Now the media are just taunting us with their tall tales about Stephen Paddock, the alleged Las Vegas shooter. Reputedly serious news organizations are claiming that he made a living playing video poker. That’s like claiming someone made a living smoking crack.
The media are either doing PR for the gambling industry or they don’t want anyone considering the possibility that Paddock was using gambling to launder money.
NBC News reports, with a straight face: “Las Vegas gunman earned millions as a gambler.” A Los Angeles Times article is headlined, “In the solitary world of video poker, Stephen Paddock knew how to win.” The story says that Paddock’s gambling “was at least a steady income over a period of years.”
I don’t know all the ins and outs of Paddock’s life, but that’s a lie.
How do reporters imagine casino owners make a living? Any ideas on how all those glorious lobbies, lights, pools and fountains are paid for? How do they think Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn became billionaires if gambling is a winning proposition for people like Paddock — and therefore, by definition, a losing proposition for the casinos?
The media think about money the way Democrats do. They have absolutely no conception of where it originates. Those casino owners sure are generous! reporters think to themselves. Economist Thomas Sowell is always ridiculing journalists for not understanding basic economics. It turns out, they don’t understand the spreadsheet of a lemonade stand.
The New York Times explained that the “top” video poker machines pay out 99.17 percent. That’s great that Paddock was only losing cents on the dollar (if true), but it’s still losing. The Times quickly explained that he could have more than made up his losses with all the “comps” — the free rooms, meals and “50-year-old port that costs $500 a glass,” as his brother Eric said.
Gamblers who are beating the house are not given $500 glasses of port. Refer to the profit/loss spreadsheet. And yet, according to his brother, Paddock was treated like royalty by the casinos. Which means he was losing.