Holiday Guest and Article by My Friends of Ohio for Responsible Gambling.

Holiday Guest and Article by My Friends of Ohio for Responsible Gambling.

Well, the holiday season has begun now that Thanksgiving has come and gone for 2018. And for those like me who maintain recovery from gambling addiction, we know this time of year can either be a Joyous time or time where Relapse can sure sneak up on us with family stress, not enough money for the holidays, or arguments with spouses or family members …

ALL of these and others can be possible Triggers for us no matter if your in early recovery, longer-term recovery, or just sitting on the fence thinking YOU may have a gambling problem. There are those WHO can gamble normally, but now with 2.9% of our population now problem gamblers? They need to know to gamble responsibly and if you can’t? See Help. But if you can NOT?

This is WHY I chose for my sixth year to be on HOLIDAY WATCH and SUPPORT as of Thanksgiving Eve through Jan 2nd, 2019 

THEN? I begin my recovery service to my buddy ” Big Jim Downs Recovery Foundation for a whole year as he embarks on a Journey of Hope biking all around America for all Addictions Awareness and Recovery. Check out the link above and see how you can be a part of  “The Biggest Ever Addiction Awareness Event” taking place in 48 States! I am social media and sponsorship Ambassador and it is going to be Amazing to see GOD work MIRACLES through Big Jim!

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Now, back to the article of gambling which IS one of the Addictions Jim will be advocating recovery for … I hope by sharing this article helps those who have not been “touched” by this cunning disease and maybe on the fence to IF they have a problem… ~Catherine

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We are in the thick of the holiday season, which often means family, food, fun, and free time. That extra time usually means more time for our hobbies and entertainment and, for those who like to gamble, it can also mean additional opportunities for betting.

 

More time to gamble can, for some, result in spending too much time and money at the casino. Online gambling can be especially tempting because it offers games running 24/7, which can be accessed from the comfort of your own home and gives gamblers a chance to try games at virtually any time.

If you’re planning to gamble this holiday season, here are seven things to keep in mind.

 

Seven Things to Remember Before You Gamble

  1. Gambling should only be for fun. It is not, and never will be, a way to invest or earn money.
  2. Always limit how much you are willing to lose, as well as how much time you spend gambling.
  3. When you get ahead, quit. Don’t feel pressured to gamble with winnings to win more; be satisfied that you came out ahead.
  4. Realize that you should be able to afford to lose any money you bet.
  5. Never gamble just because you are bored or to decrease stress.
  6. Maintain other interests and hobbies other than just gambling.
  7. If you lose money one-time gambling, don’t gamble another time with just the intent to win the money back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with some gambling during the holidays unless you are in recovery, for those with slight or no problem remember to do so responsibly. If you feel like your gambling (or that of a loved one) is out of control, please click here for resources in your area.

Not Sure if you may have a problem with gambling? Click Here: QUIZ

And TAKE THE QUIZ

Answer the following questions about your gambling activity in the last 12 months and gauge your risk level for problem gambling.

GAMBLING PROBLEM? 1-800-589-9966

 

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Was Problem Gambling A Factor For The Las Vegas Mass Shooter? News About It Around The Web…

Was Problem Gambling A Factor For The Las Vegas Mass Shooter? News About It Around The Web…

“My first and foremost thoughts before my post are to send love, prayers, and condolences to all of those who were lost and the families suffering a loss of loved ones by another senseless shooting. I wish a speedy recovery for all those who were injured. To them? I want to say, PLEASE, if you begin to experience any delayed trauma or symptoms of PTSD, do not hesitate to reach out for help. There is NO SHAME in doing so. Know you are loved and not alone. The world and I have you in our prayers”   ~Author, Catherine Lyon

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I was sent a link to an article that was put out courtesy of The New York Times and found a couple more I will be sharing snippets within my post. The first was about the shooters gambling patterns and behaviors. As I have shared through social media, the more I read and heard coming from news reports, my gut feeling was telling me that this disgusting man may have had a gambling problem.

For the regular person who has NO CLUE about having a problem or addicted to gambling, would not see the same warning signs as I or others who have. While detectives and FBI profilers grapple with finding the motive or the WHY the shooter had killed, I think his gambling played a role in some way. 

 

He was a high-stakes gambler recognized in the casinos of Nevada. He dabbled in real estate investments in Texas. His last known full-time employment was 30 years ago. He was twice divorced. He had a pilot’s license and had owned two single-engine planes. (courtesy – The NY)


Now CNN and MSNBC happen to make a few remarks ‘off the cuff’ about the shooters gambling, but not in a way that would link it to be a factor in what this disturbed man carried out. Oh, they mentioned he was a millionaire, he made many trips to gambling destinations like Reno, Vegas, and gamble on cruise lines. He liked playing a $100 dollar a hand on video poker machines. Even millionaires can run out of money when addicted. Millionaires also carry out crimes and murder. 

And as you all know I am a recovering compulsive gambler, so when I read that in another article I just laughed. The paper wrote he would act ‘isolated’ when playing the machines, no smiles, no talking to others around him. That is called being “zoned out” when you have been playing for hours. What many don’t know when those machines, they are NOT like playing poker at a table. When you’re on video poker machines, each card that is dealt by the machine has a deck of electronic cards behind it!

So it is impossible for one to “card count” regardless if you were an accountant and are a “methodical math or numbers buff” when playing these machines. You are literally playing with 5 decks. The shooter was hitting machines that claimed a high 90’s percentage payout or payback while playing, but even then? The house is usually the one who will win not the player in the long run.

