Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sense...in, out of...rain

Lost everything in a flood? Do what comes naturally if you're from the Big Easy:

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Raymond Brown strips off $20 from a wad of bills and feeds it into the slot machine at the Argosy Casino, a riverboat that promises ''casino fun for everyone."

Never mind that his New Orleans house is flooded, and his family is living on mattresses at his brother-in-law's home nearby. But by morning, Brown -- a 60-year-old man who has lost everything -- is gambling.

....In at least a dozen interviews, New Orleans residents coping with the costliest hurricane in US history said they are hitting the casinos here. Some are hoping that with a roll of the dice, they will recover a bit of what they lost. Others just want to pass the time out of the heat, relieve stress, or escape the shelters where they are living.

But as much as they hope to win, some are losing what little they have left.

''Tuesday I went, and I lost $279," said June Williams, who has been at a Baton Rouge shelter after evacuating her flooded home near New Orleans. ''I went Wednesday and lost $300. I might go today."

....Many evacuees said they went primarily for the free booze at the Argosy Casino. Wayne Allen, who is missing a leg and uses a wheelchair, said he gambled $30 so he could get free beers. He said other bars were too far away for him to go, and the shelter bans alcohol.

No comments: