Who is this person
If you ain’t just a little scared when you enter a casino, you are either very rich or you haven’t studied the games enough. VP Pappy Who is This Person It is not unusual for the spouse of a compulsive gambler to wake up one day with his or her whole world turned upside down. When the spouse or family becomes aware of the gambler’s addiction, he may be so far in debt that the spouse cannot even comprehend the extent of the debt. It may take months for the spouse to unravel the web of debt. Often even the gambler does not know how much money he has lost or to whom he owes money. How a spouse does not realize the extent of the problem is a curiosity, however for most spouses, they are truly blind sided by the extent of the damage that the gambler has done. Many spouses know that their spouse is a gambler, they just don’t have any idea how bad it has gotten. Compulsive gamblers very quickly become master manipulators, liars and thieves. It is very common for the gambling addict to have been a responsible, thrifty, apparently well rounded individual……………….until they start to gamble. Unfortunately, you cannot tell a gambling addict when they are walking down the street. There is no smell to their breath, they don’t have needle marks in their arms, they don’t stumble or slur their words. Anyone, doctors, lawyers, teachers, ministers, housewives, great grandmothers, teenagers, accountants, fast food workers….anyone can be a compulsive gambler. Gambling addiction is very much like other addictions in some ways, but it has it’s own unique qualities. Gambling addiction is the only addiction that has the promise of a “jackpot.” Heroin addicts do not delude themselves into thinking that if they shoot up one more time, all of their problems will be solved. The alcoholic doesn’t loot his savings and 401K to buy alcohol. Sex addicts do not think that if they have just one more anonymous sexual encounter they can make up for all the damage they have done. The compulsive gambler continues to gamble thinking that the next turn of the card, roll of the dice or spin of the wheels will be the “big one.” The win that will make it all all right, turn their luck around, allow them to pay back all of the money they have lost. Unfortunately, even if there is a big win, it doesn’t matter. The compulsive gambler just keeps gambling, thinking if he won that much, he can win some more. One of the worst things that can happen to a pathological gambler is to win big. It just reinforces that idea that if he keeps at it, he will win more. Once the gambler becomes a pathological gambler, he or she is no longer the same person and neither is their spouse. The person who always buys used cars because new cars lose value too quickly, suddenly doesn’t think anything of blasting through $1,000 on the slots in an hour. The guy who maxed out his 401K contributions every year finds himself blowing on dice, screaming “come on seven” with his last dollar on the table. The person who has scrimped and saved for years to buy the R.V. to travel in during his golden years, suddenly finds it reasonable to bet it all on red at the roulette table. The person who has saved to put his child through college because he never had the chance to go, suddenly forgets how important that goal is and blows the whole wad on the ponies in a fun filled weekend. It’s almost as if they have compulsive gambler seminars at the casino, they all seem to learn very quickly how to hide their tracks. Gambling addicts take off work early to get home before the mail gets there so their spouse won’t find the bills or they get a post office box or have their bills delivered at work trying to hide their handiwork. They know the name, age of children and birthplace of the person at the payday loan company. They don’t answer their cell phones. They sneak away from work so their spouse won’t know they have been to the casino. The list is endless of the ways that a gambling addict will find to gamble and to cover up what they are doing. They will beg, borrow and steal to finance their gambling. They will drain the families’ savings, 401 Ks, children’s college funds, take the equity out of their homes, steal from their employers, charge their credit cards to the maximum, take out new credit cards, borrow from banks, finance companies, payday loan companies, borrow from friends, family and coworkers, they will take the money their kid earned mowing lawns in the summer, all in the delusion that sooner or later they will win enough to pay it all back. The compulsive gambler will only stop gambling when they no longer have access to money. They become liars. They cannot seem to find it in themselves to tell the truth. They will lie to their spouse, children, supervisors, the neighbors, but mostly they lie to themselves. They know they have a problem. They understand they have a problem, but they just keep doing it. The light at the end is that gambling addiction can be treated, although there is debate over how effective treatment is. Gambler’s Anonymous and other programs, counseling and time help the gambler with his problem. Gam Anon is helpful for the families. However, once gambling addiction has entered your life, it will never be the same. For the spouse, the trust has been broken. Forever, in the back of your mind, you wonder when it will happen again. Is the gambler gambling, lying, stealing? You wonder, when is it going to start all over again, I didn’t know it the last time, will I recognize it this time before it is too late? It is always in the back of your mind when you call and they don’t answer their cell phone or when they are a few minutes late getting home. When the alcoholic falls of the wagon, there may be a lot of consequences, but if the gambler falls of the wagon he can take his family into bankruptcy over a weekend bender. Some people wonder why the spouse just doesn’t divorce their gambling mate and the answer to that is difficult. There is a plethora of reasons for not leaving, but the reality is that the only hope that many spouses have of getting out of debt is for the gambler to quit gambling and help pay off the bills. Most debt that is acquired by the gambler is seen as “marital debt” and even if the spouse divorces the gambler, they will still have to pay back the debt. Gambling addiction has one of the highest suicide rates of all addictions and this is partially due to the nature of the consequences. With most addictions, the addict can lose everything he had, his family, his job, his self-respect, he can take himself down to having nothing left, zero, zip, nada. However. the gambling addict may have lost all of those things, but his aftermath doesn’t stop merely at zero. The gambler may have lost his family, job, self-respect AND may be thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and the only way he knows of to get out of debt is……..(insert drum roll) ………………..to gamble and win the big one. When the alcoholic quits drinking, he picks up the pieces and moves on, but the gambler may be faced with overwhelming debt that he cannot see a way out of when he quits gambling. Don’t despair, many gambling addicts make it through, quit gambling and move on with their lives, but as with any other addiction it can be a life time struggle both for the gambler and the people who love them. Copyright 2007 All material remains the property of the authorhttp://www.oagaa.org/html/who_is_this_person_.htm (Source: Getting Past Gambling)
Reflection for the day
April 1If we don’t want to slip, we’ll avoid slippery places. For the gambler that means shunning poker parties and race tracks and anywhere that gambling is taking place. For me, certain emotional situations can also be slippery places; so can indulgence in old ideas, such as a well-nourished resentment that is allowed to build to explosive proportions.Do I carry the principles of the Gamblers Anonymous Program with me wherever I go?TODAY I PRAYMay I learn not to test myself too harshly by “asking for it,” by stopping in at the casino, the Bingo hall, or the track. Such “testing” can be dangerous, especially if I am egged on, not only by a craving for the old object of my addictions, but by others still caught in addiction whose moral responsibility has been reduced tozero.TODAY I WILL REMEMBERAvoid slippery places.April 2What causes slips? What happens to a person who apparently seems tounderstand and live the Twelve Step way, yet decides to go out gambling again? What can I do to keep this from happening to me? Is there any consistency among those who slip, any common denominators that seem to apply? We can each draw our own conclusions, but we learn in the Gamblers Anonymous Program that certain inactions will all but guarantee an eventual slip.When a person who has slipped is fortunate enough to return to the Program, do I listen carefully to what he or she says about the slip?TODAY I PRAYMay my Higher Power show me if I am setting myself up to gamble again. May I glean from the experiences of others that the reasons for such a lapse of resolve or such an accident of will most often stem from what I have not done rather than from what I have done. May I “keep coming back” to meetings.TODAY I WILL REMEMBERKeep coming back.April 3 In almost every instance, the returned slipper says, “I stopped going to meetings,” or “I got fed up with the same old stories and the same old faces,” or “My outside commitments were such that I had to cut down on meetings,” or “I felt I’d received the optimum benefits from the meetings, so I sought further help from more meaningful activities.” In short, they simply stopped going to meetings. A saying I’ve heard at Gambers Anonymous hits the nail on the head: “Them that stops going to meetings are not present at meetings to hear about what happens to them that stops going to meetings.”Am I going to enough meetings for me?TODAY I PRAYGod keep me on the path of the GA Program. May I never be too tired, too busy, too complacent, too bored to go to meetings. Almost always those complaints are reversed at a meeting if I will just get myself there. My weariness dissapates in serenity. My busyness is reduced to it’s rightful proportion. My complacency gives way to vigilance again. Any how can I be bored in a place where there is so much fellowship and joy?TODAY I WILL REMEMBERAttend the meetings.April 4Another common denominator among those who slip is failure to use the tools of the Gamblers Anonymous Program–the Twelve Steps. The comments heard most often are, “I never did work the Steps,” “I never got past the First Step,” “I worked the Steps too slow,” or “too fast” or “too soon”. What it boils down to is that these people considered the Steps, but didn’t conscientiously and sincerely apply the Steps to their lives.Am I learning how to protect myself and help others?TODAY I PRAYMay I be a doer of the Steps and not a hearer only. May I see some of the common mis-Steps that lead to a fall: being too proud to admit Step one; being to tied to everyday earth to feel the presence of a Higher Power; being over- whelmed by the thought of preparing Step Four, a complete moral and financial inventory; being to reticent to share that inventory. Please God, guide me as I work the Twelve Steps.TODAY I WILL REMEMBERTo watch my steps.April 5 Still another common thread we invariable see among slippers is that many of them felt dissatisfaction with today. “I forgot we live one day at a time,” or “I begain to anticipate the future,” or “I began to plan results, not just plan.” They seemed to forget that all we have is NOW. Life continued to get better for them and, as many of us do, they forgot how bad it had been. They began to think, instead, of how dissatisfying it was compared to what it could be.Do I compare today with yesterday, realizing, that by contrast, what great benefits and blessings I have today?TODAY I PRAYIf I am discourged with today, may I remember the sorrows and hassles of yesterday. If I am impatient for the future, let me appreciate today and how much better it is than the life I left behind. May I never forget the principle of “one day at a time.”TODAY I WILL REMEMBERThe craziness of yesterday (Source: Getting Past Gambling)
Reno Casino Tries Electronic Poker Tables
Electronic poker tables which speed up play and avoid dealer errors were installed by a casino in Reno eager to try a new product with uneven response in earlier testing.