I Welcome Recovery and Wellness Writer, Patrick Bailey. Guest Article About ‘How to Spot a Gambling Addiction’…

I Welcome Recovery and Wellness Writer, Patrick Bailey. Guest Article About ‘How to Spot a Gambling Addiction’…

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Spotting Gambling Addiction and Determining Its Causes. By Patrick Bailey 

Gambling can be considered as a very dangerous kind of vice. To the person engaged in gambling, money is very easy to risk. He is living in an illusion that whatever he gambles now, he can easily get back. In the long run, this mindset can lead to a person’s financial downfall. The truth of the matter is, odds will never be in the gambler’s favor even if its blackjack or poker he’s playing. Gambling is thriving continuously because it’s the house that’s always taking the wins. 

What are the different kinds of gambling? 

Gambling is composed of many different kinds of activities, so this means that there are also many different kinds of addiction-related
 to gambling. The only challenge with gambling is that it’s not evident when a person gets addicted to it. And as opposed to traditional belief, gambling doesn’t end with casinos, cards, or slot machines. It also doesn’t end with gambling or alcohol rehab centersJoining a raffle, betting with friends, or buying lottery tickets are all considered different kinds of gambling.  


Addiction
 happens when the individual already believes that they’re in deep financial mess and that this problem can only be solved by risking that they possess in hopes of getting a bigger sum of money in exchange. Regrettably, this only sends the person into a vicious cycle of wanting to win back what they lost. This dangerous and damaging cycle continues to occur until the person is forced to enter rehab to break the habit.

Another kind of addiction to gambling happens when the individual joins the game and offers to make risky bets just to get that emotional high resulting from placing big and risky bets. These kinds of bets only pay off occasionally. In both circumstances, the individual bearing this kind of addiction should have that innate desire to stop risking and gambling for himself and not merely to appease friends or family members. 


So what
’s causing gambling addiction and when does it become a problem?

There are many contributory factors when it comes to addiction to gambling. One factor here is the desperate need for money. Another factor would be the need to feel high and thrill. Also, it could be because the individual wants the social status attached to the names of successful gamblers or he simply clamors for the entertaining and fun atmosphere of most gambling places.

The sad thing is that the moment the person gets addicted to gambling, the cycle can’t be broken easily. What’s even sadder is the fact that the severe kind of addiction can set at the moment the person feels financially desperate and commits to taking back the entirety of what he had lost in gambling.

And while he can gather 
massive amount of wealth from winning, more often than not, it won’t equal to the amount of money he already lost along the way.  More often than not, gamblers don’t even come close to break even.

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Dispelling Common Myths About Depression

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How do we know if a loved one is getting addicted to gambling?

The red flags and signs that an individual is having gambling problems are pretty similar to the signs of other kinds of addiction that require admittance to treatment facilities. These signs may be one of the following: 

  • The urge to keep his gambling habit  a secret 
  • Experiencing difficulties in managing his gambling habits 
  • Continuously gambling even if he can’t afford it 
  • One’s family and friends express their concern over his gambling habits 


And just like any kind of addiction, the trademark of gambling addiction is the feeling that you can’t stop even if you want to. If an individual feels like he 
needs to gamble one more time, if he is anxious over the thought of stopping, or if he is hiding this from his loved ones, there is a very high chance that that person is struggling with gambling addiction. 

Excessive Gambling and its Emotional Symptoms

Too much gambling usually leads to a plethora of emotional red signs and symptoms. Among these signs are suicidal tendencies, depression, and anxiety. In severe cases, these depressive and suicidal thoughts can actually make the gambler end his life. Losing all you have to gambling can be a very devastating situation and it can easily lead the person to feel totally hopeless. 

Excessive Gambling and its Physical Symptoms  

Since gambling can lead to self-harm, anxiety, and depression, physical manifestations should be seriously looked into. Anxiety and depression usually lead to being sleep deprives, resulting in dark eye circles, acne, weight loss, weight gain, or pale skin. 

Gambling Addiction and its Long-Term and Short-Term Effects  

Gambling can lead to numerous long-term and short-term effects. Addiction to gambling also leads to other kinds of addiction as coping mechanisms especially for people who get easily anxious and stressed out by the act of gambling. As a result, these gamblers can also turn to alcohol, drugs, and other activities to lessen the anxiety accompanying their lifestyle. In these cases, they might need to be admitted to rehab centers.

Apart from the financial, physical, emotional, and psychological damages brought by gambling addiction, it can also cause damage to relationships.
 

If you or a loved one is struggling with gambling addiction or any kind of addiction, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Who knows, one phone call or a rehab visit can save your life, property, and financial future.

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About Patrick Bailey 
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Patrick Bailey

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Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. He attended the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business and hold a Bachelor’s Degree and resides in the state of Michigan. He writes for several publications and on his Official Website – Patrick Bailey.

Connect With Patrick on Social Media!
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Summer Spotlights for Gambling Recovery! My Friends of The Arizona Office of Problem Gambling & National Council on Problem Gambling…

Summer Spotlights for Gambling Recovery! My Friends of The Arizona Office of Problem Gambling & National Council on Problem Gambling…


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Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends and Visitors,

Summer is in full swing and here in Arizona it is now moving way into the “Heat With Double Digits.” It can be a tough time for many of us who maintain recovery from gambling addiction and those who are still suffering and stuck in the cycle of addicted gambling. With the heat, we look for indoor things to do and for those with a gambling problem? That can mean more visits to the CASINOS.

So, during these summer months, I will shine a spotlight on the many recovery resources and places who offer help, education and raise awareness about problem gambling. If you spend more time indoors at casinos, your open to the slow progression into full-blown addicted gambling. But there is hope and help out there, you just need to know where to look. Even though I have many places for help on my resources page, I can never share too many places for help, information, and hope. And it’s why I came up with the idea to share them and ‘Shine a Light’ on those places who care and want to help those needing it this summer!

I will start for those seeking help in The State of Arizona!

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ABOUT THE ARIZONA OFFICE OF PROBLEM GAMBLING:

“Our Mission Is Simple: “Our Mission is to provide and support effective problem gambling prevention, treatment, and education programs throughout Arizona.”

The Division of Problem Gambling is committed to a public health approach to address problem gambling issues.  This takes into consideration biological, behavioral, economic, cultural, policy, and environmental factors influencing gambling and health. We will accomplish our mission and realize our vision by being culturally sensitive and responsive to the needs of our partners and those we serve.

We will be professional, collaborative, equitable, and innovative in our solutions to address problem gambling. To Support a sustainable continuum of services that reduces to a minimum level the impact of problem gambling in Arizona.

General Election 2002’s Ballot Proposition 202 (the “Indian Gaming Preservation and Self-Reliance Act”) stated: “Two percent [of the tribal contributions made to the Arizona Benefits Fund], shall be used by the Department of Gaming to fund state and local programs for the prevention and treatment of, and education concerning, problem gambling.” The Division of Problem Gambling has been established by the Department of Gaming to fulfill this responsibility.

Another Arizona state agency, the Arizona Lottery, has had a Please Play Responsibly Program since 1998 and a Problem Gambling Program since 2000.  The Lottery and the Department of Gaming are collaborating through an inter-agency agreement to consolidate management of all state problem gambling programs within the Division of Problem Gambling with the goal of ensuring continuity of services.

“We look forward to serving the people of Arizona by fulfilling our Mission.”

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The National Council on Problem Gambling by State.

Both The AZ Office and The National Council on Problem Gambling offer fantastic advice, prevention, and education for Parents about Youth and Gambling this page on their website: YOUTH & GAMBLING.

If they’re not drinking or using drugs, what’s the big deal?”

Gambling is not a safe alternative to alcohol or drug use for YOUTH. Many people think that poker among friends is totally safe if young people are not drinking or smoking. The truth is, while most people do not develop problems with gambling, more youth than ever are developing problems with gambling. Consequences of problem gambling include more than lost money.

 

Our youth are the first generation in our nation to experience the current acceptability and accessibility of gambling. Their mothers and grandmothers are taking trips to local casinos; families watch poker tournaments on TV as if they were a sporting event and schools regularly have casino nights as fundraisers or after proms and graduation. We owe it to our youth to teach them that gambling is not risk-free.

Large-scale prevalence studies and reviews all confirm the high prevalence rates of youth gambling. It is estimated that between 4% and 8% of adolescents presently exhibit a serious gambling problem with another 10% to 14% of adolescents at risk for developing or returning to a serious gambling problem (Shaffer & Hall, Meta Analysis, 1996, Journal of Gambling Studies, 12, 193-214)

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Gambling risk behavior is consistently associated with other risky behavior such as drug use, juvenile delinquency, and family problems:

Arizona Youth Gambling Profile Report – 2008

Arizona Criminal Justice Commission Youth Gambling Fact Sheet
Nebraska Risk and Protective Factor Study – 2003

  • Of the students who gamble, the most common age of initiation is 10 or younger
  • Males are more than twice as likely as females to have gambled in the past year
  • Males are three times more likely to respond to two or more “problem gambling” questions than females
  • Gambling involvement is positively correlated with substance abuse and all other risk factors for substance use

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Teen problem gamblers have higher rates of:

Crime (theft, robbery, embezzlement)

  • School problems (e.g., lower grades, truancy, behavior issues)
  • Family problems (e.g., withdrawal, behavior issues)
  • Peer relationship problems
  • Legal and money troubles
  • Depression; suicidal thoughts and attempts
  • Dissociative, “escape” behaviors
  • Risk for co-occurring addiction(s) including alcohol and substance abuse

Source: Gupta and Derevensky, eGambling Youth Gambling: A Clinical and Research Perspective


For Adults and Families? They can help both individuals and families with treatment options paid for the State of Arizona.

So Arizonians now have help and options to get treatment for Gambling Addiction or Problem Gambling. If you or a loved one needs help today?  Please call or email below or The NCP Gambling.

JAY HERYCYK – State of Arizona

Treatment Administrator
602-255-3888

 

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FIND HELP IN YOUR STATE NOW, including counseling, treatment, self-help, and support groups:

NATIONAL PROBLEM GAMBLING HELPLINE

Call: 1-800-522-4700
Text: 1-800-522-4700
Chat: ncpgambling.org/chat


AND

ARIZONA COUNCIL ON COMPULSIVE GAMBLING, INC.

