Honestly, we really don’t have a clue why gift cards started becoming so popular about a decade ago. Our best guess is that all of the grandmothers of the world must have bought up all of the socks and other lousy gifts, and as they were leaving the store empty-handed they spotted that Visa card logo while passing the cashier. Once they found out that they could set the gift card for any amount they wanted and knock out their entire holiday shopping in about four and a half minutes, a new phenomenon was born.
Now, don’t get us wrong…a $20-30 gift card is a heck of a lot better than a pair of socks; especially when grandma bought you those pinks ones with the little white puppy faces on them. All of you know that gift cards have fast become one of our most treasured gifts simply because they give us a chance to make a bunch of money for free; that’s pretty darn hard to beat as far as thoughtless presents go. How the heck did they become so popular though…especially since most gamblers do not even tell others they are using them to make money?
The Birth of Gift Cards
Well, the gift card industry started out as a promotional theme; it had absolutely nothing to do with online gambling. Restaurants began this trend about fifteen years ago and advertised the heck out of it saying things like, “Who doesn’t love a free meal?” or, “Let your loved ones decide what to buy.” It didn’t take long before the big credit card companies saw a literal goldmine in the idea, so before we knew it there were gift cards for just about anything. Need someone to clean your septic tank? Just ask grandma for a gift card from the drainage pros…it really got that insane at one point.
Somehow, this trend did not die off in America like everyone thought it would. There are still gift cards available just about everywhere you go, although they do not pitch them nearly as hard as the industry once did. It really is the perfect gift for just about any occasion if you think about it, and consumers love it because it is a truly mindless purchase.
Gift Cards and Gamblers
Of course, gamblers love gift cards for a few different reasons…especially the ones with a Visa or MasterCard logo on them. Not only does it allow you to take a chance at winning some truly big money for free, but it also allows your deposits to be cleverly hidden from anyone else who may be paying attention. I personally can not tell you how many times my wife has busted me for online gambling because she balanced the checkbook or looked over the bank statement; gift cards eliminate that domestic harassment.
Then again, a lot of gamblers do not even wait for the holidays to receive their gift cards; many professionals purchase them from stores on their own. If you happen to find a storewide sale or a holiday promotion then it’s possible to buy gift cards for almost half off at times; it’s very hard to complain about free money when it comes that easy.
The Future of Gift Cards
According to annual statistics, gift card purchases are not going anywhere in the near future. Our grandmas have bought more of them up consistently for the past decade and the only ones mad about it are those idiots that make those pink socks for men with the little puppies on them. As long as we have uncreative relatives and online gambling, the gift card industry will thrive in America.