An Expert and Real Words About “Gambling Addiction” From Arnie Wexler, Author, Expert, and My Friend.

PLEASE, take a listen to this very important video of Arnie Wexler and his take on Gambling Addiction and about his book, gambling addiction. As Now We Kick Off Another “Betting Superbowl!!”  . . . . .

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“A Look at Problem Gambling Problem with Arnie Wexler a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor and Author of  “All Bets Are OFF

 

 

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About The Book:

Arnie Wexler’s life as a gambler began on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, flipping cards, shooting marbles, and playing pinball machines. At age fourteen he found the racetrack, a bookie, and started playing the stock market. His obsession with gambling accelerated until a fateful day in 1968 when it all came crashing down.

Wexler’s gripping narrative leads us through the dungeon of a compulsive gambler’s world—chasing the big win and coming up with empty pockets—and how his addiction drove him and his wife, Sheila, to the edge of life. With help, they managed to escape, and together they have devoted themselves to helping others with the problem they know so well.

Arnie and Sheila Wexler have provided extensive training on compulsive, problem, and underage gambling to more than 40,000 gaming employees and have written Responsible Gaming Programs for major gaming companies. In addition to running the toll-free, national helpline 888-LAST-BET, Sheila and Arnie are consultants to Recovery Road in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, a Sunspire Health private residential treatment facility for adults with chemical dependency and problem gambling.

Steve Jacobson was a sports reporter and columnist for Newsday for more than forty years with a great interest in all aspects of sports. He co-authored a number of books with notable sports personalities. He was named by Associated Press among the top sports columnists and twice was nominated by Newsday for the Pulitzer Prize.

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Book by Arnie and Sheila Wexler
and Steve Jacobson.

Read about Arnie’s life of addiction and how it impacted his wife Sheila and their family.

Books can be ordered on Amazon.com

Watch the YouTube video of The Steve Malzberg show’s review of the book and interview of Arnie and Sheila.

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Courtesy and Visit Arnie’s Blog: WWW.ASWEXLER.COM

http://aswexler.com/2017/01/11/n-f-l-playoff-gamessuper-bowl-and-gambling/

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My In Recovery Magazine First Official Column!

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends and Visitors,

Well, I feel like part of the In Recovery Magazine FAMILY! If you haven’t seen any of my social media posts lately, I shared that I had been invited to be a permanent columnist for In Recovery Magazine! They have a new “The Author’s Café” column where I write about recovery books, films, and apps. I have the pleasure of interviewing many talented authors, writers, and filmmakers. It couples with our fantastic IRM, “The Book Stand” where creators can list their new book, film, app and even recovery blogs in the stand and enjoy incredible advertising exposure to our readership and subscribers worldwide. The info is listed here  List Your Book in IRM The Book Stand on my blog if you are interested!

I am very proud to share my first piece with all my recovery friends, and as a top premier magazine for articles, columns, and news, I invite you to be part of our recovery readership and subscribe our recovery community here: Subscribe to IRM today and you won’t miss my next column. Many of you know I am a recovering addicted gambler, so I wanted to come out of the literary gates of raising awareness of my addiction.

So I felt it very appropriate to have for my first column and guest author someone who knows all about this disease, and has been around the GA (Gamblers Anonymous) rooms for many years. You may need to increase the size for better readability as we had a chat about a topic you will well remember. I hope you enjoy it!

So I share my first in print “The Author’s Cafe” column with all of you Courtesy of In Recovery Magazine  …

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“The Author’s Cafe Welcomes: Author & Gambling Recovery Expert Arnie Wexler”


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2016 Summer - page 32 Lyon

A Guest Spotlight On A Successful Gambling Addiction Recovery Story. You May Know Arnie Already!

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome All,

I thought I would share a story of a very good friend of mine. You may have seen him on TV, or read an article of his as he has written many. I love calling him my “Grandfather of Recovery,” because he has many, many years of recovery time from addicted gambling. He has seen, done, and heard it all when it comes to this cunning addiction. Meet Arnie and Sheila Wexler!

Arnie Wexler is a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor (CCGC), and was the Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey for eight years.

Arnie is one of the foremost experts on compulsive gambling in this country, and has been involved in helping compulsive gamblers for over 30 years. He has appeared on many of America’s top television shows, including 60 minutes, Oprah, Night-Line, and 48 Hours. He has been quoted and profiled in hundreds of magazines and newspapers.

Arnie has presented workshops and training seminars nationally and internationally. He has spoken to many gaming industry executives, Fortune 500 corporations, legislative bodies, and on college campuses across the nation. He has also done trainings for the National Football League (NFL).

Since 1994 both Arnie and Sheila have trained hundreds of professionals working in Addiction Treatment Centers including Sierra Tuscon and Betty Ford Center. They trained US Army Addiction Counselors at Camp Zama, Japan. In addition, they have provided extensive training to casino personnel and have written Responsible Gaming Policies for major gaming companies. His new book just released titled, “All Bets Are Off”

Sheila Wexler is a Licensed,Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC), and a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor (CCGC). She has worked in the field of addictions since 1977.

Sheila has worked in residential treatment, out-patient services and private practice. She has had extensive experience in counseling the addicted person and their families. Sheila is one of the pioneers in the treatment of compulsive gambling.

In 1987, she developed and implemented a compulsive gambling in-patient treatment program at New Hope Foundation in Marlboro, New Jersey. Sheila is the author of a chart on the effects of compulsive gambling on the family. She has instructed Addiction Education classes throughout the country. She has also done extensive training on expanding addiction services to include compulsive gambling treatment.