9001 E. Palmer Drive
Chandler, AZ 85248
Tel: 480.802.4945
Fax: 480.802.4945
Email: azccg@azccg.org
Website: www.azccg.org
Helpline: 800.777.7207

OTHER STATE RESOURCES

• Arizona Office of Problem Gambling is responsible for general health and/or addiction services in this state, and may also have information on problem gambling.

• For the fact sheet on gambling and problem gambling in Arizona, click here.

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PROBLEM GAMBLING WARNING SIGNS:
Ask Yourself These Questions?

  • Have you ever felt the need to bet more and more money?
  • Have you ever lied to people important to you about how much you gambled?
  • Have you repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop gambling?
  • Do you gamble as a way of escaping emotional or physical pain?
  • Have you ever relied on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling?
  • Have you ever jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job or career opportunity because of gambling?
  • Have you gambled to get money with which to pay debts or to solve other financial problems?
  • Have you borrowed money to finance your gambling?
  • Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  • Do you gamble to try to get your money back?

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The Four Phases of Escape Gambling

Problem gambling is thought to be a progressive disorder, traveling through four phases. Although this describes the four phases of what is commonly called the “Escape” gambler, anyone experiencing problems in life due to gambling will probably be able to identify with this progression.

Gamblers Anonymous 20 Questions

If someone answers “yes” to seven or more of these questions, Gamblers Anonymous suggests it is an indication of a serious problem.

DSM-5 Diagonostic Criteria: Gambling Disorder

A score of five or more is categorized as pathological gambling, but a score of three or four could indicate a serious concern for the problems gambling is creating in one’s life.


So don’t gamble with your life like I did! Please visit The Office of Arizona Problem Gambling Division or The National Council on Problem Gambling and get help now!  The State of Arizona! 

 

 

 

Now a 4th of July Message From My Friends of The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling …

Now a 4th of July Message From My Friends of The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling …

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KEEPING US SAFE and BET FREE Over The 4th of July Holiday …

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Don’t Ruin Your 4th with Illegal Bets on the 400…

 by Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling under Mental HealthProblem Gambling AwarenessSports Betting

 

What do a barbecue, the beach, and fireworks have in common?

They’re all part of the way Floridians and the USA celebrate Independence Day! Not to mention, all three of these come with their own set of safety warnings.

Daytona Beach also has a tradition for the holiday weekend that started in the summer of 1959. Originally dubbed the Firecracker 250, the Coke® Zero Sugar 400 is the second major stock car cup series race of the year in the “World’s Most Famous Beach,” following the famed DAYTONA 500® that kicks off the season. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR®) fittingly has its headquarters in Daytona Beach as well, and the Daytona International Speedway is a landmark that cannot be missed.

This year’s Coke® Zero Sugar 400 takes place on Saturday, July 6, 2019.
Will you be watching?

Image result for coke sugar 400

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Image result for coke sugar 400

 

Although sports betting has not been legalized in Florida, betting on stock car racing is in the fast lane elsewhere. Dover International Speedway in Delaware introduced a betting kiosk in October 2018 and became the first racetrack to allow visitors to gamble on site. Delaware passed legislation to allow sports betting less than one month after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision that declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional in May of last year.

In partnership with Sportradar Integrity Services, NASCAR® developed its policy for gambling on races in order to prevent associated cheating, which is put in place for the 2019 season. The policy includes a ban on betting for drivers and team members. This past May, NASCAR® announced that it is teaming up with Genius Sports to create a live betting platform for sportsbooks.[3] NASCAR® also operates its own fantasy game website.[4]


“The wheels are turning on sports betting, and so too must the wheels on problem gambling treatment and prevention.”

While gambling is a safe recreational activity for most, those who suffer from “gambling disorder” experience a wide range of devastating effects that go far beyond an empty wallet. Gambling addiction is associated with divorce, domestic abuse, child neglect, crime, and suicidal ideation and attempts, to name a few.

Take note that it is not always easy to tell when someone in recovery for problem gambling may be in the room. Problem gambling is also known as the hidden and silent addiction since those who are suffering do not show physical symptoms common in cases of substance abuse. Even starting a friendly betting pool for next Saturday’s race presents a host of triggers and poses a significant risk of relapse to these individuals.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with problem gambling,

call Florida’s 24-7, Confidential, and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine at 888-ADMIT-IT (236-4848). The HelpLine offers a wide range of resources to help individuals understand disordered gambling and be able to recognize the warning signs, while providing referrals to support groups and licensed treatment providers for those in need.

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Self-Ban At Casinos, Stop Online Gambling, & Is It Becoming a Problem or Addiction? Help Yourself Now.

Self-Ban At Casinos, Stop Online Gambling, & Is It Becoming a Problem or Addiction? Help Yourself Now.

 

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We all know that old saying; “If want something bad enough you will find a way to get” and that is certainly true when you are talking gambling addiction.

You have decided you are going to try and “BAN” yourself from Casinos to hopefully stop you from GAMBLING. Well, does this really work? My Experiences? NO. Not from some of the personal and hearing others ridiculous experiences . . . You need to help yourself in many areas and just at casinos. When an urge hits? Be banned and blocked from Online Gambling too!

