play more than one machine unless they hold a top tiered card. At that point, they can play a second machine. So if I see someone playing two or three machines, I usually just roll my eyes and keep moving. But at times when it is impossible to get on a machine and I REALLY want to get on it, I will ask them politely to let me sit down. That usually doesn’t go over well, but you can remind them that those are the rules and that if the casino wasn’t jam packed, it wouldn’t be an issue for you. Most likely they still won’t want to move, so it’s your call if you want to ask an attendant for assistance. Knowing the rules of the casino means that there is no reason at all to raise your voice or get rude. An attendant will do that for you.
Hope Fletcher Lopez: When is the ideal time for you to be approached by your fans? Live-streams seem challenging especially when you are in a bonus and we all want to be extra sensitive when you are filming!
Personally, any time is good while I’m on the casino floor. If I’m live, I love meeting fans. When I’m recording a video, it’s a little harder to stop recording so I may ask you to hold on for a minute til my bonus finishes or something. The only time I like my privacy is when I’m having a meal in a restaurant. That’s my quiet time to relax and separate from the casino life. I find it even more awkward when I can tell someone is over my shoulder, or worse, filming me "secretly" to say they saw me. I'd much rather you just come over and say hello. I'm harmless!
Leslie-Dave Kotula: If you hit a large jackpot is it wise to take a portion in a check or get it all in cash?
I think most gamblers should probably ask for a jackpot to be in the form of a check. The temptation to take that money and try to grow it into something bigger is too large. When you have $10,000 in your pocket, that high limit room is calling your name. You feel invincible! So unless you have strong will power, or hold onto 3 winners banks haha, then a check is a great idea. Three times now I have received over $10,000 in cash and it just makes you super paranoid. As a guy without a purse, I wedge it in my pocket and it barely fits and even comes out the top. Then you’re always looking over your shoulder in case someone is following you! Heck, even if I had a purse I'd be holding against me nonstop. If you’re staying at the casino hotel, then take it directly to your safe. One tip is asking for a member of security to follow you to your car or room. Another great tip is that you can request the casino to mail the W2 form to your house so that you don’t lose it in the excitement. If you’re a high roller and get multiple W2’s in a night, then this method is strongly suggested.
When we walk into a casino, we all have goals and wild expectations. Learn what my bucket list includes next week!
Have a Question you would like answered? Put it down below! Also, enjoy FREE SHIPPING at CasinoSwag.com Thursday May 2 to Monday May 6, 2019 with promo code: MAYFLOWERS19
Brian Christopher xoxo ❤️
Michelle Curry writes, “I love to gamble, but I go about once a month, so it always exciting when I go. Do you still find it exciting now that you go more often and for work?”
One misconception is that I go to the casino EVERY day to gamble, film, edit and upload to YouTube. People will see me at the casino and ask "Will this be up tonight??" I do not do that haha. In fact it takes so long to edit and organize my videos and create posts and promotions for them that they typically won't be uploaded for 2-3 months later!
On a typical month I will travel to Las Vegas for a 3 day weekend, go to my local for 3-4 days for live streams, and perhaps one extra trip to a different casino out of state for another 3 day weekend. So that would be about 6-10 days a month. Some months (like this one) I'm flying all over the place with over a dozen flights visiting half a dozen casinos.
Luckily I do still get excited to go and gamble. There have been times when I’ve been traveling nonstop and am tired and would truly prefer to rest at home. In those moments, the show must go on and I will muster up the energy to do a live stream or film. It truly is exhausting talking and entertaining for hours at a time, and after I’m done, I do tend to crash and burn. I’m sure some of you have run into me at a casino after a live stream or group pulls and found a less that excited Brian, haha. It’s because I give my shows everything I got. I do tend to put my fans ahead of my health and sometimes ahead of my family. Just take last week for example when I decided to do 9 live streams and 5 group slot pulls! I feel I have to always innovate, educate and entertain my subscribers and especially my Rudies Fan Club. And believe me, I WANT to. But it’s just not always manageable.
So do I still get excited? Absolutely. If it gets to the point that I’m no longer excited, then it would show in my videos and it would probably be time to end the channel. I definitely miss the ability to just be a ‘nobody’ and gamble for fun. These days I can’t go to a casino without getting recognized which is freaking awesome on one side, but also forces me to always keep up that energy. I do tell you though, I do not envy real celebrities. They can’t go anywhere or do anything without the expectation to be awesome always. At least it’s mainly all in one place for me. Imagine if Lady Gaga was only recognized in record stores, haha.
I always end my blog asking you to let me know about ideas to write about. Next week I will answer many questions posted by my Rudies, that didn't require an entire blog each. If you have any further questions, please let me know!
Also, BIG SALE of 20% OFF EVERYTHING at CasinoSwag.com is running between April 25 and April 26,2019 with promo code: 20APRIL19 so mark those calendars! If you ever want to know about more upcoming sales, click on the EVENTS tab and check out the calendar!
Brian xoxo ❤️
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Brian Christopher is a popular YouTube Star specializing in Slot Machine Gambling Videos