Since 1994 both Arnie and Sheila have trained hundreds of professionals working in Addiction Treatment Centers including Sierra Tuscon and Betty Ford Center. They trained US Army Addiction Counselors at Camp Zama, Japan. In addition, they have provided extensive training to casino personnel and have written Responsible Gaming Policies for major gaming companies.

Arnie’s Story:

Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates

If you need help with a gambling problem,

call 1-888-LAST-BET

Arnie Wexler,

“I am a recovering Compulsive Gambler who placed my last bet April 10,1968.”

I started gambling at about age 7 or 8 as a kid in Brooklyn, NY. It started with flipping baseball cards, pitching pennies, shooting marbles and playing pinball machines. That kind of gambling continued until about age 14. At that point I started to bet on sporting events with a bookmaker and I got into the stock market.

As a young kid, growing up, I always felt that everyone was better than me. The only time I felt okay about myself was after I had a win, whether it was marbles or baseball cards or pennies. Then at 14 I went to the racetrack for the first time (that was Memorial Day, 1951 Roosevelt Raceway). At that time in my life I was making $.50 an hour after school, working about 15-20 hours a week. That night at Roosevelt Raceway I had my first big win and walked out of the track with $54. Looking back today, I think it was that night that changed my life. Even though it was only $54, it was about 5 weeks salary to me at that time. That night gave me the belief that I could be a winner from gambling and eventually become a millionaire. I can still recall that high feeling walking out of the racetrack that night.

By 17, I was already stealing to support my gambling. It started with stealing comic books to play cards with from the local candy store. Before long it was stealing money from my family to pay for gambling. By then I was taking the bus to the racetrack, a few nights a week on a regular basis. In those days they closed the track in the winter months, in New York so on weekends, I would take the bus or the train to Maryland to gamble. I was betting sporting events and horses with the bookmaker on a daily basis. In those days each sport had its own season. I remember calling the bookmaker one day and the only thing that was available to gamble on was hockey. I had never seen a hockey game, but bet on it anyway. It wasn’t until months later when I did see my first hockey game, that I realized that hockey was played on ice.

Somewhere between age 17 and 20 I went to the racetrack one night and won $6000. Wow! Another big win. It was the equivalent of 2 years salary. This reinforced my belief that I could be a winner at gambling.

By my early 20’s I was betting big amounts on lots of games that I didn’t really know much about and probably couldn’t name more than a handful of players who played in these events. In some of the college games I bet on, I couldn’t name one player or even tell you where the college was located, but I needed to be in action. By then I was a regular at the old Madison Square Garden, every week. I was watching and betting on college and professional basketball on a regular basis. At this point in my life I was working full-time in a shipping department in the garment center and every Tuesday when we got paid there was a regular crap game out in the hallway. Almost every week I would lose my pay in this game. I began stealing supplies and merchandise on a daily basis to pay for my gambling. By then, I had a bank loan and a loan with a finance company loan. I was also borrowing from coworkers.

At 21 I met my future wife. Our first date was to the movies and most of the rest of our dating was at the racetrack. We had a joint checking account saving for our wedding. She would put money in and I wouldn’t. I needed to use my money for gambling. I was still looking for another big win. I thought the perfect place for our honeymoon would be Las Vegas or Puerto Rico since I knew both places had casinos. My wife to be didn’t think that was a good idea. I guess she understood enough about my gambling already. At 23 we got married and I wanted to stop gambling at that point. I thought that I could. Within a short time I was already back to gambling. Even though I wanted to stop, I realize today that I couldn’t. I needed to gamble like any drug addict needed to stick that needle in their arm, or any alcoholic needed to have that drink.

Four weeks after we got married I went away to the Army Reserves at Fort Dix, NJ for 6 months. During those 6 months, I gambled every day, fast and furious, from placing bets by phone with the bookmaker to shooting crap and playing cards, every waking minute. When I came home in December of 1961, I owed $4000 and didn’t even have a job.

I got a job, eventually, working in the garment center In the showroom that I worked in there were a few compulsive gamblers who I quickly got friendly with. They became my buddies. We would play cards during the day, and go to the racetrack at night and on weekends, together. My wife thought I was at business meetings some of these nights and all of us would lie for each other.

In 1963 my first daughter was born. My wife was in labor 37 hours. During that period I went to the racetrack twice. When the Doctor finally came out and told me that we had a baby, the only question I really was concerned about was “how much did she weigh.” He told me 7lbs.1 oz. You would think that the concern should have been “how is my wife” or “how is the baby”. The first call I made was to the bookmaker. I bet 71 in the daily double. The next day when I picked up the newspaper, the daily double hit. I was convinced that day that God was sending me a message that I was now going to be a winner.

One year later my boss gave me an option to buy 500 shares of stock in the company for $7500. Within a year that stock was worth $38,000. In those days you could buy a car for $2000 and a house for about $10,000. Within 3 years this money would be gone due to my gambling. By now I was a plant supervisor for a Fortune 500 company. My gambling was already so out of control that I was stealing everything I could to stay in action. I set up a room in the factory that we used for playing cards (all day long). I was starting to do illegal acts (manipulating stocks) in the stock market.