Now About Self-Banning or Self Exclusion: What Is This?

Now keep in mind, each STATE in the US may have their own rules and policies about this option to help someone stop gambling and harm. So for an example, I currently live in the State of Arizona so I will share this STATE’S options as there as Indian Tribe Casinos all over this state, so people have many options and ACCESS to GAMBLE.

Here is what my friends at Arizona Dept. of Problem Gambling say about  Self Ban:

Self-Exclusion or Self-Ban is a process that allows a person to request to be banned from all Indian Gaming Facilities within the State of Arizona and to be prohibited from collecting any winnings, recovering any losses, and the use of any of the services or privileges of the facility.  You can choose either a one-year, five-year, or ten-year exclusion.  This exclusion is irrevocable and cannot be altered or rescinded for any reason during the selected time period on the form.

How Do I Exclude Myself?

There are a number of ways you can go about excluding yourself. You can download the exclusion form found on this site, fill it out, have it notarized and mail it to the Department of Gaming along with a current photo of yourself. Please note: The self-exclusion will not be processed without proper notarization and a current photo. We can accept the photo electronically via email but we must have the original, notarized self-exclusion form sent to this office.

You may also come to the office to complete the entire self-exclusion process which includes meeting with the self-exclusion administrator who will discuss the program, notarize the form and take your photo as well as give you additional resources for problem gambling.

Please click on the FAQ link to the right for more information.  Questions & Answers on Self Ban  . . . .

Many casinos and states are also trying to help by offering these additional Ban Services as well:

The self-exclusion procedures and the self-exclusion forms are in a PDF format. To obtain a free copy of Adobe Reader, click here.

Download a copy ofSelf-Exclusion ProceduresSelf-Exclusion Form

Related image


BAN YOURSELF FROM USING ATMS AT MANY CASINOS
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The Everi STeP program allows you to exclude yourself from using ATMs at over 1000 gambling locations.

Automated Systems America, Inc. (ASAI) can also assist in blocking ATM transactions in some Arizona casinos.

BAN YOURSELF FROM INTERNET GAMBLING

Gamblock prevents access to internet gambling sites.

Please make sure you visit their Q&A Facts page about more questions of Self Ban and Exclusion, you will find it Helpful….

BUT GAMBAN WORKS ON ALL ONLINE Gambling Sites IN OR OUT AMERICA ONLINE GAMBLING


YOU need to go visit them here at GAMBAN check this out! I hear it is More Protection and an added layer to Stop Online Gambling if you already use GAMBLOCK …

gamban® is a software product that blocks access to online gambling. It offers users a secure, reliable, and affordable option to stay away from gambling sites and apps, helping those with a gambling problem to fight the urge. Check out their Informative Blog with updates and new features like this post of a new mobile app “gamban Taking a step Forward.”https://gamban.com/gamban/taking-a-step-forward/

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The Interesting and Comical Side of Gambling and Self-Ban:

Now, of course, I will KEEP in perspective that gambling is something many people do from time to time. But for others, it becomes an obsession, and they risk losing their livelihoods and much more because of the affliction, THAT IS NOT Funny.

I’d been sitting in the rooms of AA and Gamblers Anonymous a long time, and when I was in treatment in our weekly group meetings. I heard all sorts of stories about others who did try the self-ban from casinos. Now I never had the nerve to self-ban from the only Indian Casino 41 miles North of my home in So. Oregon where I lived at the time and deep within my gambling addiction. But I have heard many stories from other women and men who did.

Needless to say, many told of them disguising themselves with make-up, wigs, sunglasses and the like, all to hide their identity from the guards and video cameras and praying they didn’t hit a BIG jackpot for an attendant to have to come and PAY them out or they would be Kicked Out and NO money paid. To me? That is living on the far off the edge! BUT? “If you want something bad enough?” ….

Heard many stories through the years of good and bad about self-banning, but here is a place and website I came across with stories that are both Postive and Negatives of gamblers who self-banned and gambled anyway on Psych Forums-Gamblers Banned I think you need to read. Here is one person’s experience:

“In the US it doesn’t work well. My wife signed the self-exclusion in all local casinos but she is able to play in all of them. One time she was playing, I told security that how come they let her plays when she signed self-exclusion, they immediately kicked her out. But casinos are businesses, and none of them will say no to FREE money. There is no real penalty for letting people who self-excluded play so why should they enforce it? I was considering suing them but all lawyers I contacted said that I can’t win.”

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I hope you have found this all to be helpful information and informative. I know I have never written and shared much on Self-Banning and find it interesting. I think for my own recovery, it most likely would NOT have helped me as I am a type of person that would find another way to “Get What I Want.” I have heard of self-ban stories that backfired as some horror stories in the rooms as well.

Having access to NO MONEY to a gambler can make them turn to criminal acts after the pawning all that was valuable and CRIME came next as I heard some stories about this as well.

I DO have my own personal experience form crime as I wrote about it in my current book, “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.” And part of the title of my Memoir: “Confessions” was my way of taking accountability and ownership of the poor choice I made and the people I had hurt when I was gambling and deep within my disease.

