How can I be supportive (or should I be?)

    My 21 year old son wants to take his "college" fund (substantial) and move to Las Vegas with his fiancee.  He feels that he can make $215/day playing Roulette and support the two of them very comfortably.  While I don't want to discourage his plan, and I can't say "NO", it would be nice if he could see the potential for diaster. The money IS his, in stocks, which have done well and will continue to prosper.  He would have to pay considerable capital gains taxes should he sell it.  My young son is not a stupid man, but he is stubborn and wants everything to be just so (call it controlling). I have to be subtle, non-confrontational, and logical.  I'm often none of those! (JK)HELP ME.

    sincerely, Bob/PKB

    +10  Views: 1275 Answers: 22 Posted: 12 years ago

    Bob- certainly you know who built Los Vegas in the first place!!!!!

    Gambler's Anonymous is a Great Idea.!!!! But for a month, not a week!!!

    22 Answers

    Offspring are definitely hard to explain anything to at that age. So often they think they're smarter than anyone that ever went before them. Too bad he wouldn't take just a moment to really think about what the definition of gambling is!

    Maybe you could at least be allowed to suggest a safeguard measure in this looming disaster. Perhaps something like reaching a certain point, and then making that the shut off, or only taking part of the money to see how things go. Unfortunate as it is, his view on the gambling is the same as those who found themselves addicted to gambling...always chasing that big turn in their luck, thinking they're not like anyone else.

    I don't know what to say, other than perhaps you suggest he at least listen to the resources that might be found in Gamblers Annonymous, so that at least his awareness of the pitfalls be raised. So that he hears them from the mouth of someone else other than yourself. Sometimes it helps if a son hears it from someone other than their mother. I hope some pieces of this answer gives you some ideas.


    This is what I needed to hear and how I needed to hear it. You've put my jumbled thoughts in order. THANK YOU, Shootah.

    Beautifully said!

    "My young son is not a stupid man"

    Based on the fact he wants to gamble a substantial fund away......

    Well as you say, it's his money for now until it becomes the casinos money.

    Lesson learned when he has to move in with mom because he's broke and has no home.


    He's been planning and studying for months; while it's not a whim, it certainly doesn't reek of genius.
    I agree with everything you've said except the last sentence.

    Would you leave him in the streets?

    Gambling is a strange beast . If he was buying construction equipment at "Richie Bros auctions ,biggest in the south west .I would say know your machines and all ahead full . Any gamble on a smart business is just as exciting as a casino . Why not do that instead . Plenty of people hard up for cash selling stuff ,start buying and be fair .Read OG Mandino's World Greatest Salesman and then start the adventure . Look at a hundred successful business models and follow one . This I am going to beat the casino is what I call STINKIN THINKIN !!!!

    So your son has found a way to beat a casino?  I always thought that casinos were in the business of "taking money" from gamblers, not allowing them to "make a living" by playing. Your son should do some serious research on casinos and how they operate and why they are referred to as "a dirty business".  The only people who should feel free to go to a casino, are those who are looking for a little entertainment and who wish to spend their money there, as opposed to going to dinner and a movie but....taking your college fund to a casino?  Expecting that stocks will continue to prosper?   My prediction:  Out of money in less than 6 months!  Then?  Sorry Bob, but your son is not mature enough to understand the consequences of a very bad decision.  And you can't say NO because......???


    ............because it's his money. I'd love to tell him exactly what he should do with it. The stock WILL continue to is one that will not fail in his lifetime, and as the dividends are reinvested, it just grows and grows.
    I can't disagree with you.

    Then I don't know what else to say. I think that you should let him know that you don't think that this is a good decision. He'll probably be upset with you (due to his immaturity) but later, he will look back and know that you were right...and you will be. No one gets rich at casinos except the owners.

    :( I appreciate your concern, Ducky, and I will do my best to get him to reconsider. Fishlet did some research; I'll do some, too.

    I don't envy your position. We all know that "so-called adult children" don't like to listen to their parents. You know that you might just have to "let him go" and handle his own mistakes but at least you will have warned him. Good luck, Bob. :(

    21! NO! it was to hard to maintain that fund for him to blow it on gambling. Yes, it's his money, for COLLEGE.

    Cut a deal with him, two years of trade school, so he will learn something. Then he can do whatever with the rest. That way he can get a job when he is broke! You saved that money for a purpose, to benefit your sons future. Gambling isn't a benefit. What happens if he has a gambling problem later?

    That money had a purpose, don't forget that. He has immature ideas, don't let him throw his future away and live with regrets. It's a horrible lesson.

    If someone offer me money if I went to school for two years, I'd jump on it!

    If he can not be reasoned with, he is to immature. Try again next year, maybe he will be wiser.

    Does he work? How long has he held down a job? Does the girlfriend work?

    From what you wrote, I see a willful child, living in a dream world.

    Protect him and his money. If he asked you for the money to buy drugs.......gambling is the same thing to me. It's blown money and it's dangerous. There are predators out there that prey innocence. He will be out there alone with a girl, as naive as he is.

