An 81-year-old recalls her story of traveling and gambling, providing positive insights into the activity.
Gambling can and should be fun, there’s no doubt about it. Amidst all the stories about addiction, problem gambling and underage gambling around the world, it’s nice to know that some gamers are taking pleasure in the activity, and do so over a long period of time.
81-year-old Arlene Leib has been passionate about playing cards for most of her life, and it’s not rummy or bridge as you might think. Amidst the veteran gamer’s hobbies are blackjack, three-card poker and Texas Hold ‘Em, everything that is allowed under the American gambling laws.
Over the past 40 years, Arlene has played at hundreds of casinos across the United States, moreover, she still does. She gave an extensive interview in one of the magazines, some of which has been quoted in American gambling news.
The grandmother of six and great-grandmother of three, calls the American Casino Guide her Bible, and frequently consults the selection, trying to figure out where her next gambling trip will take her.
Gambling and other activities
Arlene Leib’s hobbies are not limited to just gambling, she also actively participates in a number of national bowling tournaments throughout the year. She also runs her own business and took the Polar Bear Plunge for a decade in a row, before quitting several years ago. Naturally, she doesn’t feel a day of 81, and comments herself: “I’m still young.”
Arlene Leib’s story
A story of an 81-year-old gambler
•Arlene Leib manages to combine her passion for travel and playing under American gambling laws
•During her years she has visited hundreds of casinos all over the country
•She’s now taking trips together with her new husband
Arlene was born in York and grew up on a farm close to Manchester Township. She attended school until eight grade in Foustown. Leib got married and had four children, but after raising the children she divorced and decided to take trips all by herself.
One of those trips took her to Orange Country, California, when she spent six weeks on the road making over 10,000 miles across 25 different states. During the trip she followed ads on posters and billboards to find entertainment and slept in her car for most of the time.
Arlene Leib recalls: “I stopped everywhere I wanted to stop. And I loved traveling by myself.” She fell in love with Arizona and North Dakota, but still calls York her home. She explained: “Because my family’s all here. You’ve got a set place — you have a place where your roots are.”
Taking more trips
Her first trip wasn’t enough and soon Arlene Leib was on the road again. For the last 30 years she visited national bowling tournaments held in a variety of states each year. She used to bowl an average of 160, but as the years went by that decreased to 140, which is still a great achievement. She says: “But I still bowl. I love it.”
While traveling through the continental USA, she managed to visit almost all national parks and a wealth of casinos, she can’t even remember how many now. Her current license plate now says CASINO1, pretty simple to remember.
Arlene Leib says she’s still surprised by the number of people asking her about the signature license plate. She comments: “Especially motorcycle people. They were the nicest people.”
Arlene Leib’s career and second marriage
Arlene Leib is running her own business: Leib’s Custom Draperies, for almost 50 years now. But she’s also worked at number of restaurants and shops. When she was employed as a cook at PADE Auto Auction back in 1998, she got acquainted with Ron Reigle, a Marine Corps veteran. But the pair had only got to know each other well four years ago. Reigle is also a divorcee.
Leib says: “At 80, 79, it’s hard to change when you lived alone all those years.” However the pair committed to each other, marrying on a November day in 2011, in a hot air balloon over Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster County.
Taking casino trips together
The couple went on a mutual casino trip two years ago, managing to visit 86 casinos in six weeks. Reigle recalls: “Any place that had a sign, we stopped at.” The couple would ask for, and often get, complimentary accommodation, and Leib had even had a lucky stretch during the trip winning thousands of dollars.
Leib recalls about the trip: “We just loved it.” And talking about the spending she says they are frugal, but not cheap. “We don’t spend our grocery money in gambling,” Arlene commented.
Planning their next trip, the couple eyes Hawaii and Key West. Leib is also spending lots of time with her children and isn’t forgetting about work. She says: “I have to be doing something.” Arlene learned how to saw on her own, and hasn’t stopped since the seventh grade. She started out by selling Barbie doll clothes at Central Market, but now makes draperies and clothes for adults.
Arlene Leib says: “I love to travel, but I can’t be without working.” And Reigle adds that staying busy keeps them young. He said: “If you sit around and do nothing, don’t plan on being here long.”
As for future plans, here’s what the couple is saying: “I did almost everything,” says Leib. And her husband adds: “She didn’t miss much.” Leib continues: “And we’re not done yet, are we?” Reigle replies: “Heck, no.”