GAMBLING HELP ONLINE — The first time he stepped into the boat to hell, he had gambled only a few times.
Once in Las Vegas in his younger days, losing less than twenty dollars. Again on a cruise a few years after that and actually walking away with fifty dollars.
So Don, a former corporate executive, didn’t think twice about taking a trip to “the boat”.
He won $300 that day playing slot machines. A few days later, he stopped in again, but this time his luck with with him and he hit a large jackpot, netting him thousands.
“I was handing fistfuls of money to my wife, and I was saying, ‘Go, and they give you money,’ ” he said.
Like many people, the early wins begin the devastation of his life.
Within a few months, he had lost thousands. And thousands.
But it was the next six months that he began taking money out of savings, stocks, and finally, his retirement fund. And then off it was gone. Along with his wife and family.
He lost more than the average family earns in six years.
It was no longer just slots; he dabbled with blackjack; roulette and other games. The only things left was his house. And he almost lost that.
The addiction caused the “mutually agreed upon” separation from the company in which he had worked for more than half his life.
“Gambling consumes you. It takes over and becomes more important than anything or anyone.”
Families and spouses will try up to a point. They will tolerate certain amounts of time and money being wasted … but when their limits are tested, the world around addicts crumble – and crumble hard.
Gambling addicts are the first to tell you that they never believed in people being addicted to anything or so “out of control that their addiction took over”. “I always knew I was in control” he said … but the truth was he was NOT in control.
Addicts need help through both intervention and therapy. Addicts can also request a “self-ban” from casinos – in effect, telling the casino to forbid the person from entering their property. That is not the casino’s preferred way of handling the situation, but it is done.
“I don’t wish it on anyone. But I understand now about addiction. Until it hits you, and almost destroys you, you can never fully grasp its power.”