The night I was born, my father rushed home for a hockey game. He had money on the Boston Bruins. “What a bad night,” he likes to say, cursing goaltender Gerry Cheevers.

Despite this potentially inauspicious start, I’ve never been afraid to gamble. I don’t, however, like casinos: polka-vested dealers, germ-laden chips and large crowds always killed the appeal. Lately, though, I’ve been hearing a lot about them. Cities like Toronto and Miami have been debating their pros and cons.

Is legalized gambling a negative societal influence or a harmless boost to a city’s finances? I had no idea where I stood and was curious.

To inform my stance, I spent a day at the Montreal casino.

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