We are only “as sick as our SECRETS” –so I wrote and shared almost all of what I’d DONE in a public forum within my book to hopefully help others, may they learn just how far this cunning, sick and progressive addiction will take you!

Here are some signs to look for if you suspect a loved one may have a gambling problem. Visit my friend’s page at  Addictions.com for more information and helpful treatment and support options …

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Any addiction causes highs and lows in a person, and gambling addiction is no exception. According to the NLM, here are some psychological signs of gambling addiction:

  • “Feeling bad after you gamble, but not quitting”
  • Feeling guilty for spending time away from your family or hurting them, but not quitting
  • “Always thinking about gambling”
  • Believing that gambling is not a problem for you, or avoiding thinking about how much time and money you actually spend on gambling

Gambling addiction does become a compulsion, and it is easier not to think about it than it is to soberly consider the repercussions of gambling on your life. Addictions.com



~Catherine Lyon

Honored 2 Be Chosen Another Year! my Recovery Blog Is In “The Top 25 Gambling Addiction Recovery Blogs” By FeedSpot…

Honored 2 Be Chosen Another Year! my Recovery Blog Is In “The Top 25 Gambling Addiction Recovery Blogs” By FeedSpot…

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It is not every day we get a little “hug” and affirmation of being a loud advocate about gambling addiction and problem gambling. When first started my gambling recovery blog, It was to just share how I was working my recovery from full-blown gambling addiction. Share what it was like, how it devastated my life and me and my husbands financial future. It almost cost me my life twice with two failed suicides as I was also suffering from many mental health disorders that went undiagnosed since childhood.

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In fact, after my first suicide attempt, and then a long stay in an addiction/mental health crisis center after leaving the hospital, both my primary Doctor and the center Psychiatrist agreed I was suffering from high mania, anxiety, severe depression, PTSD, and a few other disorders.  All the symptoms came to the surface while deep in my gambling addiction. So much so that right before my downward spiral I began to abuse alcohol in the last 4 months prior to my crash and burn first failed suicide attempt. That was how out of control I was and some of it I don’t even remember to this day.

So now, I am a dually-diagnosed woman maintaining recovery. I am proud to blog my journey, share what I have been through in hopes of helping as many as I can who are stuck in the insane “Cycle” of this addiction and disease. And why I am honored and proud to share that my “Little Gambling Recovery Blog” had been chosen again as a “Top 25 Gambling Addiction Website and Blog” sharing my story, my recovery, HOPE, and helpful resources to many …I came in at #5 this year and very proud of this accomplishment. WHY? Because it is vital to “Raising Awareness, Educate the Public, and let others know who may have a gambling problem that they can recover without SHAME or Stigma … PLEASE VISIT To See Announcement: “Feedspot Top 25 Gambling Recovery Blogs.”

“Our Past Does Not Define Who We Are and Can Be From Gambling!”

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Top 25 Gambling Addiction Blogs & Websites For Gambling Addicts in 2019

 

5. Recovery Starts Here – Gambling Addiction

Recovery Starts Here - Gambling AddictionArizona, USA About Blog Recovery Starts Here is a Bet Free, Sober, & Clean Blog Sharing Hope in Recovery One Day at a Time written by Catherine Townsend-Lyon.
Frequency about 2 post per month.
Blog catherinelyonaddictedtodimes..
Facebook fans n/a. Twitter followers 4,652.
Book “Addicted To Dimes: Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat”
on

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catherine-townsend-lyon

My Book Now on Amazon!

No Math Required …Slots, Wheels, and Dice Are Checked By Gaming Commissions. But Slots? Those Are Set and Programed. “House Always Wins.”

No Math Required …Slots, Wheels, and Dice Are Checked By Gaming Commissions. But Slots? Those Are Set and Programed. “House Always Wins.”

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I always love sharing articles that help educate and inform the public about gambling. Especially about Slots and when they are in-depth and sharing knowledge of just how slot machines and other games are checked, monitored, and set and articles like this one give an inside look at how they work. “Their Secrets Perhaps?”

They do give some of the secrets of how the machines “workings” so those who may have a problem with gambling can KNOW THE TRUTH of how those slots are first, an electronic machine, how they can be set and programmed and changed at any given day, so why would you TRUST a piece of metal that can also trip up and NOT PAY OUT or HIT A JACKPOT AND NOT PSY due to a glitch? Sound trusting to you?

Then why sit for hours and jam a bunch of money in one?

Maybe before you go to a casino or dabble on a State Lottery video poker machine, read this article first by “The Boston Globe” Courtesy of and written by By Joshua Miller Globe StaffJune 9, 2019.

Being aware and educated is important for any consumer and gambler.

Like I always say, I don’t think gambling needs to be banned, as that would not be fair to those who can gamble for ALL THE RIGHT Reasons. Just Gamble Responsibly …And let others out here know many of us cannot and more expansion of Casinos opening is more tempting and could be a source for a Possible Relapse. ENOUGH ALREADY …

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Kris Kaczowski worked among slot machines in a gaming lab at the state’s gambling commission offices in Boston. (DAVID L. RYAN/GLOBE STAFF)
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Wynn Resorts won a fierce battle for a Boston-area casino license, survived a near-catastrophic scandal involving its founder, and weathered immense public scrutiny over whether it would sell its $2.6 billion Everett casino resort.