Our home life was deteriorating. Gambling was more important than anything else that was going on at home. I was lying about almost everything and I would come home and pick a fight so I could go out to gamble. Nothing else at that point in my life was more important than gambling; not my family or my job. Gambling came first. At this point even though I was doing illegal acts, I was still borrowing money from only legal sources.

My gambling continued to get progressively worse. I was now a plant manager, supervising 300-400 people. My boss worked in New York, and I was in the factory in NJ. Most of the time he didn’t know what I was doing. Besides stealing and borrowing money from coworkers, I now had 3 bank loans and 3 loans to finance companies; I owed a loan shark an amount of money equal to one years salary. I was involved with 3 bookmakers, both working for them and betting with them. I directed a lot of people who gambled in my company, to my bookmaker and got a piece of the action. I even got involved in a numbers operation.

Between this and stealing, I was supporting my gambling. There were times I would bet 40 or 50 games on a weekend, and believe I could win them all. One weekend, just before I hit my bottom, I called a bookmaker and took a shot by betting a round robin which amounted to about 2 years annual salary. At that moment if I lost that bet, there was no way I could pay it. Things were getting so bad, I remember calling a bookmaker one day and being told that if I didn’t bring him the money I owed him he would not take my bet for that night. I went home and sold our car to a neighbor.

By now, I wasn’t going home to pick a fight with my wife. I was doing it over the phone so I wouldn’t waste the trip home. Most of the time I was out gambling, but when I was home we were constantly fighting. We had sex very rarely. When I won I was so high I didn’t need it and if I lost I didn’t want it. But there were times we had sex and my wife would say to me “do you hear a radio.” Of course I would tell her she was crazy, but I had a radio on under the pillow so I could listen to a game. We were trying to have another child, but couldn’t. My wife came to me with the idea of adoption. I didn’t like that idea especially when I was told it would cost money.

I needed that money for gambling. After 3 months of her bothering me, I finally went along with the idea of adoption, as I thought she would be so busy with the 2 kids that she would leave me alone. I borrowed the money we needed from my boss and relatives. On the day we were bringing our son home on a plane, it was the 7th game of the 1967 World Series. My wife was busy looking at this beautiful new baby. I had no interest in him. I had a large bet on the game. The pilot was announcing the score every 15 minutes, or so. I was so upset that we were on this plane. I wished and prayed that the plane would get to the ground so that I could see or hear every minute of this game.

In the next few months the bottom fell out of my world even though I still had my job and still looked okay. There were no track marks on my arm, I wasn’t smelling from my gambling. No one could really tell what was going on. I would come home from gambling and see my wife crying all the time, depressed, sick. Our daughter was 4 years old and I don’t remember her walking or talking. I either wasn’t home or when I was my head was consumed with the gambling. At that point in my life, I owed 32 people, 3 years annual salary. I had a life insurance policy and constantly thought about killing myself and leaving my wife and 2 kids that money. I would do anything to keep gambling.

As long as I could get my hands on some more money to stay in action, I still thought that the big win was just around the corner. I was trying to find out where I could get drugs to sell and looking around at gas stations to rob. I was asking people about making counterfeit money. I was running out of options. My boss came to me one day and told me that a detective was following me and he had a report on my gambling. He knew I was betting more money than I earned and he was sure that I was stealing from the company and that if he found out he would have me arrested.

Three hours later I was stealing from the company again. I needed to go to the racetrack that night. On February 2, 1968 my wife was having a miscarriage and I was taking her to the hospital. I was wishing and praying all the way that she would die. I thought that would solve all my problems (I wouldn’t have to tell her how bad things were). That morning I called my mother to watch my kids, I called my boss and told him I couldn’t come to work because my wife was in the hospital. That afternoon I went to the racetrack. After the track I went to see how my wife was. When I got to the hospital the doctor told me that my wife was in shock and had almost died. I was so deep into my addiction that I really didn’t care about her, the 2 kids or myself. The only important thing was making a bet.

I thought that I was the only one living the way I was living and doing the things that I was doing. I found out that I was not alone and that I could stop gambling with the help of the other people. I had hope for the first time. It’s been almost 47 years since I last gambled. Today I have everything I dreamed about getting from gambling and then some. I have a wonderful family that is still intact and even have been blessed with 4 grandchildren who I love very much. In the last 30 years I have been able to devote my working life to helping others who have this problem and educating people on the disease of Compulsive Gambling. This has been a dream come true.

I highly recommend Arnie’s book titled, All Bets Are Off. I have read it and it is truly an amazing story. It is now available on Amazon.com Books in paperback and E-book formats. You can visit their website and blog at:  Arnie and Sheila Wexler Associates

Product Details

Kindle Edition

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate
“Addicted To Dimes”  . . . .

 

A Fantastic Recovery Book for All To Read! My Dear Friend Arnie Wexler and His New Recovery Book, “All Bets Are Off” . .

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome All New Visitors,

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I have been excited to share my thoughts and review about my good friend, Arnie Wexler, Author and his new book  titled;  All Bets Are Off . . .

What can I say about Arnie Wexler that I haven’t already told you back in a guest post here in November 2014? I can tell you his new book is an excellent read if you enjoy reading about
“Triumph In Recovery” . . .

Arnie Wexler has done an exceptional job with this new book about what his life was like when addicted to gambling. But he also shares a wealth of helpful info as well, as he and his wonderful wife, Sheila Wexler help many to recovery from this devastating disease. I like to call Arnie, ‘The Grandfather of Recovery’ from addicted gambling.
WHY?