 

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“Details about Mr. Paddock’s career and livelihood were sparse, aside from observations by neighbors and family members that he routinely gambled large amounts of money. “He was a gambler, that was his job,” his brother, Eric Paddock, told reporters Monday at his home in Orlando. “He was a wealthy guy, playing video poker, who went cruising all the time and lived in a hotel room.”


The statement above kind of makes you laugh. If people were making a real living as a video poker player? Wouldn’t there be loads of them in the press and news? And I’m sure there would be even more people not becoming addicted gamblers right? Having a problem with gambling or being addicted has many phases to ones down spiral into a black abyss. It is also a doubled edged sword. If you are winning? You think you will win each time you gamble. But if you take a big loss? You will be out chasing lost dollars and keep gambling thinking you can win back your money.  Las Vegas is in the business to MAKE money, your money.

So they will entice you with many “perks” as they comp meals and rooms to keep you there or come often. And perks is how he met his current girlfriend by the way. She worked in the industry as a “High Limit Hostess.” Most all casinos have them. Same with going to the bars or dance clubs. They have “drink ladies” to mix up all your drinks and keep you ordering more alcohol when you PAY for a table. It sure is different times. It used to be, and maybe still is, that casinos gave away alcoholic drinks as the gambler played to try and make you feel “special,” keep playing longer as the more you drink the more stupid you get with money! Lol.

“The Shooter was 64, lived with his current girlfriend, Marilou Danley, 62.
She worked as a “high-limit hostess” at the Atlantis Casino in Reno, Nev. from 2010 to 2013, according to her LinkedIn account. On Monday, the casino said that she left the company several years ago. High-limit hostesses attend to members of a loyalty club called Club Paradise who spend large quantities of money and receive discounted hotel rooms, meals and other amenities, according to the casino’s website.”

 
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So, was it really fun and games for the shooter when he played? Was it just numbers for him? Was it he just had to WIN? Or was he chasing some loss? The Los Angeles Times reported.

 

“The shooter wanted to win and, like any savvy video poker player, he knew which machine to lock down at Mandalay Bay.

There was only one in the casino — a Jacks-or-better 9-6 machine, meaning it paid 9-to-1 credits on the full house and 6-1 on the flush and offered the casino only a slim advantage. Mandalay Bay was having a contest for a $100,000 drawing and players, based on the amount of their play the next day, would get tickets to enter. He got ready to work.

David Walton, a video poker playing pro, headed down to the casino floor early to nab the good machine. 

There sat the shooter. Not playing it. Just sitting there. Waiting. Walton settled into the machine next to him — not one with as generous a payout schedule — and waited for midnight. When it struck, the shooter hit the machine lightning quick, going at a rate of $120,000 per hour. He barely spoke. Walton said Paddock played 24 hours straight that day in 2007. Before the drawing, Walton wandered over to look at the 4-foot-by-4-foot drum holding all the tickets to the drawing to size up his chances at the $100,000.” (courtesy LA Times)

“Those hopes were diminishing quickly.  “Every ticket on there I saw through the mesh said ‘Stephen Paddock. Stephen Paddock. Stephen Paddock, Walton said. “He won.”


Now, my feelings are the shooter may have won that day, but a decade later, he would ride an elevator up to the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, smash out two windows in his suite with a hammer, and aim a 10-minute, rapid-fire volley of gunfire at the 22,000 people gathered below for a country music festival and as he hit hundreds he killed 58 and injured hundreds more. The shooters brother Eric Paddock told reporters last week, “he gambled for more than 20 years.

“Successfully …. He did it because it was a way to have a fun life, and he didn’t go poor or broke doing it.”

Well, sorry, I would have to disagree. If gambling brought so much fun in his life, why did he feel he needed to KILL? Had he finally hit his”rock bottom”?  

I guess we won’t know for many weeks to come. Now that investigators had sent and served many search warrants on the shooters financial holdings and assets, I am sure we will get those answers. Was he going broke? Had he blew through all his millions of money? As a recovering addicted gambler, I know just how fast it happens. The shooter is not immune to the dangers of gambling addiction. He is human. Just because you think you can afford a gambling habit, does not make you again immune to becoming an addict. If he wasn’t having money problems from his gambling? Then maybe the disease took a mental and emotional toll on him and had begun to take over. Gambling is a 24/7 addiction. Even after you walk away from the slot or video poker machine, a card table, craps or roulette wheel.

I know, I had been there. It is exhausting. And it is why many first coming into treatment do have some mental health issues like I did. I had to be on Wellbutrin for over a year from all the obsessive gambling had depleted my brain chemical that triggers your “pleasure and reward” area of my brain. I also was put on anti-anxiety medication as it was in “high mania” mode when first coming to the crisis center AFTER my hospital stay from my first suicide attempt which was not my last. That is how bad I had spiraled down into “blackness.” Of course, I was severely depressed as well.

So as I close, let us remember that many families and loved ones are holding funerals and memorials for their loved one who were taken to soon and in a senseless way. It is NOT about the shooter. And again, my condolences to those families dealing with the loss.

THIS COULD HAVE BEEN Prevented if we had gun control laws in the books. That is another post for another day…

Author/Advocate, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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(News Snippets Courtesy of “LA Times & The New Times” Referenced Articles)