Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fueling the Crown Fire Show

One of the sights of Melbourne is the fire show outside the Crown Casino and Entertainment complex.

In the evening on the hour there's a five minute sequence of flames billowing with a roar into the night's sky to the delight of children young and old.

While its a bit of fun its worth remembering why its there - to advertise a block long complex of shops, restaurants bars and most importantly the casino.

There is a sterile, corporate, feeling to the site, as if the architects had a limited time per restaurant and rationed out the ideas cautiously between them.

There are passage ways parallel to the Yarra river inside the building, more brightly lit than that outside, designed to suck the tempted into the betting halls.

I've never seen the appeal of casinos. Simple arithmetic shows that on average you will lose money and that any short term winnings are not skill but temporary luck. Games like poker are more like sailing in that they can reward experience but to get that level you need many financial dunkings.

There is also a public safety issue as for one reason or another there has been a lot of crime nearby, to such an extent that the police want a new station to be opened nearby.

The local newspaper, The Age, reports that nearby in the last five years there has been "8500 crimes, including 1300 assaults, 174 robberies and 41 rapes".

That's a sobering total.

With that thought alas I must get back to work.

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