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One-Armed Bandit: A Family Affair 


In Upstate, NY, winters are harsh and bleak. With businesses closing at a steady and frightening pace in the area, most people are stressed, and struggling to stay afloat. Even with unemployment at the highest it's ever been in Central NY, people still head to the casino for a chance to turn their luck around. It is also an oasis from the gray unforgiving weather. Now, there is no need to travel to Vegas or Atlantic city. Casinos have sprung up across Upstate, NY. 

My own sister recently lost her job, yet she still feels the pull of the casino. More seriously, my parents filed bankruptcy this year. They will explain how the lure of the slots contributed to their financial crisis. 

I have a unique access to/perspective on/empathy about. I will be able to explore this without condescending or simplifying. It's an especially fascinating subject right now, given the economy. Why do American working people choose to spend their money this way? What is it about the experience and environment (risk, chance, excitement not found elsewhere, glamour) that appeals to them? What drives them? How is this different from their normal routine? Is it addiction or just escape? Are there consequences? There are complex motivations to be uncovered here. 


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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts
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