Because Arnie has been in long, long time recovery. And he continues to advocate to raise awareness, educate, and give the public an in-depth look at this disease. Now if you ask any recovering addict, we all say, “addiction is addiction” no matter the form. Well, Compulsive Addicted Gambling has a long way to go as far as raising awareness and informing others about this addiction. It is still a very hush, hush addiction. And most likely has the highest STIGMA around it, because it deems to be a form of just Fun and Entertainment. Well, once addicted, it sure isn’t fun anymore!

Now readers know book reviews sure tell you about a fantastic, well worth your time to read a book. But with a book about addiction and recovery, this can be a difficult feat. Not the case with this new book. Arnie has no shortages of fantastic Amazon Book Reviews! Here is my own s Star Book Review for his book first, then I’ll share more reviews done by many readers who also reviewed this helpful book. So here we go!

My Book Review for: All Bets Are Off  ~ By, Arnie Wexler and Steve Jacobson

Arnie Wexler has out done himself with his new book, All Bets Are Off . . .

It can be a difficult task as a recovery writer to share ones story without it seeming like your blaming, rationalizing, or in denial. But when you have long-term recovery time Arnie does, and the fact that he helps many in his professional life from this cunning disease, he is able to reach those with no understanding of this devastating addiction.  Arnie was able to capture the true essence of what Gambling Addiction really looks like.

He dug deep from his own past experiences to enable readers to see the true “ugly” side of this mystifying addiction. I should know, I have been in recovery from it for over 8 and 1/2 years. I commend him for an outstanding job with this well written book. It will help many, as he and his wife Sheila do already in their professional lives. They offer others recover from Compulsive Addicted Gambling.

Great Read!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ Recovering Addicted Gambler/Advocate

**So that is my review for Arnie’s new book. Lets see what other readers have posted on Amazon by way of reviews, as we all know they tell a lot about a book. But first,

Who is this Recovery Man of Mystery?

Arnie Wexler,  what you may not know about him ….
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“Through the years, he has been called just about every name you can think of. A traitor to the sporting life. A quitter in the endless game of sports betting. A loser who couldn’t handle the action.

He’s none of those things, though. Wexler is, without doubt, a survivor who knows what the agony of gambling addiction is really like.”

Arnie Wexler’s compulsive gambling spiraled out of control  . . .  now after forty-plus years in recovery he is a nationally known expert on gambling addiction and helps others to “quit the bet.” All Bets Are Off chronicles Wexler’s life as a gambler that began on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, flipping cards, shooting marbles, and playing pinball machines. At age fourteen he found the racetrack, a bookie to take his bets, and started playing the stock market.
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His preoccupation with gambling accelerated until a fateful day in 1968 when it all came crashing down. Wexler’s gripping narrative leads us through the dungeon of a compulsive gambler’s world—chasing the big win and coming up with empty pockets—and how his addiction drove him and his wife, Sheila, to the edge of life. With help, they managed to escape, and together they have devoted themselves to helping others with the problem they know so well …

Arnie Wexler is a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor (CCGC), and was the Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey for eight years.

Arnie is one of the foremost experts on compulsive gambling in this country, and has been involved in helping compulsive gamblers for over 30 years. He has appeared on many of America’s top television shows, including Oprah, NightLine, 48 Hours, and 60 Minutes. He has been quoted and profiled in hundreds of magazines and newspapers.

Arnie has presented workshops and training seminars nationally and internationally. He has spoken to many gaming industry executives, Fortune 500 corporations, legislative bodies, and on college campuses across the nation. He has also done trainings for the National Football League (NFL).

Since 1994 both Arnie and Sheila have trained hundreds of professionals working in Addiction Treatment Centers including Sierra Tuscon and Betty Ford Center. They trained US Army Addiction Counselors at Camp Zama, Japan. In addition, they have provided extensive training to casino personnel and have written Responsible Gaming Policies for major gaming companies.

Together they have authored many articles on the subject of Compulsive Gambling, and are currently in the process of writing a book.

Now More Fantastic 5 Star Amazon Reviews:

“It’s not easy to get 100% all 5 Star Reviews, but so far Arnie has done it with this exceptional new book!”  ~ Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ Gambling Recovery Author

A Raw and Real Look at One Couple’s Fight Against Gambling Addiction
  February 17, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition

As the US House Counsel responsible for getting the first-ever legislation to prohibit use of the financial system for unlawful Internet gambling through the US House of Representatives, I wish this book had been around then (early 2000’s). Arnie would have made a great witness for one of our hearings in the House Financial Services Committee.

He’s been there, and describes in vivid detail the unrelenting pull a gambling addiction has, and the path of destruction it leaves in its wake. Sheila’s account of the effects on their marriage, their finances and their security provide a heart-rending but very real story.

Their ultimate story of redemption shows that the cycle can be broken. But not without a lot of hard work and 24-7 support from other recovering addicts. For anyone even thinking about gambling, or anyone thinking he or she may have a gambling problem, this book is a must-read!
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“A great and insightful true story about gambling addiction.”
January 30, 2015
By Wayne T Burdick  (Paperback)

I am writing this review as a 25 year recovering Gambling addict, and former president of  “The Outreach Foundation for Problem and Compulsive Gamblers in Illinois.”  Thank you Mr. Wexler for writing a comprehensive book about addictive gambling. This will be must reading for sponsee’s and their families. You give a complete picture of gambling and our society. At the same time we get to hear you and your wife’s story of living with the addiction. We read how it was arrested and how you both found tremendous growth through your programs. Thank you for sharing that after abstinence our biggest challenge is bringing about a character change which should be worked on continuously for the rest of our lives.

