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Have TV Gambling Shows Finally Gone Too Far?

Have TV Gambling Shows Finally Gone Too Far?

HOLLYWOOD, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 01/06/06 -- With the announcement of FOX REALITY TV's casting call for "Double or Nothing," where one contestant will risk everything they own on one spin of the roulette wheel, the author of America's #1 bestselling book on casino gambling wonders if TV gambling shows have finally gone too far?

"Anyone willing to risk their entire net worth on one spin of a roulette wheel might be better off spending that money on a rehab program because they probably have a problem," says Steve Bourie, author of the 2006 edition of the "American Casino Guide" (

"Gambling should be looked at as a form of entertainment, enjoyed by players who set a budget, and not as a quick fix to try and double one's net worth," says Bourie. "It's especially interesting that the producers of this show will have their contestant play red or black on a roulette wheel. Most people believe that a player has a 50-50 chance when making this bet, but the casino advantage on a double-zero wheel is 5.26%. Therefore, the producers are forcing someone to wager everything they own on one of the worst bets in the casino."

Bourie cites "Man vs. Vegas," which currently airs on CMT as another example of a bad gambling show. The producers follow Daren, who previously lost $3 million in Vegas casinos, as he takes his last $1 million into the casinos to try and get it all back. "He seems to be a nice guy," says Bourie, "but he shows all the signs of a compulsive gambler and he doesn't come across as a smart player looking for an edge." When faced with a losing streak Daren often increases his bets and utters 'winner, winner, chicken dinner,' in an attempt to change the tides of luck. Based on this particular comeback strategy, "Daren would be much better off buying a chicken dinner and staying out of the casinos," says Bourie.

"It's understandable that these producers want to make an exciting show, but showing bad gamblers making bad bets is very irresponsible and, based on this trend, it doesn't look like future gambling shows are going to be getting any better," adds Bourie, whose "American Casino Guide" ($16.95, Casino Vacations Press) has been published annually since 1992 and sold more than 450,000 copies.

Steve Bourie

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