Now Encore Boston Harbor is poised to clear a final, smaller hurdle to opening its doors on June 23. Call it the Kris Kaczowski test.

Kaczowski and other agents from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission are in the final stages of physically and digitally inspecting the casino’s 143 table games and its 3,158 slot machines to make sure they comply with regulations and have not been tampered with.

On the table games, they make sure the roulette wheels are balanced and the dice are “razor-edge” so they catch the felt of the craps tables.

On the slots, they verify that the currency readers properly scan inserted cash, check that each machine is sending information back to the state’s gaming operations center so officials can constantly monitor the action and the state’s 25 percent take, and inspect the protective housing around the computer chip that sets the odds.

“This is the brains of the machine,” Kaczowski, a former casino surveillance supervisor, said recently. He jiggled the lock on a pale gray metal box filled with computer parts inside the guts of a Money Rain Deluxe slot machine that was blinking blue and white at the state’s gaming lab in downtown Boston, filled with test models identical to the ones on the Everett casino floor.

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Kris Kaczowski looked over a machine at the state gambling commission’s lab in Boston. In addition to checking the mechanical operations of machines, inspectors conduct digital audits.

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Above, Kris Kaczowski looked over a machine at the state gambling commission’s lab in Boston. In addition to checking the mechanical operations of machines, inspectors conduct digital audits.


Inside the windowless room filled with hypnotizing slots (“576 ways to win!”), Kaczowski whipped through the process agents have completed again and again in Everett in recent weeks — and at the MGM casino in Springfield, before it opened last year.

“Beyond the physical check, inspectors conduct a digital audit.”

Kaczowski tapped a screen on one slot machine and brought up an array of settings and numbers, from the theme to the game’s “return to player” — the key metric of how much of the money played will be returned to gamblers over the life of the game. State regulations require that it is at least 80 percent, but casinos will usually set it much higher than that, somewhere around 90 percent, to keep gamblers coming back for more.

Bruce E. Band, who oversees the state’s 33 gaming agents, explained that the life cycle of a machine could be perhaps 2 million pulls. So a patron who sits at a machine all night and comes away empty-handed isn’t being bilked — just getting a run of bad luck.

“That’s what most people don’t understand,” Band, a longtime gaming enforcement official formerly of New Jersey, explained with a laugh. “You say 80 percent. ‘Oh, I played $300 and I didn’t get anything back!’ Well, that [machine] might take a year to go through that.”

Agents make sure slots are programmed to follow federal and state guidelines, such as locking up a machine when someone wins $1,200 or more on a single pull, to ensure the winner fills out paperwork reporting the winnings before collecting the cash. The machines are also programmed to flag a gaming agent when — ding! ding! ding! — a patron hits the big one, a jackpot of $75,000 or more.

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In those $75,000-or-more joyful moments, Kaczowski or a colleague will make sure the machine hasn’t been tampered with and check state records to ensure the winner doesn’t owe any back taxes or child support before making off with the winnings. After more than 12 weeks of checking slots and table games, state officials said the Encore should get the all-clear on the gaming machines Monday.

Wynn Resorts chief executive Matt Maddox said he is “pleased with the strong working relationship we have with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and staff.”

“As the terrific new team at Encore works to obtain the final sets of approvals necessary for us to open the first five-star gaming resort in New England, our company’s positive partnership with the MGC makes it clear to me we will achieve our opening date of June 23,” he said in a statement.

There will always be at least one Gaming Commission agent at the Encore, which will be open 24 hours a day. That will allow the commission to keep an eye out for people trying to clean up dirty money.

“This will give us notifications if we feel somebody is money laundering,” Band said. “So if, let’s say you’re at the machine and you just put bills in, maybe pull the handle once and cash out, it sends a text to my gaming agents on the floor.”

Agents will then watch to determine if the person is simply a quirky gambler or someone trying to make, say, drug-dealing profits look like gambling winnings. Mr. Band said if it seems to be the latter, agents will hand off the investigation to the State Police.

And then there’s the Gaming Commission’s own surveillance system inside Encore, which Band didn’t describe in depth except to say it’s high-definition.

How high-definition, exactly?  He smiled.

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(My opinion is? He smiled because he knows how much $$$$$$$ they will be PROFITING)  Advocate, Catherine Lyon …

Gambling Recovery Ramblings. It Can Be Challenging In Early Recovery. Nun’s Accused of Embezzlement To Gamble?

I have been so busy of late trying to keep up with where “Big Jim” is and where he is biking to next, that it has been a long while since I shared myself and some interesting news I have found about or read about gambling recovery. A while I added back my recovery blog on two different new sites called Feedspot and Tumblr.

They share my posts on the sites automatic so I can help and reach more people, those struggling with or new to recovery. I blog as well so others know they are not alone recovering from this cunning addiction.

I find many times we all seem to face the same challenges in early recovery from this disease. Even though have been working my recovery for many years, doesn’t mean I don’t forget my own relapses and treatment program “Do Overs”…

I still remember the early days when triggers, urges, and cravings would win over my will and desire to stay in recovery and stop gambling. We never should forget where we were and where we came from in order to enjoy life and where we are today maintaining recovery. 