Thank you both for sharing how important it is to have extensive public awareness and education about problem and addictive gambling. This book should be read by all! The story is riveting and the information about problem and addictive gambling should have the same awareness as drug and alcohol abuse. Best of all! This is a story of hope and love. It’s happy ending is still being written.
The passion of Arnie and Sheila have saved the lives, and affected the lives of countless people for the better. Thank you for writing this book and the many wonderful additional chapters to be added in future additions.God bless you both, and thank you!
Wayne Burdick free from bandage since 09/23/1989!!
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“How could anyone put their family and loved ones through such Hell!”
  March 1, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition

As a novelist, I readily admit that truth is stranger than fiction. But Arnie Wexler’s harrowing journey as a gambling addict, though true in every sense, feels sadly incomprehensible. How could anyone put their friends and loved ones through such hell? And yet his cunning deception of everyone from his boss to his friends to his own wife makes it clear that even the depths of despair won’t stop a gambler. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, this book is a group read. Arnie’s story, and his ultimate recovery, will give hope to anyone who understands the disease.

And make no mistake, it IS a disease. Though I’ve followed his journey for several years, and know about his and his amazing wife, Sheila’s endless pursuits to help thousands of addicted gamblers, I was still stunned by the intimate details of an unraveling life. I highly recommend ALL BETS ARE OFF because it is honest, daring, and beautifully written. I am certain it will be life changing for anyone who worries that there is no way out.
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“If you have a loved one, close friend or relative that has a gambling problem?”
on January 9, 2015
Paperback:
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If you have a loved one, close friend or relative that has a gambling problem you should read this book You will be able to have a first hand look at the hidden devastation of problem gambling and the miraculous recovery of a gambler and spouse who return from the abyss and continue to have a life of recovery.

Reading this book gives the public the ability to see the entire gamut of how lives are ruined by gambling and begin to understand a clear, concise living explanation of problem gambling. Perhaps this book will awaken government, business and clergy that there are problem gamblers as close as the next room that can receive hope and begin the journey of living life.

Training professionals, educators, medical & gaming associates and law enforcement will go a long way to aid in the recognition, treatment and recovery. Each member of those professions need to have this book as required reading.

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Product Details
*Book is available on Amazon Books, Barnes and Noble Books Online*
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So there you go. Arnie has done it again with a great new book about Gambling Addiction, The Disease. As the last reviewer had said, this book gives a clear and concise look into the gamut of gambling addiction. And with Sheila’s voice as a look inside this disease from the spouse’s point of view, really rounds out this must read book. As my husband has done the same for me in my next
book coming out later this year, a wife, husband, or partner’s voice about the addicts sickness is just as important as our stories of gambling and recovery.
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It is time to stop this addiction from being a hush, hush addiction, stop the insanity, and stop the needless loss of life by suicides from this devastating addiction. YES, gambling addiction has the highest suicide rate than any other addiction currently.
So if you know a loved one, or someone you care about who may have a Gambling Problem? Do them a favor and buy this book to give them to read. I’m sure they won’t see gambling the same after they finish it.
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Please visit their wonderful Website of Services they offer to help those from addicted gambling!
Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates  If you live in the Greater New York Area. . . .
And Connect with them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/arnie.wexler.1

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Arnie and Sheila Wexler Associates

Contact Us
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Happy Reading & Recovery Friends!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author/Recovery Advocate

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I am Honored to have Arnie & Sheila Wexler ~ Gambling Addiction Recovery Experts to my Recovery Blog”…

Hello Recovery Friends, Supporters, and New Visitors,

I’m very happy and honored to welcome and share with my recovery friends a wonderful couple who have helped many people recover from compulsive addicted gambling, and have done so longer then I have been in my own recovery from this cunning disease almost 8 years now. They raise awareness, inform, and advocate tirelessly. They have changed and saved many lives from this devastating addiction. So I welcome them both to my blog, and Thank The Wexler’s for letting me share a little of what they do for others who suffer problem & addicted gambling.


(Arnie & Sheila Wexler)
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The Wexler’s have a great website that has excellent addiction and recovery information about problem gambling and they help educate many agencies, organizations, and help the afflicted to recover from this cunning disease through their Hotline called “Last Bet” 1-888-Last-Bet, and website: http://www.aswexler.com/
Here is a little more of what they do, who they are, and how they help many! …

Arnie and Sheila Wexler have provided extensive training on Compulsive, Problem and Underage Gambling, to more than 40,000 gaming employees (personnel and executives) and have written Responsible Gaming Programs for major gaming companies. In addition, they have worked with Gaming Boards and Regulators, presented educational workshops nationally and internationally and have provided expert witness testimony.
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Sheila Wexler is the Executive Director of the Compulsive Gambling Foundation. They also run a national help line (888 LAST BET) and work at Recovery Road, a treatment facility in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida that specializes in the treatment of those suffering with gambling addiction.
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Those of us in recovery from this disease know that Stigma around this addiction is huge, and we have a long way to go to shatter it! But Arnie has been a very loud voice in informing the public about this very secret addiction, just as I am. It’s time people know more about it, and know there is NO Shame in talking about it, or for reaching out for help.

