You know what? Some people do get an adrenaline rush from gambling. I enjoy casino visits and an afternoon at the greyhound races, but I don't get the "high" you're referring to. Or I guess I should say rarely experience it.
I know I got one hell of an adrenaline rush when I hit a slot for a 5-figure jackpot a couple years ago. I also got all wound up a few years back at the simulcast parlor when I had a live ticket after 5 races of Santa Anita's Pick 6, with a jackpot in the neighborhood of $45,000....no, I didn't win. And then there was the time several years back when I came really, really, really close to hitting a Twin Trifecta at the Dania Beach Jai-Alai Fronton...that would have been a $112,000 payday.
But I digress. There nothing wrong with enjoying a trip to the poker room, or playing the slots, or taking in the races. The big things is that these have to be viewed as being entertainment, and not the sole activity of the day (night).
For example, my sweetie and I enjoy casinos, and going to greyhound and horse races. But when we go, we're also enjoying each other's company, having dinner trackside or taking a break from the slots to go have dinner or take in a show....a few months back at Mountaineer Casino in WV, we found out that Pat Benatar's still got it. Sometimes we go with a group of friends, and (weather permitting) we will take a couple tables out by the rail and sit and BS and laugh like anything, sometimes to the point of forgetting to get a bet down on a race. Point is, as long as you do your gambling in the spirit of enjoyment, and so long as the money to gamble with comes out of your "entertainment budget," and it money that you're not going to feel guilty if you lose the whole bankroll, then it's all good.
Just as an aside. A co-worker expressed astonishment that my S.O. and I would go down to the casino with a bankroll of $150 each...a potential loss of $300. But we look at it this way. We wanted to go out on our night off, and the alternative was to go down to watch the Penguins play.
OK, so we go to the hockey game. Parking runs right around $20, at least if you don't want to have to hike cross-country to and from PPG Paints Arena. Every game is a sellout, which means we're getting our tickets either on the team's website, Seat Geek or StubHub....there aren't really any bad seats at PPG, but fairly good seats are going to run somewhere in the neighborhood of $120-$135 on the secondary market.
And then there's dinner. Sometimes we'll eat at the arena, sometimes we'll stop at Primanti Brothers before. Either way, you're looking at $15-$20 per person for dinner. Plus a couple soft drinks during the game.
Anyway, you're looking at a $300 night easily, and the payoff is that for your $300, you may get to see the Penguins win. When we take our $300 down to the track or casino, the potential payoff is that we might come home with substantially more than $300.