Here are some Anonymous comments from people who are trying to recover from addicted gambling. I am sharing so that others may know and be informed about how hard it is and the struggles and areas that are hard to come to grips with. It sure does feel like you are “Gripped By Gambling” in early recovery! Also an article about two Calif. Nun’s Steal Money to Gamble in Las Vegas! WOW!

That just shows that when you become a problem gambler, you then cross the line to a full-blown addiction, the disease will slowly progress to the point that when the money runs out? You then steal, lie, and cheat to get money to continue feeding the addiction …

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FEEDSPOT GAMBLING FORUM COMMENTS: How Challenging Staying Away From GAMBLING …
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“I feel the more we openly talk about the hatred for gambling the quicker we can retrain our brains fully into healing.  Gambling causes misery and darkness. There is nothing good that comes out of gambling. Gambling highjacks our brain.

When we win, we lose. We when lose, we lose. We hide, cry inside and kill our emotional feelings to the world. We can not be happy until we have lost it all.

We love the challenge of finding money to gamble with no matter how far behind in life that takes us.  We will not gamble today, we will not gamble anymore.”

ANOTHER:  “I just wanted to express myself that I’m happy you guys are here to give warming messages to make me understand what gambling can do to a person. It took so many years from me even though I’m only 26. I lost so many chances to take boy trips to other countries and build up my life. It feels kinda bad to be so low but at the same time awesome because it gave me life experience.

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ANOTHER:  
I relapsed!  Trigger Warning!

And got lucky. I won a fairly big amount of money for me, especially as a student. I started with a deposit of $100, lost that, then deposited more, and you get the picture. Then I finally won my deposits back and then some. Then lost it all!

I’ve been doing pretty good just staying away from gambling, but I’ve noticed I’ve definitely got an easily addicted mind, be it gambling, snus, alcohol, etc. If I stay away from gambling I’ll use a disk of snus a day, or go out to drink with friends.

Now I’ve once again locked out of online casinos but I always seem to come back somehow, by either circumventing the block or just finding a new casino.

I’ve edited my flair, I had a good run of 155 days clean but now I’m back at square ONE!  Here Is To new beginnings!
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ONE MORE: “I am sick, ashamed, and so disgusted in myself. I have no one to blame but myself. My boyfriend doesn’t gamble, but he does try to see make light of the issue (i.e I’m lucky that I don’t have to pay for rent, etc).

It all started a month ago as entertainment, but I’ve been going every weekend with my boyfriend ever since I had a big win in January. I promised that I wouldn’t become addicted, but that failed.

I got sucked way too into it and figured that I was in too deep anyway last night. To think I could have spent some of that money lost towards something more beneficial, like auto or student loans. I feel horrible.

I’m looking at my bank statement of all the withdrawals I made. I feel like shit. This is totally unacceptable!! I’m going try to put that addiction-feeling towards working on myself. SO wish me luck.

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Showgirls at the Welcome Sign - 8-15-07

Showgirls at the Welcome Sign

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((An internal investigation at St. James Catholic School in Torrance, Calif., found that two nuns who worked there misappropriated a substantial amount of money for personal use over a period of years.  ImageCredit Scott Varley/Digital First Media, via Torrance Daily Breeze, via Getty Images))

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Two longtime nuns at St. James Catholic School in Torrance allegedly embezzled as much as $500,000 in tuition, fees, and donations, perhaps spending some of the money on trips and gambling at casinos while telling parents the school was operating on a shoestring budget, officials and parents said.

The figure represents only what auditors have been able to trace in six years’ of bank records and might not include other cash transactions, officials from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles told parents and alumni at a meeting Monday night at St. James Catholic Church in Redondo Beach. An audio recording of the two-hour meeting was obtained by the Southern California News Group.

The apparent scandal came to light last week when the church’s small, K-8 school announcedthat it had notified police that Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper, and Sister Lana Chang, who both had retired earlier this year, were “involved in the personal use of a substantial amount of school funds.” But the nuns had expressed remorse, and the archdiocese and the church were not pursuing criminal charges.

Kreuper was the school’s principal, and Chang taught there.

The revelation comes four years after a car struck and killed four people as they left a Christmas concert at the church, including a 6-year-old boy.

Michael Meyers, the church’s monsignor, told the crowd of a few hundred people that the archdiocese launched an internal investigation six months ago after the organization performed a standard audit of procedures ahead of Kreuper’s retirement after 28 years at the school.

Around the same time, Meyers said, a family happened to request a copy of a check made out to the school, and the staff noticed it had been deposited in a bank account other than the schools.

That’s when Kreuper became “very nervous and very anxious” about the upcoming financial review and requested that the staff alter records, the monsignor said. Meyers said he alerted an archdiocese internal auditor performing the review that “something was off” and that the auditor confirmed his suspicions.

The archdiocese then hired an independent forensic auditor for a deeper review.

Without the red flags raised by the check, Kreuper’s “strange” behavior and a tip made to an archdiocese ethics hotline, officials said the school would never have known about the problem.

The improper use of the funds had been going on for at least 10 years, Meyers said. The parish and the school have always run in the black, so it appears no one had suspicions.

“The systems that were set up were dividing people, so nobody knew what was happening,” Meyers said.

A retired FBI agent hired by the archdiocese interviewed school staffers and the nuns.

“When he was talking to Sister Mary Margaret, she did acknowledge that she had been taking all the money, so that’s not a question,” Meyers said.

He said no other staff members are suspected of wrongdoing, but a bookkeeper who was unaware of the long-running scheme has voluntarily taken a leave of absence to preserve the integrity of the investigation.

Funds raised by the school’s nonprofit education foundation were not affected, officials said.

Auditors told parents the “long forgotten” church bank account was opened in 1997 and that bank records before 2012 no longer exist. Only Kreuper and Chang knew about the account, they said.

They described a system in which Kreuper handled all checks made out to the school for tuition and fees before handing them over to bookkeeping staff for processing. The principal allegedly withheld some of the checks and deposited them into the other account, endorsing the back with a stamp that read, “St. James Convent” instead of “St. James School.”

The sisters used a majority of the money for “personal gain,” officials said, though some of it was “recycled” back to the school.

Meyers said the money would have ended up in the school’s reserve funds.

The sisters expressed deep remorse, officials said.

The archdiocese is cooperating with Torrance police, but is unwilling to be a “complaining party,” archdiocese lawyer Marge Graf told parents. She said the decision was made because the nuns’ order, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, has agreed to pay the school full restitution and impose “severe sanctions” on Kreuper and Chang.

When a parent asked what the money was spent on, the attorney said: “We do know that they had a pattern of going on trips, we do know they had a pattern of going to casinos, and the reality is, they used the account as their personal account.”

The nuns, described by many as best friends, have been removed from ministry, according to a letter from the order read aloud during the meeting. Meyers said they have been moved to separate convents. Church officials did not say whether the order’s restitution agreement hinged on the archdiocese not pursuing criminal charges.

Meyers and other officials pledged to make changes to prevent abuse in the future, noting that new principal Noreen Maricich has implemented an online payment system for tuition that draws funds directly from parents’ bank accounts.

Reactions in the stunned crowd ranged from disappointment and anger to calls for forgiveness.

Many parents were outraged with the decision not to press charges, with some remarking that if the nuns were lay people, they would certainly be in jail. Others called for the restitution to be used to give teachers pay raises and for expenses they said Kreuper claimed the school could not afford, such as awnings for an outdoor eating area.

Jack Alexander of Redondo Beach said in an interview with the Southern California News Group that he and other parents are considering banding together to act as a complaining party to Torrance police themselves. But without cooperation from the archdiocese, he is doubtful the effort would lead to prosecution.

“We were an ATM, and people know it and they won’t ask for justice,” Alexander said.

The approach sends the wrong message to students, he said, that money is more important than morals.

“They are trying to recapture money, not get justice,” Alexander said.

Paul Eakins, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors have not been presented with a case yet from Torrance police. Sgt. Ronald Harris said police will confer at some point with the District Attorney’s Office.

“Our office doesn’t decline to charge simply because the victim’s future cooperation is problematical,” Eakins said. “However, if a victim is not presently cooperating, we may consider that as a factor in determining whether a case can be successfully prosecuted.”

Many in attendance questioned how the school could claim in a parent letter that the embezzlement did not affect the students’ education, and they criticized officials for hesitating at first to reveal the full, six-figure estimate. Some have called on Meyers to resign.

Denise Sur, a longtime St. James parishioner who put four children through the school and spoke at the meeting, said in an interview that she was disappointed that details were not provided immediately.

“The archdiocese and our parish leadership have to be held accountable for the poor process as well as what occurred,” she said.

Tony Liakos, a parent who also spoke at the meeting, said in an interview that the news is another blow to a church community still reeling from that tragic crash in December 2014. It’s a good school, he said, and he doesn’t want its attributes to be overshadowed by these two incidents.

“The biggest thing is I’d prefer to see this not hurt the school more than it already has,” he said in an interview.

Samantha Pierce, a Torrance resident who has attended St. James for more than 30 years and whose son graduated from the school, said the controversy underscores a failure of church leadership. Only a police investigation can be trusted, she said.

“They convicted the sisters before they actually have the facts on hand, that is the thing that disturbed me the most,” Pierce said.

She expressed skepticism that the nuns acted maliciously, even given their apparent admissions of guilt.

Kreuper was known to forgive tuition debt and offer assistance to families experiencing financial hardships, Pierce said, and she took trips to Las Vegas because she visited a friend from a Catholic school where she used to teach.

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Las Vegas could not be reached on Wednesday. Kreuper has a past address and P.O. Box in Las Vegas, public records show.

If the nuns indeed misused funds wrongfully, Pierce said she would forgive them.

Other parents said it was well-known that Kreuper and Chang traveled often and went gambling, but that they claimed they have gifted the trips by a rich relative.

“These nuns took a vow of poverty and said, ‘Oh no, we’ve got a rich uncle,’ ” Alexander said. “The rich uncle was the parents of the St. James students. These 2 Nuns Suspected in $500,000 Theft From Catholic School Had a Taste for Gambling, Church Says.”