I remember when my current book first released, as I began sharing and promoting my book through social media and with many recovery places, I kept hearing about this guy named ‘Arnie Wexler’. Many gambling treatment websites I’d go to for information, research, and support, I’d be asked if I knew or heard about Arnie Wexler? I was told Arnie and his wife know about all things gambling addiction and recovery.

Even my good friend Marilyn Lancelot Author of, ‘Gripped by Gambling’ had asked me when we first met, “have you heard of Arnie Wexler?, the guy who was on 60 Minutes & ABC’S Nightline”?
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I told Marilyn I have heard about him by many people in the gambling recovery circles, but never had the pleasure of meeting or corresponding with him or his lovely wife Sheila. That was in 2011. Then a month or so ago, I was called and interviewed by Elaine Meyer of Columbia University Dept. Of Epidemiology.

She was doing research about problem and addicted gambling, and was writing a large article about it from many angles of this topic. Elaine’s article came out September 10th, 2014, and low and behold as I read the article there was Arnie in the article too! It’s titled, Gambling with America’s Health?
http://the2x2project.org/gambling-public-health/
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Elaine Meyer
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Elaine Meyer has worked as a journalist covering education and legal news. She graduated in 2009 with an M.S. from Columbia School of Journalism and is currently the associate director of communications for Columbia’s Department of Epidemiology, where she carries out the department’s mission of translating public health science to the larger public. Follow her @emeyer5

It is one of the best articles about problem & addicted gambling I have read in all my years in recovery from this cunning addiction. So I got brave enough to reach out to Arnie through LinkedIn Professionals website and connect with him, as I wanted him to know how much I liked his part in the article. He accepted my connect request and the rest as they say is history! I then was brave enough to ask if I could share the wonderful work he and his wife Sheila does for others with problem or addicted gambling here on my recovery blog?

Well, he not only said yes, but he has given us a Sneak Peek of his new book that will release very soon!
But here is a wee bit more about Arnie Wexler we may not know about …
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Arnie Wexler’s compulsive gambling spiraled out of control  . . . now after forty-plus years in recovery he is a nationally known expert on gambling addiction and helps others to “quit the bet.” All Bets Are Off chronicles Wexler’s life as a gambler that began on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, flipping cards, shooting marbles, and playing pinball machines. At age fourteen he found the racetrack, a bookie to take his bets, and started playing the stock market. His preoccupation with gambling accelerated until a fateful day in 1968 when it all came crashing down. Wexler’s gripping narrative leads us through the dungeon of a compulsive gambler’s world—chasing the big win and coming up with empty pockets—and how his addiction drove him and his wife, Sheila, to the edge of life. With help, they managed to escape, and together they have devoted themselves to helping others with the problem they know so well …

His new book titled,  All Bets Are Off,  was written along with Steve Jacobson. And again, Arnie has given me and my recovery friends a sneak peek, but keep in mind it’s an unedited look at the new book. I have pre-ordered my copy and so should all of you! One of the extraordinary things about Arnie and Sheila is that they give us a look inside how gambling addiction not only affects the addict, but how it affects our loved ones and spouses.
That’s where Sheila comes in.

Together, their story and personal testimony is very important. We need to be able to see how gambling affects all who are around us, and to see what we but our spouse/partner through, and the family as a whole. That is the topic of the part of the book Arnie was kind enough to share with us. So Happy Reading!
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All Bets Are Off … By: Arnie Wexler and written with Steve Jacobson

All Bets Are Off: Losers, Liars, and Recovery from Gambling Addiction

About The Authors:

Steve Jacobson:
Steve Jacobson was a sports reporter and columnist for Newsday for 44 years beginning in 1960. He was awarded first prize by the Associated Press of New York and Top Five Sports Columnists numerous times by the Associated Press Sports Editors, and has been twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, among other accolades. In 2004, he created, conducted interviews for, and helped script the documentary Jackie’s Disciples for ESPN …

Arnie Wexler:
Arnie Wexler is a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor and runs a national hotline for compulsive gamblers. He was the executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey and the senior vice president of National Council on Problem Gambling. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including Nightline, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, 48 Hours, and Crossfire, among others.
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ALL BETS ARE OFF”:

 SHEILA ~ A Wife’s Nightmare:

I kept thinking it would get better. Married life got worse. The refrigerator was empty and the furniture was threadbare and the scruffy apartment was more dismal.

I was trying to get pregnant, as infrequently as we made love. (if Arnie won that day he was so high, he did not need sex, if he lost he could care less sometimes if we had sex and he was hearing a ball game under the pillow) I thought having a child would pull us together. The doctor told me that the stress I was living with made getting pregnant more difficult. I certainly was living with stress. Then I did become pregnant and those were happy times for me, even if it was one-sided joy. I wrapped myself up in myself. I ignored what was going on in our lives together.

I was determined to have a baby. Everything was going to be wonderful. For a while being pregnant was my delight. I was very forgiving and less critical of Arnie in my own mind. He’d come home with some kind of present for me and was extra attentive even for a day or a weekend and that was enough for me to back away from my hostility. I was fooling myself. One time when my pregnancy was close to term, I phoned him at work and asked him what I should do if I went into labor. Before that, when I had a doctor’s appointment, he’d send me with his brother. Now, he told me to call my father to take me to the hospital, he was busy. Some if this seems like more of the same, but each of his lies compounded my depression.