    He sounds more like 16 than 21. This is not a responsible person starting a life for him and his girlfriend. Does he know how to live within his means? Can he budget?

    I'm taking this very hard. I was left alone at 16 with nothing. Maybe I'm not the best person to answer this question. I would have given anything to be in his shoes, don't let him blow it.

    All the best.


    Thank you for an insightful answer, Daisy. I like the idea of the trade school deal very much. His dad and I will have to make a united effort on this, and I'm hoping Dad will be by my side on this and not "behind" me, or "backing me up".
    Yes, his fiancee works, and my son has been a caregiver for 3 years. It is very emotionally difficult and demanding work. I understand him wanting to do something else.
    There's so much I can't write here....
    My parents worked very hard for nearly 50 years so my sister, our children, and I would have a good cushion. I am the only one who has tried to make it on my own. You ARE the best person to answer my question, because you KNOW what the other side of the coin looks like. THANK YOU, Daisy.

    You and your parents had the right idea. Good Luck!


    ...  Are you sure he's not just joking?

    ... I have just looked this up and apparently there are professional Roulette players out there.  Who knew?

    ... Your son must have figured out a system.

    ... Make sure that your guest bedroom has fresh sheets.


    Serious as a heart attack.
    He has been working on a system, studying, and practicing. He won't be going into this unprepared, just naive, like Colleen said.
    I sleep in the guest bedroom! That's where the bed is. :D

    I once saw an interview with a potential gambler as  he was going into the casino. He was asked if he expected to win and he replied, "Nobody comes to Vegas to win".  I think this is true. How to tell your son this is beyond me.  All I can suggest is that you give it some time without giving in, maybe he'll come around............


    I'll email you. Thanks for your reply, Julie.

    First let me say i ma still sick and not feeling very eloquent at the moment...  If it is truly his money.. let him fall on his ass. 


    That might be the "final end".

    The VERY BEST advice has allready been given, l would say listen to your friends and your own common sense.

    The very best of luck with this problem.


    Yep. It's all stuff I know. WHERE THE HELL IS THE MAGIC ANSWER!!!

    None. :(

    Bob, Casinos exist because they have to make money of people gambling. Most people go there for fun and not to make money.  Your son is very lucky to have money in stocks, but i am afraid it wont be for long, if he goes through with his plan. You and your Ex really need to tell him what to expect in Vegas and try to talk him out of it..Its not a safe place to go and many people become addicted to gambling.  Dont let him go!


    Agreed! I suggested he take a "small" amount ($2500, which is HUGE to me) and prove he can "earn" $215/day. He's driving my mom and cousin there next week for a 4-day stay. He hasn't taken me up on the offer. He'd have to come back with at least $860 ON TOP of the $2500. NO LESS.

    That's a good challenge. If his mind is made up though, he'll have an excuse for why that didn't happen "this time" and it will "next time"...gamblers logic. :(

    Bob, I guess he made up his mind. He hen has to live and learn.

    Bob! this is bad new, I don't know anybody making money out of Casino, it usually  the other way around, Now I do know people that lost all their life saving and their house by gambling. I cannot say  what you should do about your son protesting your advice, However if he choose to do his way,it almost guarantee he'll walk out empty hand.not to mention his education out the door.


    It would sure be nice if people could learn from other people's mistakes.

    There one thing I forgot to mention, You know story about the " Prodigal son in the scripture" If you understand the moral of the story,you will know what to do.

    I do know the story, and must have hit the jackpot for prodigal sons....already have 2 of them. Perhaps this one can take a better look at his brothers and find a different direction.

    Show your young son all the beautiful casinos in Las Vegas and ask him where all the money came from to build those casinos. The house normaly wins in the end. Just ask my next door neighbor who is losing thier beautiful house to foreclosure, she thought she could win also. It's a sorry road and Vegas is built upon it! It's not easy to say no but say no and stick with it. He'll hate you for it but that's to bad for him. He'll get over it eventually.  Anyway, you'll be in good company with the rest of us parents whose adult children get mad at them. Good luck and you have my support Bob/PKB. 


    Thank you, witchway You are the only one who just came right out and said tell him NO. It's what I needed to hear. Direct! THANK YOU!!!

    Bob/PKB, You are welcome. Parenting doesn't stop at age 18 as you well know.

    OK the three guys who actually beat the casino were MIT graduates!  They figured out a system and decided to see if it would work...of course, these "kids" had graduated from one of the most difficult math and science curriculums US universities had to offer.  These "kids" were brilliant to begin with. Here is an idea..tell him if he does not use it for college you will save it for his kid's education.  I like the idea of a trade school too.  (oh, and by the way, how much $ does he need to spend at the casinos each day to yield winnings of $215/day?? Does he know he has to declare his winnings to the IRS? Or does he plan to cheat both you and the Gov't out of $)???


    As long as the winnings stay under a certain amount, no IRS form is generated, so winning even $1,000 is going to go unreported. I'm like much does he need to come out $215 ahead every day? He is looking at this as a job. We've talked at length about his hopes, and his heart is in the right place. His head...not so much, even though his argument is logical.

    the casinos have hired people to teach them how to stay one step ahead of people who can "beat the casino''

    alot of good answers, good luck and prayers to you.

     The only game in which you can beat the house is blackjack and then you have to count the cards. The house will soon realise he is a card counter and ban him. Surely he could gamble in his spare time until he either beats the house or gets banned.


    He was working on that at one time. Had "cheat sheets" and came over for me to deal to him. I'll need to remind him of that. He has the money to start a business, but feels he'd be at the mercy of customers. Either is a crap shoot, but at least he'd have inventory if the business failed and could get something back.

    Good liquor, cheap women, fast cars. My only vises. Thank God I hate gambling. 



    Give money. No advice. He's 21. When the s*** hits the fan, he'll be back. Make sure he has the classified section of the newspaper in front of him with his morning coffee and cigarette.

    Where does your son think he is going to live in Las Vegas? $215 a day is really not much money considering the price of things there.  Also , the only money makers in a casino are the owners of that casino!  Gamblers Anonymous  is for people who think they have a problem. I don't think your son feels he has a problem. It might help you (when he falls on his butt with no money) explain to him why he is  broke. 

    If it's in your name, don't give it to him to play roulette. Tell him Las Vegas wasn't built on winners. Tell him you'll give it to him to buy him a car, or help him buy a house after he lives in an apt out there and is gainfully employed. If it's in his name, there's nothing  you can do to stop him from taking it. It it's in both  your names, you shouldn't sign it away to him untill after he gets an apt and a job out there.....a non -gambling job. Serious gamblers usually lose house after house and car after car and lose many jobs.


    You said you don't want to discourage his plan, but you should! You should tell him it won't work and that gamblers end up losing everything.....including their house and their marriage; and sometimes their kids !

    I really like Shootah's ideas. I also want to talk more with my son about he he will monitor himself on those losing days. He doesn't have a limit of loss, and that's a huge hole in the master plan. In some ways, my son is just like me in thinking he can manipulate situations to be "ideal" in his relationship. I need to give him a bit more history of why his mom and dad are divorced. Hoping some sinks in..I truly appreciate your concern. Thank you! :]

    You got already realy good and very well expressed advice. Good luck!

    I just want to say how sorry I am seeing the problems you continue to have with your offsprings...


    Thanks, valR. This one doesn't do stupid things and he's been thinking this through as thoroughly as he can with the life experiences he has had (and that's another story). If it all worked in real life as well as on paper, it would be a different story.

    He is about to do a very stupid thing, doesn't he?
    Would he be OK if you tell him you seeked advice from unbiased friends and show him the results?

    Even assuming he has a system to win at roulette, it will not be long before the casinos find this out and he will be banned. As I said earlier, he should use his system in his spare time not give up his job. If he is clever why not play poker?  At least that is a game of skill where he can use his intelligence to win money.


    He has done a lot of studying and practicing on how to win. He DOESN'T know how to LOSE. There's another big problem with his plan.

    And if he wins a large sum in Roulette, he'll put it right back into the casino again.

    10 years I lived in Vegas ,the one true thing is a fool and his money are soon parted . Even without gambling the city changes you and you may not enjoy the new you . Relationships are big causalities and bright eyed happy people often leave broken and bitter . A lamb ,heading into a sea of sharks . New suckers arrive every day with pockets full of money thinking  they have a brand new never tried fool proof game to try on Vegas . LOL You can see all their possessions in the local pawn shops while they live in ever worse conditions ,maybe even down by the tracks . The women end up working in the strip clubs (they tell themselves "Just for a little while " ) Never turns out well ,once you have traded or sold your dignity whats left ?? When you are begging money for your Grey Hound ticket  out of town Ill bet my last dollar you are still lying to your self saying with a few more dollars I could have made it > They all do !!!!!! Bad idea this scheme .                          Bill


    I'll be copying your answer and passing it along to my son. Who could be more picturesque than you, Bill; thank you for NOT mincing words.

    My problem with Vegas was never the Gambling . I ate at all the buffets could not stop ,never enough show up early and catch both last of breakfast and first of lunch . It was killing me . I was in construction and hanging dry wall and even being young and the hard work and long hours was not enough to keep the pounds off. Tell him I said to stop thinking small 250 a day is a joke its a freaking good job thats all . Tell him to stay home and buy some storage lockers if he wishes to gamble at least you get something for your money . You dont need to hunt every day ,but when you do ,ring the bell for a thousand dollars ,anything less is just pissing in the wind . Waste of time !!!! LOL I have 25 years of hustle under the belt no job not once not ever .So I have seen winners and losers ,players of all kinds . I have had a table at a thousand different flea markets and sold a bunch of different stuff . Fact a smart man in Vegas will never run out of fools with money LOL !!!!!!!!! Please dont let this happen !

    I would be worried that he has a girkfriend who goes along with this ,and thinks its a good idea,


    Love is blind. Here we have the blind leading the blind.

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