Websites designed to help people overcome their gambling addictions have recently been contacted by television associate producers and reporters in an effort to obtain information about individuals who have been affected by compulsive gambling addictions. In most cases, they are looking for people to come forward and share how their lives have been impacted by local gambling establishments. In the majority of these cases, people feel fear of embarrassment from family and friends and therefore, are not willing to discuss how their lives were affected.
I was recently contacted by BET nightly news. They asked for help to locate people who lived within a specific geographic area whose lives were affected by gambling. Out of the five individuals I found, all refused to discuss their situations or allow someone to interview them for fear of recognition.
Through my website, I Stopped Gambling So Can You
http://www.istoppedgambling.com/ I have been fortunate enough to meet people of different backgrounds and learn about their gambling addictions. They have allowed me to share their stories with others as long as I insure them that their names will be kept confidential. I have shared some of these situations with reporters and associate producers with the hope that the message would reach the politicians.
One politician I spoke with said he was trying to pass a law that would prevent people from using their credit cards to buy lottery and scratch tickets at local convenience stores. At first I thought this was a joke. People who want lottery tickets will get them with or without a credit card. Lawmakers need to see the larger picture. Most people who live within sixty miles or less from gambling establishments, are negatively impacted.
It's been about ten years since the casinos opened in the state of Connecticut. People are spending more of their money there and not at the local businesses and shopping malls. Lawmakers need to realize that casinos grow very quickly in size due to the amount of money people lose. The amount money lost to gambling could have been used to boost our economy instead.
The truth is political leaders love the revenues generated by the casinos. This makes them look good to the voters because they do not have to increase taxes. Do the political leaders care that the economy is being negatively affected? Based on my knowledge and experience in this area, I predict that in less than five years the destruction caused by gambling establishments will be seen. This can be preceded if people are educated and given the truth about this private addiction.
In speaking with reporters, I have also asked why they do not dispute the direct relationship between the amount of growth a casino has and the amount of money people lose by gambling. They have no response. The media enjoys reporting to everyone about the one individual who wins a million dollars. The media fails to mention that Casinos take in more than a million dollars a day from slot machines alone at the same time they report the million dollar winner. It's this distorted view that sends people down the road to self destruction by jumping to win big just once.
The operators at gambling establishments are very greedy people. In some states, penny slots were recently introduced as a way to attract seniors and lower income families. They believe the slots allow everyone to play such as those on social security and welfare and not just the rich. The truth is they do not care about what they hurt or how many lives are destroyed. The one thing I have learned is that all gambling establishments do not discriminate. If you have money, they will gladly take it with a smile.
Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT ran a promotion in which they poured out $ 50 dollar vouchers in an effort to bring people into the casino. In one week I heard from over fifteen people who actually used these vouchers but lost anywhere from one hundred to over a thousand dollars in just one visit. The casinos know how to draw people in. In order to avoid temptation, compulsive gamblers have asked to be removed from the mailing list. Unfortunately, gambling establishments do not care and will still send you information, but just not as often. During the holiday season, casinos mailed out $ 400 and $ 100 dollar vouchers for people to use at any of the gift stores located inside their establishment. Since it's the holidays they know gamblers buy gifts too, but once they get the gambler back into the casino, they're hooked once again. Is it unfortunate? Or was this just manipulation to get the gambler back?
Based on the statistics, gambling addiction is on the rise and the economy is in trouble. Is there a relationship between the current economy and gambling establishments? When will the politicians step up and help these people? It's up to the people to take a stand and hopefully the political leaders will step up and help these people out.
I have an extensive background in dealing with compulsive gamblers, friends and family of gamblers and teenage gamblers. I believe there are many alternatives to aid in the recovery of a gambling addiction. A large percentage of emails I receive are from compulsive gamblers looking for alternatives to Gamblers Anonymous and twelve step programs. Programs such as these help a number of people each year but there is a larger percentage that needs an alternative. These are people that I am trying to reach.
It is my goal to educate compulsive gamblers with options to help them beat their addiction.