After Stacy was born, as difficult as the delivery was, things began falling apart more. From the outside people said our life together looked fine. In nice weather Arnie would take her to ‘Flushing Meadow Park’ every Saturday and Sunday morning about 11 o’clock. Yes, his bookmaker opened for business at 11:30. We didn’t have cellphones back then and after he pushed Stacy on the swing for a few minutes, he would find a phone booth where he could watch her feed bread to the ducks on the pond and he would be dealing with his bookmaker. Neighbors would say what a great husband he was.

The truth was, he never saw her take her first steps or hear her say her first words. And if he did, they didn’t register for him. He was there but his head wasn’t. If he was watching TV of the ballgame he had bet and she stepped in front of the screen and some guy made an error, it became her fault he lost the bet. When we were summering in the mountains, he was happy when he took her to the track in Monticello on a Saturday afternoon. He’d bet the horses she liked—the gray one or No.4. One time she picked a $60 winner and he thought she was his good luck charm.Sometime after Stacy was born, Arnie was up against the financial pressures and obviously depressed. He had used up his customary sources of money. He went to his boss and borrowed $3,000 against his salary of $125 a week, and $10 a week was to come out of his salary. He was trying to hide this from me. He was being paid by check with itemized deductions, which would have exposed what he had done to me. So he would cash the check before he got home and mark his own deductions on a bank envelope. I asked how come he was now being paid cash in an envelope for the first time.

He told me that was because now the Brinks truck was coming to the plant and everybody would line up to be paid. A half-intelligent person would have doubted that. Was it logical for maybe 2,000 people to lineup to be paid in cash from a Brinks truck? Somewhere inside me there still was a person who had some instincts that the story couldn’t be true. I decided to catch him.

I got hold of a standard W-2 tax form and broke down the figures of taxes and Social Security. And it came out that Arnie was shorting me $25 a week on his take-home. He said the boss was taking that out of his checks while Arnie was trying to pay off his debts to bookmakers and loan sharks. I was trying to catch him at that lie so I phoned him on a Friday afternoon and told him I knew what he was doing to me. He said so innocently, “I’ve been waiting for you to ask me.”

This was a joke I couldn’t believe. He said we live in New York and he works in New Jersey and it had to do with discrepancies in the state taxes. He said, “I’ll explain when I get home.” Friday nights he usually came home because he and my father were going to the track together. He gave me a paper on which he had written a man’s name and phone number. He said that was the name of a man in the IRS office in Jamaica, I should get in touch with him and he’d explain the whole thing to me.

He knew, of course, I would never make that phone call. I knew he was lying. A short time later I got a letter from a bank addressed to him. He had asked for a loan application to be sent to the office and instead the bank sent it to the house. The bank said it couldn’t grant the loan because we had too much outstanding credit. I thought our debts were paid off at that time, so I knew there was a lie there.
Arnie said the loan wasn’t for him, it was for his friend Michael, who gambled with him. Arnie brought Michael to the house to prove that the loan was for him. I said, “No offense, Michael, but please leave.” It was the first time in all those years that I really asserted myself. When Michael left I turned to Arnie and said, don’t bother giving me some cockamamie explanation, I know you’re lying to me.

So I had caught him, but what were we going to do about that? The dollar-burden was dragging me down. I was sliding down emotionally. My doctor had me taking Valium. I wouldn’t tell him I knew Arnie had a gambling problem. I hadn’t recognized how bad that problem was, but I knew something was wrong. I was afraid there might be another woman, but I knew then he was a liar. So I stopped asking questions. I stopped fighting back and at home we were like ships passing in the night.

I thought—like a lot of lonely wives—another child would give me more satisfaction and would bring Arnie closer. Arnie gave me half-hearted acceptance. We were trying and that didn’t work out. Then I had the brilliant idea that we should adopt, and his response was that adoption cost money, didn’t it? At that time Arnie was on what he called a win streak and had hidden a quantity of money under the linoleum between the closet and the living room. I came across it when I stepped on the bulge.
That wasn’t to pay the cost of adopting, Arnie insisted, that was gambling money and you don’t use gambling money for anything else.(Arnie did not say this out loud to me…he would never admit that the money was for gambling…he made up some kind of story about it).
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After three months or so of haggling about adoption, he relented. He thought I would be so busy with two kids that I would leave him alone. His grandmother lent us $3,000 and we went to Florida to pick up the baby. The day we were bringing little Howie home on the plane was the seventh game of the 1967 World Series. I was busy looking after this beautiful new baby and Arnie had no interest in him; he had a big bet on the game.

The pilot would announce the score every fifteen minutes or so and Arnie was squirming in his seat, wishing or praying that the plane would land so that he could watch or at least hear the end of the game. That was what was important to him. Summers living in a small shabby apartment in Queens in steamy New York summers are uncomfortable and I felt we needed an escape like the ones his (my) mother rented in the Catskills. Neither of us wanted to share with her, and with his graft money, Arnie had money but he felt he still needed $400. He had this idea for me at a time I was uncomfortable talking to anybody. He told me he was going to buy dresses from the factory—actually he was going to steal them and bring them home under his shirt. I was supposed to sell them to people I knew and we would share the profits. I couldn’t do that.(I did do the dress sales…dying inside but wanting the money to go away in the summer) …

That was when I started thinking about suicide. I became so paralyzed that I couldn’t leave the house. I couldn’t face the world. I didn’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone. When the weather wasn’t too bad, I’d put the babies outside on the little patio, watch them through the window and wallow in self-pity. I was totally dependent on him. I wasn’t working, of course, and I would never admit to my parents that our marriage wasn’t working and I needed to move back with them.
I was part of what my generation had taught me. No matter what, I was always afraid he was leaving. He would play on my fears. We’d have an argument and he’d snap that he was leaving. He’d go to the closet, push some clothes around noisily and I’d plead, “Don’t leave! Don’t leave!” And he was off to Roosevelt or Yonkers Raceway, leaving me in my hysteria.

