July 26 is National All or Nothing Day, and much like virtually every other “national day” (see: National Crouton Day, National Rat Catcher’s Day, National Talk Like a Pirate Day), this one is made up out of whole cloth and means nothing and exists almost solely for lazy talk show radio hosts and newspaper columnists to use as fodder. (I speak from experience.)
But despite the utter and complete lack of provenance for National All or Nothing Day, it isn’t stopping VIP Preferred from blasting out an email encouraging would-be bettors to max bet their slot play and to bet a parade of longshots at the racetrack.
The company — part of the Atlanta-based Global Payments Inc, which is an S&P 500 concern — provides payment solutions for over 500 casinos and sportsbooks in America. It works with 29 online operations including BetMGM, William Hill, Barstool, and others. Bettors can link up their bank account to VIP Preferred and be able to deposit and withdraw. It’s basically a way to fund your gaming account via electronic check.
To be clear: While use of the service is free for the customer, obviously the company makes money directly from the sportsbooks and casinos. The more VIP Preferred is used, the more money they make.
Which is why their email blast is so, so, so, so, so bad. I don’t care if it was meant to be jokey (and it’s not clear that it was) — you don’t send gamblers the following missive with the subject “Will you go for it all on July 26th, [first name]?!:
Did you know there is a National All or Nothing Day? It’s true!
This year it’s July 26th and if you’re a gambler, it’s the day to go for it … no waffling or procrastinating is allowed!
Hit the slots on max bet, split 10’s at blackjack or bet on every longshot at your favorite racetrack … whatever your pleasure, your VIP Preferred account will be ready to use whether online or at a casino.
Will you be in … or are you out?
Sheesh oh man this is terrible.
Gamblers don’t need this
I’m writing this on Monday, July 12, which basically should be Yom Kippur on the sports betting calendar. (I’ll explain.)
For Jews, Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year. It’s the day Jewish people are supposed to fast, to cop to a year’s worth of sins, to hope the Big Guy upstairs seals your name in the Book of Life. I’m simplifying here, as I retired from observant Judaism after my Bar Mitzvah. (I went out on top. I’m the Barry Sanders of Judaism. Anyway … )
Yom Kippur is the day the world pretty much stands still for Jews.
And yeah, today is pretty much the day the world stands still for gamblers. There’s nothing. Baseball’s all-star break is underway, with the Home Run Derby as the lone Monday competition. The NBA finals are on an off day. Hockey is over. No golf until Thursday. No boxing or UFC. The WNBA is on its break. Heck, even the Korean Baseball Organization has no games on Mondays.
So what I should be doing is enjoying the day off, maybe atoning for a few not-very-well-thought-out bets, and re-introducing myself to the very nice lady and three small children living in my home.
What I did instead was enter a few tennis DFS tournaments.
Looks at today’s DK slates… I guess I’m playing tennis #DFS #runpure
— CK10 (@Ck10Dfs) July 12, 2021
I know nothing about tennis, know nothing about any of the players I chose, know nothing about nothing. I just know that for $1.35 I can check DraftKings all day long and hope to get myself a little bit of a sweat (I’m currently in 770th place out of 891 entries in the $1 tournament, and the prognosis is negative.)
I am a sports bettor, mostly DFS, and when confronted with a dusty day of nothingness, I’ll still find something to get some action in on. To compare: If I were a compulsive eater, and found myself in a landlocked town in the heart of Nowheresville at midnight, and if I was staying at a gas station motel, and if I wandered in to see the owner sitting in a rickety backyard chair at the pumps, and if I asked him if there was a restaurant still open around these parts, and if he said, “No, but I’ve got some three-day-old sushi in the cooler over there,” I can promise you I’d be elbow-deep into the spicy tuna.
In short: I — and most gamblers I know — don’t need a payments processing firm to remind me to make foolish wagers. Imma just fine on my own, thank you very much.
A truly terrible take
Let me be perfectly clear: No company offering casino play or sports betting, and no company associated with casino play or sports betting, should ever be in the business of encouraging people to gamble, never mind to gamble stupidly.
Of course, just your basic gambling advertising campaign pretty much does that, but these direct, call-to-action come-ons have no place in the gambling world. I’ve written about it before, and could probably make a living writing about it every single day.
I don’t, because usually — well, sometimes — the sports betting and casino concerns thread the needle when it comes to their come-ons. Some Twitter accounts are worse than others, but at least you have to be following those accounts to see the nonsense.
This situation with VIP Preferred, however, is so terrible, it’s worth me spilling a little electronic ink on.
While I haven’t heard back from the media relations department at VIP Preferred as of this writing, I’m guessing anyone who signed up with them via a gambling site got the email. So here I am, Joe Q. Gambler, signing up with a faceless processing firm to smooth my gambling experience, and next thing I know they’re slapping me upside the head and goading me to max bet a slot machine.
Have these people ever seen a slot machine? My favorite slot is Scarab (please don’t judge any part of this sentence thus far) and the max bet there is $1,500 a spin. And considering the game all but demands you spin the wheel 10 times, it would cost me $15,000 if I followed VIP Preferred’s advice. It would also take about 30 seconds. (As for splitting 10s: Never. And as far as betting the longshots at the track, well, that’s just good fun. Thank you, VIP Preferred).
By the way, I’m sure if the media relations people got back to me, they’d tell me this is all just them having some cheeky fun with a silly “holiday.”
Yeah. Ha ha. Cheeky. Didja know a UK study showed problem gamblers are six times more likely to have suicidal thoughts and 15 times more likely to attempt suicide? Cheeky, amirite?
National All or Nothing Day was made up by somebody, and it was offered up to the National Day Calendar people, and viola, it’s a thing. (This article in The Atlantic is a deep dive into the national day situation. It’s fascinating.)
And this day, according to the National Day Calendar website, is meant for people to “throw caution to the wind and go for broke.” It goes on …
Everyone has at least one thing that they would like to overcome, need to do or want to do but might be fearful or hesitant to do so. This is the day to go ahead and do it, take that first step and go for it.
Whether we make a public announcement, apply for the job we’ve been eying, or mend a fence, sometimes we need to take a different path. When other days on the calendar don’t urge us to make a decision or change, this one will. Define your goal. Enlist help from a friend or family member to encourage you. You can even choose a challenge you can do together. Whatever has been holding you back, get out there and tackle it!
It’s actually a nice little thought, mostly because it’s true. We all have something we could use a little push toward, a little “all or nothing” kind of thing.
Having said that, it’s pretty clear whoever came up with this notion for a day was not thinking, “Bet the house on the Mets.”
But VIP Preferred sought to do so. Bad job. Bad, bad job.
There is one sentence in the email that caught my attention. The very end. The “will you be in … or are you out?” question.
How about this … I’m out. I’m calling it now: I’m taking July 26 off from sports betting. A self-imposed one-day holiday. We could all probably use such a thing. I mean, not during football season, obvs, but preseason games don’t kick off until August 5, so we’re square there. WNBA isn’t back until mid-August. Plus, July 26 is a Monday, so no Korean baseball to worry about either.
Maybe VIP Preferred should send out a second email, apologizing for the first, and advocating for everyone to take a well-deserved breather from the never-ending world of sports betting. If you love something, set it free. At least for 24 hours or so.