The game is not worth the candle.

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The game is not worth the candle.

The outcome, product, or returns of this activity or undertaking are not worth the time and resources that it requires. An allusion to gambling by candlelight, a significant expense at one point in time. If the winnings were not sufficient, then they didn't warrant the needless use of a candle. The local council considered the construction of a new power grid throughout the county, but because it would cost millions and only marginally increase efficiency compared to the current infrastructure, they decided that the game wasn't worth the candle.
See also: game, not, worth

game is not worth the candle, the

The returns from an activity or enterprise do not warrant the time, money or effort required. For example, The office he is running for is so unimportant that the game's not worth the candle. This expression, which began as a translation of a term used by the French essayist Michel de Montaigne in 1580, alludes to gambling by candlelight, which involved the expense of illumination. If the winnings were not sufficient, they did not warrant the expense. Used figuratively, it was a proverb within a century.
See also: game, not, worth

the ˌgame is not worth the ˈcandle

(old-fashioned, saying) something is not worth the effort needed: After trying to get permission to build the office for a whole year, we gave up, because the game was just not worth the candle.In the past, candles were used for light at night. If a game or an activity was not worth the cost of the candles required to light the room, it was not worth playing or doing.
See also: candle, game, not, worth

game is not worth the candle, the

The undertaking does not warrant the time, effort, or expense involved. This expression originally was a translation of the French essayist Montaigne’s statement, “Le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle” (1580), and found its way into John Ray’s proverb collection of 1678. In the days of candlelight illumination, it literally meant that the card game being played was not worth the cost of the candles used to light the proceedings. It soon was transferred to any undertaking and so persisted through the centuries.
See also: game, not, worth
References in classic literature ?
The game isn't worth the candle and I wasn't intending to talk to you about anything special."
When looked at sensibly, the game isn't worth the candle. Apart from seismic disturbances, pollution of ground water and all the above ground disturbance, methane is released into the atmosphere which is 20 to 30 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, although there is so much less of it in the atmosphere CO2 has the bigger effect.
Regarding Shakara, such a game isn't worth the candle. Chris Waters University of Rhode Island
If the game isn't worth the candle, they'll stop playing it.
The Garda squad have done their utmost to ensure that in the world of crime, the game isn't worth the candle.