Every Saturday he went to work and told me the switchboard closed at noon and I wouldn’t be able to reach him. He’d go to the track, come hone at 4 or 5 o’clock and put on the results. At night he’d tell me there were meetings he had to go to, and go to the track or to card games.
By that time I absolutely hated him. I used to sit by the window and plan what it was going to be like after he died. We’d sit in mourning and everybody was going to come my house and feel sorry for me. That’s how I thought I’d get out of it. I used to wish for him to get killed in a car accident. Not long after that, it turned into I wish I would die, but then I was worrying who would take care of my children?The idea of Arnie going for treatment( 12 step recovery program) was nowhere in my mind. I didn’t even think there was treatment for compulsive gambling. That was another life ago and we can laugh at a lot of things that made me cry. We’ve been through a treatment that worked for him and so it worked for me.(I had my own program of recovery, also) We’ve rediscovered what we thought we had together in the first place.

Arnie is a nice ( wonderful guy…good to his family and friends ) guy who tries to help people.
This is not a person who would be mean or cruel or uncaring about his wife or children. That’s impossible to see in him. It took me some years to be that forgiving but I came to understand that in his right mind, that wasn’t him. He could be that only under the influence of this crazy thing.
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A Little More of Arnie’s Story:
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“I am a recovering Compulsive Gambler who placed my last bet April 10,1968″…As a young kid, growing up, I always felt that everyone was better than me. The only time I felt okay about myself was after I had a win, whether it was marbles or baseball cards or pennies. Then at 14 I went to the racetrack for the first time (that was Memorial Day, 1951 Roosevelt Raceway). At that time in my life I was making $.50 an hour after school, working about 15-20 hours a week. That night at Roosevelt Raceway I had my first big win and walked out of the track with $54. Looking back today, I think it was that night that changed my life. Even though it was only $54, it was about 5 weeks salary to me at that time. That night gave me the belief that I could be a winner from gambling and eventually become a millionaire. I can still recall that high feeling walking out of the racetrack that night.

By 17, I was already stealing to support my gambling. It started with stealing comic books to play cards with from the local candy store. Before long it was stealing money from my family to pay for gambling. By then I was taking the bus to the racetrack, a few nights a week on a regular basis. In those days they closed the track in the winter months, in New York so on weekends, I would take the bus or the train to Maryland to gamble. I was betting sporting events and horses with the bookmaker on a daily basis. In those days each sport had its own season. I remember calling the bookmaker one day and the only thing that was available to gamble on was hockey. I had never seen a hockey game, but bet on it anyway. It wasn’t until months later when I did see my first hockey game, that I realized that hockey was played on ice.

Somewhere between age 17 and 20 I went to the racetrack one night and won $6000. Wow! Another big win. It was the equivalent of 2 years salary. This reinforced my belief that I could be a winner at gambling … For the rest of his story, please visit their website http://www.aswexler.com/
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Arnie and Sheila Wexler Associates

Contact Us

If you need help with a gambling problem, call 1-888-LAST-BET, so if you or someone you care for has a gambling problem, please call or visit The Wexler’s as you’d be in good hands and their website is very informative. Here is how & who they help at A.S. Wexler Associates.

Services We Offer:

We offer consultation, interventions, group, individual, and family counseling, couple’s workshops, referrals, evaluations, and expert testimony. In addition, we provide educational seminars, workshops, and training.

Educational Videos Available,

Who Can Utilize Our Services?

  • Addiction Treatment Centers
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Legal and Judicial Professionals
  • EAPs
  • State Human Services Agencies
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Gaming Industry Personnel
  • Legislators
  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Individuals and their Families
  • State and Federal Governments

“It is our goal to raise the awareness of those who are in a position to help compulsive gamblers and their families” …
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*Again, I’d like to Thank Arnie & Sheila Wexler for the joy of having them as guests on my gambling recovery blog. I hope all who come by for a visit may learn a little more about how Problem & Addicted Gambling affects many people in our own family & communities. No, I don’t think gambling should be taken away or banned, but the current expansion of gambling needs to be slowed way down. It surely makes it much more difficult for those of us in recovery from this insidious addiction. The public needs to be informed, educated, and Arnie & Sheila work tirelessly with many individuals, organizations and agencies to get them more involved. The current expansion of Casinos and State Lotteries is already resulting in many more people becoming problem or addicted gamblers. And parents, it’s now touching your High School & College age young adults too*!
It’s time to really “Talk About It” … I wish Arnie & Steve much success with their new book, and again, you can pre-order right now for, “All Bets Are Off” on Amazon. You can also connect with Arnie & Sheila Wexler on these social media sites too!

Facebook ~  https://www.facebook.com/aswexler 
LinkedIn ~
  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/arnie-wexler/pub/b/805/593
Another Great Article about Arnie Wexler on this website link,
http://davidpurdumsports.com/2012/06/25/compulsive-gambling-arnie-wexler-from-addict-to-angel/

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Arnie and Sheila Wexler AssociatesContact Us
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And make sure you visit their helpful website here:
Thanks All for Visiting ~ God Bless
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon