Flash-Back Friday and a Guest Article Re-Share of My Dear Recovery Supporter and Friend, Author Marilyn. She Shared Her Story In The NY Times …

Flash-Back Friday and a Guest Article Re-Share of My Dear Recovery Supporter and Friend, Author Marilyn. She Shared Her Story In The NY Times …

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I wanted to re-share this post, article, and my dear friend Marilyn Lancelot who has authored several books about her gambling addiction and road maintaining recovery long-term. She has been such a help and support to me since moving to Arizona 6-years ago from Southern Oregon. When I need a should to lean on or an ear to listen, Marilyn is always there when I call. It may not sound like much, but when you are maintaining recovery from a cunning disease like ours? Just a phone call means the world to me and in knowing I am not alone. I hope you find something from this post to use in your path to being and staying BET FREE . . .  ~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Advocate

“Author and Advocate, Marilyn Lancelot, 86, said that after being a compulsive gambler for seven years, she was arrested at age 61 for embezzling $350,000 from her job and served nearly a year in prison.”

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New York Times – “Fighting Compulsive Gambling Among Women”
by:   APRIL 28, 2017.
(Photo Courtesy Deanna Alejandra Dent for The New York Times.

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Blinking lights, the clicking sound of coins, and perks like free or inexpensive food, drinks, and casino bus trips are enticing many older women to gamble.

For some people, that seductive environment can be extremely dangerous.

“Casinos are trained to make you feel welcome, while you lose your life,” said Sandra Adell, 70, a literature professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who recounted her experiences as a compulsive gambler in the book “Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen.” In an interview, Professor Adell said that advertisements aimed at older adults often show smiling people, dressed up and looking glamorous, “to create an illusion that plays to people’s weaknesses.”

“What the industry is doing,” she continued, “the way it markets and keeps casinos filled with elderly people, is morally reprehensible.”

Hard numbers are difficult to find, but Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said that gambling addiction among older women near or in retirement appears to be increasing in scope and severity, with a devastating impact on personal finances.

Marilyn Lancelot, 86, of Sun City, Ariz., for example, said that after being a compulsive gambler for seven years, she was arrested at age 61 for embezzling $350,000 from her job and served nearly a year in prison. “I really thought I’d win the big one deep down in my heart,” she said in an interview. “Every gambler says that.” Ms. Lancelot has described her experiences in the book “Gripped by Gambling.”

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Product Details

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Many experts say that men are often “action” gamblers, who favor blackjack and poker, while women tend to be “escape” gamblers, drawn to games based on luck, like slot machines and lottery tickets. Women often begin gambling later in life than men, sometimes after a major life event, like the death of a spouse or when they become empty nesters.

Women are less likely to develop gambling problems than men, Mr. Whyte said, but “telescoping, the rapid development of problems, is especially pronounced in senior women.” It may seem surprising to some people that women have severe gambling problems, he said. “Grandma is not seen as someone who embezzles money and is taken off to jail,” he said, yet it happens.

Many women lose significant amounts of money and jeopardize their futures. “Once they tap into retirement savings, it’s incredibly hard — if they are ever able — to rebuild those savings,” Mr. Whyte said.

Stephanie Iacopino, 63, of Toms River, N.J., who works part-time in retail sales, said that during years of compulsive gambling, she stole money from family members, friends, and clients in the travel business, and ultimately went to prison in 2010 for embezzling about $18,000 from her church.

She said she served nearly four months at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women near Clinton, N.J., followed by 22 months in New Jersey’s Intensive Supervision Program, which, the state says, is “more onerous” than traditional probation. “We don’t have a nest egg,” said Ms. Iacopino, who is married. “We live paycheck to paycheck.” But she said that while she is struggling financially, she is happy to be recovering from her addiction.

Some women have medical issues associated with gambling, Mr. Whyte said, like bladder problems aggravated by not getting up from slot machines to go to the bathroom. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting that among older people, some medications may lead to compulsive behavior, including a gambling addiction. Decreased cognitive functioning can also interfere with the ability to make sound decisions, he added.

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There is a strong connection between gambling and substance abuse. “If you are a problem gambler, you are four times more likely to have a problem with alcohol at some point in your life,” he said. “At a minimum, the rate of problem gambling among people with substance-use disorders is four to five times that found in the general population.” (The council operates a national 24/7 help line for problem gamblers and their families.)

Patricia A. Healy, clinical director of Healy Counseling Associates, in Toms River, N.J., which specializes in addiction counseling, said problem gambling among the elderly “is a hot issue and under-noticed in this country.”

“Gambling is the stepchild of the addiction world,” she said. “You can’t smell it, you can’t see it, you can’t observe it,” unless you see someone in action.

For certain people, she said, there is an adrenaline rush and “suddenly they’re in the chase. Sadly for some, it’s a death spiral.” Bus trips to casinos are sometimes arranged to coincide with the arrival of pension and Social Security checks, she said, and cases of retirees who cash in their I.R.A.s and pensions, or mortgage or ultimately lose their houses are not uncommon.

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“There is a tremendous amount of shame.”

Neva Pryor, executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said some older people gamble with money intended for medication and find themselves in desperate straits. Some who become suicidal may “drive out in traffic and get killed so families can collect insurance,” she said.

Sam Skolnik, author of “High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America’s Gambling Addiction,” said the aftereffects of pathological gambling include social costs that range from loss of productivity at work, domestic crime, suicide and harm to families from rising indebtedness, home foreclosure, and bankruptcy. “When the elderly gamble, they are often harmed in a more permanent way, sadly,” he said.

“There’s no question the industry knows that they lose more money than they should.”

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It's Not Just a Penny Slot Machine: Gambling Addiction in Seniors

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Sara Slane, senior vice president for public affairs at the American Gaming Association, which represents casinos, said in an email statement, “While problem gambling has not increased along with the increase in casinos, the industry and the A.G.A. continue to increase their investment and commitment to responsible gaming programs.”

She cited research in The Journal of Gambling Studies that compared telephone surveys conducted in 1999 and 2000 with those from 2011 to 2013 and found that rates of problem gambling remained stable overall and actually declined among women.

Rachel Volberg, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, who studies gambling, said the state of knowledge about the issue in the United States is still inadequate.

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“There’s not much support for gambling research in the U.S.,” she said.

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It wasn’t until 1980 that pathological gambling was designated as a mental health issue in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, she said: “It’s a relatively young disorder as far as having recognition.”

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Ms. Lancelot, of Arizona, who is now retired, said she left prison with nothing but eventually recovered financially. As a felon, getting a job and an apartment was difficult, but she borrowed three months’ rent from her brother, offered to pay the landlord in advance and found work as a secretary with the Arizona state government. Within 10 years, she said, she had two homes, a new car and checking accounts. “I want older people to know that it’s not the end of the world,” she said.

Ms. Pryor, of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said older adults can protect themselves from potential gambling problems in retirement by seeking help in managing their finances — and in planning how to spend their time — long before they stop working.

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“What people need to realize,” she said, “is, they may win a little, but ultimately, the house always wins.”

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Honoring Bobby Hafemann’s Memory and Ronda Hatefi and Family. What Life is Like Today Without Bobby. . .

Honoring Bobby Hafemann’s Memory and Ronda Hatefi and Family. What Life is Like Today Without Bobby. . .

Today I close out the “National Week of Action Against Predatory Gambling on a personal note. I am shining the spotlight on a family that has been through heartbreak and know very well what it is like to lose a brother, son, uncle, and on. His name is Bobby Hafemann. . . . .

Ronda has had to describe many times over through the years about what happened when Bobby decided the only option he had to stop his addiction to gambling was to take his own life. Bobby became addicted to the Oregon Lottery Video Poker machines that went on-line in 1991. And to me? This is heartbreaking.  He was failed by many before he died after talking with Ronda at length a few weeks back. Ronda and her family desperately looked for ways to get Bobby help from Gamblers Anonymous, support groups and out-patient treatment which he was attending until Oregon pulled it, possible due to not enough funding yet from the profits of the Lottery. His treatment therapist just suggested he go to a psychologist or psychiatrist for help. AGAIN, they all were failed. Professionals didn’t really know how to treat a person with addicted compulsive gambling at that time.

So today, I wanted to share how Ronda and her family are doing today, today now that Bobby has been gone for over twenty years. So asked her to write this ‘Guest Post’ so I could share it to keep Bobby’s memory of a life taken to soon from this cunning addiction and disease. We as addicted gamblers deep within the worst of our gambling don’t know what we are doing to those we love and others around us. I want to say thank you to Ronda for all the tireless hard work she and her family puts in each year to help others, advocate, raise awareness and keep Bobby Hafemann’s memory ALIVE. Yes, it is long but very worth the read for an in-depth look at what a family goes through when losing a loved one from the disease of gambling addiction .  .  .  .

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* How Gambling Changed My Life! ~ Guest Author & Advocate Ronda Hatefi *

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Ronda Hatefi
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“July 22, 1995, a day that changed my life forever. Not only mine but the life of my parents, siblings children and extended family as well.”

That is the day I got a call that my brother and best friend was found with a gunshot to his head. Bobby was 28-year-old, he was the 4th of 5 children in our family. I was the 5th. Bobby and I were both diagnosed with Epilepsy when we were young, Bobby was having constant seizures during the day and ended up having to repeat second grade. That meant we were in the same grade from my 2nd-grade year through high school.

We became each other’s best friend and at times worst enemy. We ALWAYS had each other’s back no matter what. We truly did everything together, his friends were my friends and vice versa. School was always hard for Bobby; he struggled with almost everything, not because he wasn’t smart enough to do but because it took time away from things he thought were more important. He loved to work, he loved to make money. He mowed lawns and delivered papers at a very young age. He loved to be able to do things for others, he loved to give gifts.

He quit school in high school, which Mom and Dad allowed him to do with the condition that he had to take and pass his GED. He did that and got a job. He worked here in Eugene, Oregon where we grew up until Mom and Dad moved to Portland. He decided to move there too and got a great job working at a Steel Mill making about $45,000 a year. That was great money for a single guy, but it came at a price. The hours were rough, 3pm to 1am 4 days a week. So he went to work just a little while before Dad and our other brother E J got home. They were all in bed long before he got off work. So to unwind after work he started going to a bowling alley just for fun. A cool place to meet people and have a beer before coming home and crawling into bed. This was fine for a while, but in late 1991 video poker was introduced. It was a quick hook for Bobby, he could play for awhile, and walk away with winnings. But it didn’t take long for it to become a little more important than sleep, it became something he had to do, not wanted to do.

Fast forward now just a few years. I watched my brother become someone I didn’t know. He withdrew from family functions, he was irritable, he was always broke. He was borrowing money from everyone he could but tried hard to pay people back. He started selling things, hawking important items, and not paying people back, which meant he just avoided us even more. Things that had always been important to him weren’t anymore. He was sad. He wrote a bad check to my parents, which meant he needed to move out, focus his money, time and attention to other things again. That is what we thought we could do to help him. He knew he couldn’t afford to gamble anymore, he just would quit….right?

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It isn’t that easy. We had many late night talks, crying together about how hard it was for him. When the State is telling you this is entertainment, why doesn’t it feel fun? Why can’t I stop? Feeling so bad about the people he didn’t pay back. It is heart wrenching to watch someone you love so much be in so much pain and not understand how to help fix it. I wish over and over that I could have a do-over on those nights. I wish I could stand up for him, to hold his hand through this process of healing that I have done many times in the past 21 years. I know he would stand with me if he could. I am proud to have shared his story and help others. Sometimes I feel angry that it wasn’t him that I helped. I go to his grave and talk to him about it. I ask him for strength and ask him to be with those who are struggling here. I don’t know really what I would do if one of the gamblers I have helped succeeded at suicide. I think about it, and wonder if I could get through that pain again. I wasn’t sure I was going to get through it the first time.

I will walk you through that horrible day that we got the call. My family and my husband, my 6-year-old daughter, and 18-month-old son were all getting ready to go to Portland to surprise Bobby at his company picnic. We were getting things ready in a leisurely way, enjoying the morning. The phone rang, I answered, it was my brother E J and all he said was, “Can I talk to Darren.”  I don’t know why or how I knew but at that moment, I knew I lost Bobby. I screamed. I don’t remember that, but I was told the neighbors heard and rushed over. My body trembled, I remember my husband trying to hold me down, hold my body still. My daughter was crying because I was scaring her. I have no idea how long it took to get loaded, I have no idea what was loaded, I just know we were at my sister’s house.

Then her family, as well as my other brother and his family could travel together to my parent’s house in Portland. I don’t remember the ride other than reading my bible out loud, I’m not sure what I read. Seeing my parents in their driveway was one of the worst feelings in the world. To see the pain in them, I can’t imagine what was going through their heads. My Dad and my 2 nephews rode their bikes to Bobby’s apartment to surprise him that morning, and when he didn’t answer they asked the apartment manager to let them in. That is how Bobby was found, no parent should ever have to witness that. They think he had been gone for 2 days.

Why didn’t someone hear the gun shot?
Why didn’t a neighbor seem to notice he wasn’t in and out?
Why did he have to lay there alone for 2 days?
Would he have survived if he was found sooner?

These are all questions that I think about still. I wish I could have been there for him, he had my number written in his notebook but he never called. WHY!
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That night we all sat and tried to console each other. We talked about what went wrong. We thought about Bobby and told stories. I didn’t sleep at all, I cried all night. I wrote him a 9-page letter telling him that I missed him. That I loved him, maybe more than he realized. That I would have been there if he just called. I told him that I forgave him, that I didn’t understand why he did it, but I forgave him. I remember my brother-in-law coming into the dining room where I was in a puddle on the floor sobbing and trying to get me to go to bed. I didn’t want to bother anyone so I thought I sitting in the dining room would be the best place.

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The next day a few people went to Bobby’s to clean up the mess. I couldn’t go. I felt so bad but I couldn’t help, I just couldn’t do it. I wanted his “stuff” just anything that had his smell. I brought home his tennis shoes, his clothes, and other things just to have a piece of him. My parents later let me have his rings and his hat. I didn’t want anyone else to put his hat on their head. It is funny the things that were important to me.

We got a call from his work saying they had heard, and they were sorry. We got a call from 7-11 saying that he was in earlier in the week, they had fronted him his paycheck so if we could please bring his check to them when we got it that would be great. We had to start making funeral plans, canceling things like his phone, electric, truck payments, and credit cards. None of this was easy. We moved Bobby’s truck to Mom and Dad’s so it wasn’t at the apartment, and every time we looked out we thought he was home. It was so hard seeing it, he loved his truck. We called and asked the bank to come get it, we needed it gone. They couldn’t do that until he was 3 months behind on payments. I finally called and told them that if they didn’t come and get it we would park it somewhere and they would have to find it. That was the hardest part for my Mom was seeing that out front. They did finally come get it, but it took way to long. The phone company was the other hard one to deal with, they wouldn’t disconnect the line without his permission. I finally told them that when they got a hold of him to please let him know I had a few questions myself.

We had his service in Portland, we all worked to make it the way he would have wanted it. We all went to pick out Bobby’s casket and decided to put it in a cement vault too.

We were all numb, I don’t remember much about any of that. I don’t remember the funeral really either. I do remember his girlfriend at the time coming from Bend to stay with us. She let us hear the messages he left her, oh my goodness. He was crying for help, he begged her to help him. He told her he had a gun to his head. I think it was 5 different messages, and she did nothing. She talked to him once and thought she talked him out of it. She didn’t bother calling my parents, the police or anyone. She just didn’t think he would do it. I asked her so many questions that night my sister made me stop. I just wanted to know everything. She was the last one to talk to him, I wanted to know every single thing he said. She helped us with funeral plans a little. I know he loved her, I wanted to be fair.

“My Mom wrote on his death certificate, suicide thanks to the Oregon State Lottery.”

The paper could not print it that way, but they did call us and asked us if they could do a story. We did. Our lives changed. We were not alone in our lack of understanding about gambling addiction. After the story ran in the Oregonian we received 2 phone calls on my parents’ answering machine in Portland. One was a man who thought Bobby was right, that was the only way to escape this terrible addiction, and he was later arrested for trying to jump from a bridge in Portland.

And the other from a very distraught gambler who had lost his wife, kids and was near suicide when his Mom called him and made him come read our story. I called both men back, didn’t reach the first one of course, but did talk to the second one. His Mom and Dad joined our fight and has been a part of everything we have done since. It took him awhile to get it all together, but he has. He is remarried, reconnected with his kids and living a gambling free life for 15 years now. We are very close to his whole family and so grateful that he was able to recover from his struggle and live the life he deserves.

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(Bobby Hafemann of Oregon was only 28-years old when he passed due to gambling.)
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I needed to understand what Bobby was feeling, I wanted to know every last thought he had and I wanted to know why a machine could take him away from me. I called a Gamblers Anonymous hotline number, the same one Bobby called, and on the other end was whooping and hollering with a man saying: he was out gambling, he slipped and couldn’t even help himself so he couldn’t help anyone else either. I left a message; he did call me back and apologize for the message but did give me some insight. I called our local treatment place in Eugene, I talked to a counselor who was very nice to talk to me and invite me to a meeting so I could sit in and listen to their words to see if it helped me.

In return, I had to tell my story to try to help them. As I was listening to the gamblers stories, a gambler had spoken almost word for word a part of Bobby’s suicide note. It hit me hard then, and it still hits me hard today. By far one of the hardest part of me telling Bobby’s story. Bobby wrote that he felt like a ghost that no one could see or hear. He wanted to be a ghost so others wouldn’t see him. We were such a close loving family, that to hear he felt like a ghost rips my heart out. I never wanted him to feel alone, how could he, we were always here for him, we wanted nothing more than for him to come back to our family as his old self. I sent him notes from me, and my kids on a weekly basis. His other nieces and nephews wrote him notes and drew him pictures to hang on his fridge. He was very loved and very much an important part of our family.

After the funeral, we all came to Eugene, we had him buried where my parent’s plots are. We had a little service there too, for all our Eugene family. I remember having so many dreams about him, some he was crying and saying he was sorry. Some asking me to give messages to others. He wanted me to know it wasn’t his girlfriend’s fault. He wanted me to tell my Mom he loved her and appreciated her help and support. He would sit on my bed and tell me that I was going to be ok, that he was ok. I would beg him to come back, and he would tell me that I knew he couldn’t but he loved me. I would hear gunshots but never see his face. It was just a couple of years ago that I was able to ask my brother for details about the gun, what it did to Bobby’s face and if he thought Bobby suffered, and why nobody heard the shot.

Those are things I always wanted to know but it is so hard to ask. I’m only one of 5 siblings remember, so I know they have hard days too and I didn’t want to ask things that would be hard for them to answer. I am so thankful for my brother Harvey who was my rock then and still is today. He has supported everything I have done since day one. We all dealt with the grief differently. 2 of my sisters’ boys were there when he was found so she had them to take care of. My other brother’s kids were out of the State with their Mom when it happened and they lived with Uncle Bobby for years, so were very close to him. E J was very angry with Bobby for doing that to his kids. I don’t blame him, explaining to our kids what happened was the worst! For years my Son would ask, “Mommy, tell me again why did Uncle Bobby have to die?”

My daughter had terrible nightmares for years. She wrote an incredible story for school her freshman year about how she remembers those days. I find it interesting that I can tell you this part of the story. I really don’t remember much of the first year he passed other than what I did for him. I remember crying at night because I didn’t know if I fed my kids that day, or if I took my daughter to school, or bathed my son. I didn’t write a thing in their baby books for a year. I know I would go to my other brothers’ house a lot because I knew his wife would take care of my kids. About a year after Bobby passed I remember looking in the mirror and not really recognizing me, my hair was really short, I gained a lot of weight, I wasn’t taken care of. And I didn’t care. I was just hoping I was taking care of my kids. My main focus was really just to learn as much as we could from others, and help others by telling our story.

My Mom and I got a call from the Maury Povich show, which we were flown to New York to record a taping of an episode. We did a news story for a station in Seattle WA, Dad and I went to the National Conference in South Dakota one year so I could speak on a panel, which I have done now a few times. We have spoken at Churches, in Schools, at the Capitol building in Salem, Oregon, at Lottery commission meetings, and many other places. There have been times in my life when I think I need to be done, I am not making a difference, I am tired of fighting and getting nowhere. About that time, I will get a phone call from somewhere across the United States from someone who found my information on the web and they just need to talk to someone.

They thought I would listen. And I do. I am not a counselor, I do not have certified training to be one, but I can listen and give them ideas on how to find help. It is very important to me to make sure each person I talk to feels supported, not alone. I want them to know they have loved ones who want nothing more than to help and support them through this even though they have done things they can’t even believe. I know that first step has to be so hard, but they can do it. I am very proud that the Oregon Proclamation has been renewed every year since we started. It is a starting point, it is something that shows whether or not they want to deal with it, our Government knows we have a problem in our State of Oregon. I am proud of what we have done with “Gambling Awareness Day” each Sept 29th. From family gatherings, sending balloons with messages to the sky the first year to going national, 20 States, 2 Countries and over 100 Actions taking place last year.

We have rallied on the State Capitol steps, even having one of the Governor assistants reading our proclamation to the crowd of people. I am so excited to see where we can go with our TAKE A BREAK campaign. It is just another way to reach out. My goal is the same today as it was 21 years ago, to reach out to those who are struggling, who don’t understand what is happening from gambling and to the families who are frustrated and don’t know how to help. I want them all to know they are not alone; they have people who are standing up and being the voice when they cannot speak about it. I have a few people who have been by my side for many years, some in prevention and many in the treatment field who have said to me, “I hope that one day you will put me out of work.”

Their hearts are in the right place, they are doing what they can do to HELP others. I know it has been said by others that they need problem gamblers so they can keep their jobs. I hope one day I can put them out of work too! What I have learned from this whole experience is that sometimes we are called to do things that we had no idea we were capable of doing. It is with hard work, dedication, determination and a lot of support from the connections I have made to keep me moving forward. I want my kids to know that just because something is hard, doesn’t make it ok to quit. That is how we find out who we are, and how strong we can be!

Thank you, Catherine, for letting me tell this side of my story, It is something I haven’t done. It is hard to think that I took that much time away from my kids, not to mention my husband. My sister would tell me often, this is too hard on you, you need to stop telling this story. I really can’t imagine life without Bobby, and the only way I know how to keep him close is by telling HIS STORY.

I have his hat hanging on my wall with his picture. I wear his ring every day. I still have a shirt of his that I wear when I need a hug. I miss him every day. I think about what he would be like today, how much he would love my kids and grandkids. His girlfriend at the time still calls and we talk, she has a daughter now but isn’t very happy in her marriage. When my Mom passed on Mother’s Day last year, it made me smile to know she was able to be with ALL of her kids on Mother’s Day, she missed Bobby so much too. I can only imagine the big smiles on their faces when they were together again in Heaven!


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OGAO – Oregonians for Gambling Awareness Organization

The OGAO was founded by Ronda Hatefi, who lost her brother Bobby Hafemann in 1995 to suicide related to his problems with gambling. Bobby was only 28 years old.

Ronda commemorates Bobby’s birthday every year on September 29 through Problem Gamblers Awareness Day. She also chairs the Lane County Problem Gambling Advisory Committee.

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In closing, I have to say I have been very blessed to have met Ronda and am Honored each year to help her in her quest to raise awareness through Bobby’s Memory and tragic story. I wish and I pray for her and her family that they keep all those beautiful special memories of Bobby deep in their hearts. But as we both know, advocating shares HOPE to others and hopefully save lives from the disease of Gambling Addiction.

God Bless All,

Author & Recovery Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
“National Week of Action Against For-Profit Predatory Gambling.”

 

 

My New Guest Article In ‘Keys To Recovery’ Newspaper! Celebrating National Addiction Recovery Month.

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

 

In honor of celebrating this month, another new article was published this month in a new publication I was invited to write for called, Keys To Recovery Newspaper!

My first article in last month’s issue was a hit with many visits, so they asked me for another for this month. The publication is free and they are out of Southern California. They are one of the biggest distributors of addiction recovery news sent out to conferences, training seminars, and mailed to many 12 step groups nationwide. I was very honored to be asked to submit articles for their new column, “Quit To WIN!” about gambling addiction and recovery. 

Here is my September article I wrote to share more of my addiction and recovery in celebration of this special MONTH!

I hope it helps others have HOPE from the cunning disease called; “Gambling Addiction” A Real Addiction, A Real Disease!

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‘Quit To Win’

“CONSEQUENCES, ACCOUNTABILITY & FREEDOM”

 

“I will never forget the day I was sitting in jail, on a cold piece of concrete bench feeling sick to my stomach. I was waiting to be booked and fingerprinted by our local police. I could not believe I was here. I could not believe my addicted thinking and poor choice got me here. The shame and embarrassment I will never forget.”

That was me back in Sept 2006. I wanted to share a little about the damages and consequences many of us face when we were deep within our addictions, or like me, just have more recovery work to do. One of those can be losing your freedom due to jail, criminal records or doing jail or prison time. I had visited a friend’s blog this morning, and he had just been released from prison five days ago. I have followed some of his journey on his recovery blog while he was there. And I can tell you; there is nothing worse than having your freedoms of life taken away from you.

See I know this first hand as I had this happen myself, just no prison time. In 2006 I made the poor choice to steal from someone due to financial problems of my own. This person filed charges, by which she had every right to do. I was arrested at my home, taken to jail, booked, and then released due to never having a criminal record. Talk about shame and embarrassment. It was the lowest point in my life besides my two failed suicide attempts. I was living in Oregon at the time, in a small community, so everyone, of course, read about it in our local newspaper.

I had spent over 20 years in the banking field, so I knew many people and business people in my town. So it was again pretty embarrassing to know they all may have read about my downfall, and seen my name in our local newspaper.

FREEDOM, ARE  YOU HEARING ME? GET YOUR FREEDOM BACK!

Now my friend who just got out of prison was talking about how he was becoming addicted to his tech stuff. His cell phone, the internet and social media, and how much had changed just in the seven years that he was away in prison. I SO understood what my friend, fresh out of prison was feel- ing and going through. I’m addicted to the same, but I have chosen to be addicted to social media and the internet for two excellent reasons, and these reasons are blessings of my hard work in recovery and given from my higher power.
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I use them for my recovery to help others and share hope in recovery, inform and educate others about gambling addiction, alcohol abuse, and more, as I blog my recovery journey. I also use it for my home business as a book promoter.

I chose to steal from someone while I cleaned her home. It is all in my book. I was arrested, charged, given two-years probation and loads of community service. I’m still paying my fees and the little balance left of my restitution today. So with having a criminal record, no one would hire me. So I had to think outside the box and figure a way to make money from home. I also suffer from severe depression and agoraphobia, so I don’t work outside my home anymore.  BAM! Book Promoting and authoring more recovery books came to me! Lol. Now I am not rich, but I have made enough to pay our rent some months, and that not only feels good/ but are blessings in recovery. It also raises your self-worth, your confidence and gives you freedom from addiction.

We need to learn while working our recovery to take ownership and accountability of the choices we had made. No matter how long it takes to work through them? It can be done; you will never feel that full sense of freedom from your past if you don’t. And boy did I have a lot to process and overcome of my past starting as a hurt, traumatized little girl. That holds true for the other obstacles that come from just life trials and storms besides turning to addiction.

So back to my friend, I told him to change his priority of why he is using them. I use them to help others in recovery, go to online recovery meetings, and that is what helps me stay in recovery. Shar- ing my story, sharing my hope to others so they too can help others. Same with my book promotions. I enjoy helping other authors promote their books. And I work just as hard for them as I do when I help others in  recovery.

I never dreamed how my life could take a decisive turn from the ugly damage and devastation of gambling addiction I battled. Never dreamed I’d be a published   author in my lifetime, nor have freedom again. But when we are in addiction, we just  don’t see anything but the addiction. What a life legacy I get to leave behind for others who come to recovery after I’m gone. Awesome! Just don’t give up on those dreams!

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I have been unbelievably blessed since that day sitting in jail. Yes, my choice’s back then came with heavy consequences, but in Recovery we can surely turn that around and have a “positive impact” in the world and with others who still suffer the “cycle” of any addiction. I know this as I have been sharing HOPE & HELP to as many as I can for the last 8 years. So please, if you or someone you care about has a gambling problem? Reach out and get help today and “reclaim your life back!”

Start Here: The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700).

Look for a GA Meeting – Gamblers Anonymous in your area here:  

U.S. Meetings | Gamblers Anonymous

For Family:

Gambling Addiction – gam-anon.org‎

God Bless All!  Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author 

A Message From “The White House & Our President, Barak Obama.” And National Day of Action from Gambling Addiction…

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A National Message From Our US President, Barak
Obama from “The White House.”

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
August 31, 2016

“Presidential Proclamation – National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, 2016

NATIONAL ALCOHOL AND DRUG ADDICTION RECOVERY MONTH, 2016

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Every day, millions of Americans prove that recovery from alcohol and substance use disorders is possible — yet at the same time, millions more are struggling with the disease of addiction. These individuals are our family members, friends, and neighbors, and when they are not able to get the help they need, our communities and our country are not as strong as they can be. It is up to all of us to help our loved ones seek life-saving services when needed and steer them toward recovery. Throughout this month, we celebrate the successes of all those who know the transformative power of recovery, and we renew our commitment to providing the support, care, and treatment that people need to forge a healthier life.

Substance use disorder, commonly known as addiction, is a disease of the brain, and many misconceptions surrounding it have contributed to harmful stigmas that can prevent individuals from seeking the treatment they need. By treating substance use disorders as seriously as other medical conditions, with an emphasis on prevention and treatment, people can recover. This month’s theme is, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!”. Focusing on the importance of family support throughout recovery, it invites families, loved ones, and other individuals to share their stories and triumphs in fighting substance use disorders to inspire others that may follow in their footsteps. I encourage all Americans looking for assistance to use the “Treatment Locator” tool at  www.SAMHSA.gov or call 1-800-662-HELP.

This disease can touch any American in any community, and my Administration has made combatting substance use disorders a priority. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies must now cover substance use disorder services as essential health benefits. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act requires health plans that cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment to provide coverage that is comparable to that of medical and surgical care. Through our National Drug Control Strategy — a 21st-century approach to reducing drug use and its consequences — we have promoted evidence-based health and safety initiatives that aim to prevent drug use, increase opportunities for early intervention and integrated treatment in health care, and support recovery.

In response to our Nation’s opioid overdose epidemic, we are highlighting tools that can help reduce drug use and overdoses such as evidence-based prevention programs, prescription drug take-back events, medication-assisted treatment for people with opioid use disorders, and the overdose reversal drug naloxone. That is why, in my most recent budget proposal, I proposed investing $1 billion to expand access to treatment for prescription opioid misuse and heroin use. I will continue urging the Congress to fund treatment like I have proposed — because if they fund these efforts, we can help more individuals across our country seek help, complete treatment, and sustain recovery.

During National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, let us thank health care professionals, support groups, and all those dedicated to helping individuals in need find assistance and reclaim their lives. Let us continue working to address substance use disorders in our communities and promote the health, safety, and prosperity of the American people.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2016 as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

BARACK OBAMA

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AMEN!! SO, in Honor of this ADDICTION PROCLAMATION, I will be blogging and having many addiction/recovery guests and guest articles all month long on all types of addictions…. So please drop by all month of September and Together we can make a difference and help “SAVE LIVES!”

I am also Honoring this Special Month by lowering my current e-book titled; “Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat” my story in a Memoir is now only $3.10 per download here on  Amazon Kindle  …  And September is also:

NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION SEPT. 25TH – OCT. 1ST ~ Along with Les Bernel, Founder of “Stop Predatory Gambling” – Government & Gambling. http://stoppredatorygambling.org/

addicted

Author and Recovery Columnist,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon

“My After Thoughts – Honoring Bobby H. & His Sister Ronda Hatefi, This Past Weekends National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling – My Story”

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends & New Visitors,

 




“It was a big weekend for Raising Awareness of Predatory Gambling! I blogged from morning until night with several posts I hope helped some or all who came to visit my recovery blog this past weekend”…

There were many events that took place all over the United States and around the world to ‘Honor The Memory’ of Ronda’s brother Bobby Hafemann who in 1995 to his life by suicide related to his problems with gambling. Bobby was only 28 years old.
Ronda commemorates Bobby’s birthday every year on September 29 through Problem Gamblers Awareness Day. She also chairs the Lane County Problem Gambling Advisory Committee.

But this year, my good friends and the fine folks of  Stop Predatory Gambling  helped to honor Bobby and his sister with the very First National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling this past weekend! Sept 26th & 27th 2015. Now since I suffer Agoraphobia, I took to my blog and social media and blogged about “All Things Gambling Addiction & Recovery!” I also wanted to thank Ronda, as I put my last post up late last night, and shared throughout social media, she had some nice words and re-shared my post links on her Facebook page.

So, I thought I would do one more post as an after event wrap up by sharing some of my book with all that shares when I learned, shown and became addicted to The Oregon Lottery Video Poker & Slot Machines. I stopped going to the Indian casinos. All I had to do was walk up the street to gamble on the machines that were through the Oregon Lottery. Access is a BIG factor with problem and addicted gamblers. And these machines are everywhere throughout the state. So is the part from my current book/memoir of how I learned about the Oregon Lottery .. .. .
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Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat.


( Click to purchase from Amazon )

“After a visit to Oregon with my parents, my best friend, Debbie, who had lived next door to me in California for many years, decided to move to Oregon. She stayed with us until she got settled at her new job. About the same time, the state of Oregon passed a bill to allow video poker machines in places that served food, such as bars, taverns and delis. The lottery already had Keno games online. For my addiction, that was a downfall for me when I started compulsively gambling later on. It was so accessible.”

If you live in Oregon, you know what I mean. If you think about it, gambling is socially accepted. It’s pretty much everywhere you go – even in our children’s schools, with raffles, casino fundraisers, in our churches with bingo, and at our gas stations, markets and grocery stores with Megabucks, Powerball, Mega-millions drawings and scratch-off tickets. So, for an addicted gambler, it seems action really is everywhere, and when you’re addicted, you have no self-control. You feel as though you’re constantly teetering on a high wire.

When the video poker machines were approved by the state, the machines also popped up everywhere. Why drive to Las Vegas, Reno or Lake Tahoe, or go to an Indian casino, when you can go up the street to gamble? In the town where I live, there were little sandwich delis opening up around town and, as long as they served food and soft drinks, they could have up to six poker machines in their stores. They also sold beer, wine coolers and the cheapest cigarettes in town. They offered all types of lottery services and games.

As my husband continued working out-of-town for the next several months, and with my friend Debbie staying with me, she and I would often go have lunch at one of these deli’s. Around the same time, she and I would take weekend trips to the Indian casino, or go to the deli for lunch a lot more often. As that year went by, I also noticed I’d spend a little more money than I should have. I believe it was because of the easy access to gambling, and too much time on my hands. Was I addicted at this point? Hardly. That would soon change, though. As I look back now, I was experiencing a few “red flags” of addiction, but not recognizing them.

I remember having built-up feelings of excitement before I went, knowing I’d get to gamble if we went to lunch, or if we were going to the casino. The only thing I did was play Keno if we went to lunch at our local deli. I had never played the new video poker machines there, which were operated by the state lottery. One day, in early 1998, Deb and I went to have our usual lunch at the deli on a Saturday. We started talking three retired gentlemen, who were also having lunch and playing Keno while they ate. One of them finished his lunch and was on the other side of the deli playing one of the video poker machines, so I walked over to watch him play. He was winning. He had about $ 140 worth of credits on his machine. I asked him how much of that money did he start with. He said only $ 10. Well, you don’t have to tell a person who works in a bank how much profit he’d made so far.

Flush Fever

He was playing a game called “Flush Fever,” and explained how the game worked. I think that’s the day my life changed. The machine next to him was open, so I sat next to him and put in only $ 5 and won $ 45. I thought, ‘Wow, that sure was easy money.’ So I cashed out my ticket, sat back down next to him and played again. I started with $ 10 – it was a quarter game, so I increased my bet to 75 cents a hand. The machine started paying again. See, it’s the allure of the game and thinking you’re winning every time you play. That’s why winning, for an addicted gambler, is bad. It will keep a person’s ass on that chair gambling.

As I was playing, the guy next to me got up and was getting ready to leave. For as long as I’m alive, I will always remember what happened next: He leaned over my shoulder and said to me, “When you’re ahead, always cash out, and know when to leave with THEIR money, because I’d really hate myself if you got hooked on these machines.” Oh, if only I had listened to his sage wisdom.

“I still look back, all these years later, and remember what that man said to me. He never knew how that day changed my life, because I never saw him there again.” .. .. ..
–  –  –  –  – –

“Before I write about the woman I am, you need to know the little girl I was.”

“The cruelest lies are often told in silence.”  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“This book is dedicated to my loving husband of 22 years. (Now 26 years this Sept 29th!) Tom, without you, your unconditional love for me and support throughout the years of my gambling addiction and recovery, I never would have made it back to reality. You have made me a better person for not just giving up on me, and for always knowing the true woman you married all those years ago. We both know now that no matter what life throws at us, we can weather any storm that comes our way. We deserve to have peace and serenity for the rest of our days together.”

“I also dedicate this book to all those who suffer from this illness, or those who may be afflicted with this insidious, insane addiction. Know that there is help out there, and hope, if you choose recovery. This illness is treatable, and there is life after gambling addiction. Our path to recovery may be rocky or difficult at times, but know you’re not alone.”

“There are others out there suffering from this destructive addiction.”

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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Gambling Recovery Advocate 🙂 XO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VOICES We Will Never Hear ~ Gambling Addiction and Suicides ~ National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling.

“Voices, voices we will never hear because their gambling addiction was so bad they took their own lives by SUICIDE to STOP GAMBLING!  Those with gambling problems are TWENTY TIMES more likely to commit suicide.”

(Courtesy of Casino Watch – Gambling and Suicides) .. .. ..

Michigan – A small-business owner, had just returned from a trip to the Las Vegas Strip’s MGM Grand Tuesday when he allegedly killed his pregnant wife and three children (under 7 years old) before turning the gun on himself. In his Mich., home, police found a suicide note blaming gambling addiction – and $225,000 in shredded casino markers. His business was $500,000 in debt because he withdrew the money to cover his gambling.
Las Vegas Sun 11/22/00 Las Vegas Review-Journal 11/23/00

Atlantic City – An 11-year-old Herndon girl died yesterday after initially surviving the slayings of her mother and brother and the suicide of her father, who authorities now say had defrauded area banks of nearly $2 million and had $10 million in gambling and other debts.
Washington Post 8/6/98

LA – On Thursday, another fight about gambling steeled Jueliene Butler’s determination to leave her husband, as her children raced down the street on their bicycles and tricycles. The two shots that resounded through the neighborhood ended a tempestuous 26-year marriage between Rodney and Jueliene Butler in a murder-suicide heard by their 13-year-old daughter.
Times Picayune 5/8/98

IL – Each turned on the ignition of their Olds Regency after stretching a vacuum hose from the exhaust pipe into the car’s interior, climbing in and rolling up the windows. Carol, 63, was the obsessive gambler. Disabled and saddled with the monstrous debt she had created, Skip, 69 had wanted to join her. Undone by a ravenous habit that cost them $200,000, a house, a nest egg and two lives, it was Carol who left a terse hint of the forest of guilt and fear that had grown around them. Bexson and Carol Warriner chose suicide as a last exit from gambling habits.
Los Angeles Times 6/22/97

ATLANTIC CITY — An unidentified man hanged himself under the Boardwalk on Thursday, the third suicide outside a casino in the last three months, police said.
The Associated Press 6/9/00

ATLANTIC CITY — A 50-year-old Vernor man apparently committed suicide Tuesday afternoon by jumping off the parking garage of a casino, police said.
LAS VEGAS SUN 4/5/00

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A German tourist jumped to his death off a 10-story casino parking garage Wednesday in the third such suicide in eight days.
The Associated Press 8/25/99

Atlantic City – Ex-casino worker leaps to death from roof of Trump Marina. He is the fifth person to jump from a casino here and die since August 1999.
South Jersey Publishing CO 5/27/00

Atlantic City – A bloodied body was found at the entrance to the Sands Casino Hotel parking garage just before 8 a.m. Investigators believe he fell two stories to his death but don’t know much more than that.
South Jersey Publishing 7/30/00

Atlantic City – The 36-year-old Florida man leaped seven stories to his death Tuesday after losing between $50,000 and $87,000 at Trump Plaza.
South Jersey Publishing Co. 8/19/99

CT – He had developed a gambling habit over the past few months that began on a trip to Las Vegas this summer. Police believe he was driving home from Foxwoods Resort Casino when, in desperation, he killed himself by hanging.
The Day Publishing 9/9/00

A Long Island teen who had a “death wish” because of a $6,000 World Series gambling debt used a $1.75 toy gun to force cops to shoot and kill him, police said yesterday.
New York Post 11/16/97

Detroit – A gambler losing big dollars in the high-roller area of the MotorCity Casino in Detroit pulled out a gun Wednesday, shot himself in the head and died, police said. He was playing double hands at $500 per hand, and lost $10,000 that night.
Detroit Free Press 1/27/00

BILOXI, Miss. — Police are trying to determine what caused a gambler down on his luck to shoot three people before killing himself at a busy Gulf Coast casino.
ASSOCIATED PRESS 1/15/01

Miss – In May 1996, Bay St. Louis, Miss., resident James Shamburger, a casino regular, hanged himself with a dog leash.

IL – No one knows why Howard Russell took his life, but authorities found he had taken more than $13,000 in advances on his credit cards during an eight-hour gambling spree on the riverboat.
Sun Times 7/28/97

IL – Since casinos opened in Joliet five years ago, Will County Coroner Patrick O’Neil said he has handled three suicides involving people who had racked up debts on the riverboats. But there are others, he said, such as the Kankakee couple who killed themselves outside O’Neil’s jurisdiction.
Sun Times 7/28/97

IL – 27-year-old Larry ruined his career, maxed out his credit cards and finally killed himself after gambling away his girlfriend’s rent money.
TODAY 8/13/01

IL – A gambler, Robert Jewell, threatened to spray gunfire in an Elgin, Ill., casino, then returned home and shot himself.
Los Angeles Times 6/22/97

IL – Kate, 40, a gambling addict and mother of 2, committed suicide by shooting herself in the head.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2/22/95

TAMPA — The night Hillsborough State Attorney Harry walked into a darkened field carrying his gun, he already was mired deep in gambling debt and facing an investigation. He committed suicide.
St. Petersburg Times 11/28/00

AZ – Harrah’s Indian gambling director committed suicide over a jackpot dispute.
The Associated Press 1/21/98

LA – After a night of drinking at a Kenner casino Saturday night, a Ponchatoula man, 21, apparently shot himself to death in his car outside the gambling boat, police said.
Times Picayune 11/8/99

MO – Mother committed suicide after secret, luckless trips to Casino St. Charles.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch 3/3/96

Las Vegas – Pierce was the second prominent actor to take his life in a little more than a year. In March 1999, David Strickland hanged himself at the Oasis Motel, 1731 Las Vegas Blvd. South. Strickland was in the TV series “Suddenly Susan.”
Las Vegas Review-Journal 7/12/00

LAS VEGAS (AP) – A 24-year-old Utah man scaled two security barriers and jumped to his death from the observation deck of the 1,149-foot Stratosphere Tower hotel-casino late Wednesday, police said.
Las Vegas Sun 1/6/00

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The bullets fired by the family man and Alabama Power employee struck three people he’d apparently never met inside the 23-story hotel and casino, and sparked a panic that didn’t end until a dozen other people were injured in the melee. McConnell then shot himself in the head. A casino employee said he had been in the casino before and was upset after losing at the slot machines.
Alabama Live 1/15/01

Las Vegas – They have bank statements showing that Batdorf drained his $17,000 Florida bank account in 11 days. Between August and September he made $600 daily ATM withdrawals as often as three times a day and maxed out his credit cards that put him $72,000 in debt. A pawn shop ticket with his name and thumbprint on it prove he hocked the last of his things, among them the ceramic W.C. Fields and Marx Brothers figurines his mom gave him for Christmas. All activity stopped on his credit cards and bank statements a little over two months later in Las Vegas — about the same time a man’s body matching Batdorf’s description turned up in the desert, dead from a .357-caliber gunshot wound in the head.
Las Vegas SUN 10/31/98

CA – A compulsive gambler shot and killed himself in San Diego. It was at least the second such suicide in that city within the past few months, yet these events are rarely reported and when they are, the connection with gambling is often overlooked.
The Los Angeles Times 6/30/97

Iowa – Where a 19-year-old college dropout, Jason Berg, shot himself to death in June 1994, despairing over a budding gambling habit.
Los Angeles Times 6/22/97

A Long Island teen who had a “death wish” because of a $6,000 World Series gambling debt used a $1.75 toy gun to force cops to shoot and kill him, police said yesterday.
New York Post 11/16/98

Pergament, depressed over $6,000 in gambling debts, got himself shot Friday night by threatening officers with what turned out to be a toy gun, police said. They call it “suicide by co” — and say they’ve seen it before.
The Associated Press 11/17/97

My father, a successful lawyer in Los Angeles, was also a compulsive gambler, and he killed himself in 1976, shortly after one of his many trips to Las Vegas.
WARD M. WINTON St. Paul, Dec. 16, 1997

SALEM, Ore. – A Eugene woman who blames her brother’s suicide on the state lottery’s video poker network filed a lawsuit Tuesday that would constitutionally invalidate the lottery.
The Register-Guard 7/25/01

RI – Hours after Police Chief Thomas Moffatt was found dead Nov. 20, apparently a suicide, in the basement of the police station, four city officials were told of reports that the chief had been borrowing money from subordinates to pay gambling debts.
The Providence Journal 11/30/98

Miss. – After two losing days at the Tunica gambling tables, Ronnie Austin told his wife he was ready to leave. By the time she caught up to him in the Horseshoe Casino parking garage, the Cordova resident was dead from a 9 mm gunshot wound to the chest, an apparent suicide captured on security camera videotape.
The Commercial Appeal 3/17/98

Las Vegas – Tillander became immersed in a gambling habit. While no one knows the extent of Tillander’s debts, his inability to stop gambling left him unwilling to go on. “His finances were getting out of control,” Flatt says. “Gambling is a tough addiction because when you confront someone about it, there is usually very little evidence.” authorities found Tillander’s body in his apartment. He had crafted the cyanide gas concoction, stuck his head in a pup tent and taken in the deadly fumes.
Las Vegas Review-Journal 11/16/98

CT – A bank employee and father with a gambling habit, in desperation, killed himself by hanging after leaving a casino.
The Day Publishing Online 9/9/00

CT – The body of 28-year-old John Diakos was found in a casino parking lot after he committed suicide by ingesting a mixture of drugs and cutting his arms.
The Day Publishing Online 9/9/00

CT – 38-year-old woman of Stamford drowned herself by wading into the Thames River after losing hundreds of dollars at gambling the maximum amount allowed on her credit cards at the casino.
The Day Publishing Online 9/9/00

There have been many more that the news media and newspapers will never share as they think it will give Gambling a bad wrap .. .. ..

PARENTS? YOU Need to read this about your kids and young college bound young adults!

Gambling Is Driving Our Children To Commit Crimes and Suicide

Author & Gambling Recovery Advocate ~ Catherine Townsend-Lyon

Rounding Out National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling ~ OK Guys, Lets Talk “Sports Betting” Shall We?

“Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about The Sports Betting racket”




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OK, so sports & horse betting was not my “thing,” but I have it on very good source and authority from a good friend of mine, Mr. Arnie Wexler who has kept up with all that goes on with it. He has been in long-term recovery from gambling, which some was sports and ponies. Arnie has helped thousands of guys and gals from gambling which includes sports betting. He has been around the block a few times, knows many in media, including sports casters, writers and journalists.
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He happened to share a few things about sports betting, professional sports and such. Some few years ago, A National Sport league reached out to Arnie Wexler with concerns about their players gambling on air planes to pass the time and felt it was becoming a problem with the players of the league. Reading the emails Arnie shared with me, I found it kind of interesting how it seems like the “Good Ole Boys” society when it comes to talking about gambling and sports betting with many of these guys, and the point of what Arnie was sharing with me by email. Of course he always shares “The Good Stuff” with me and my recovery friends.

So I thought I would share a some. It is kind of funny how these national league people had concerns about their players having gambling problems, but yet, Arnie never heard back from them when he told them he would be happy to help, and even was flown out for talks. It seems they are more worried about what the media would say if it got out that players were gambling on the planes to pass to time then to get these guys help. I think we all know it is no surprise that some high-profile sports stars have been in the media and news about their gambling problems.

So maybe you can share YOUR thoughts as to these emails that SAY A Lot! And includes questions about DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Football, which got the emails started …

DraftKings Sports Betting Sample:

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And I don’t know about you, but I’m getting SICK of seeing these damn commercials 24/7 for FANDUEL!!
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Here are the email correspondences and keep in mind their several emails here***Arnie:Arnie Wexler to Big Media Guys: RE: Draft Kings / Fantasy League / and Gambling Addiction.

IF YOU ARE DOING ANYTHING ON THIS I CAN TALK 2 YOU ABOUT THIS. (meaning about DraftKings & FanDuel)

“The forerunner to drug addiction is marijuana smoking, the forerunner to gambling addiction is these fantasy leagues if you have that GENE.”

“Historically The Pro. Leagues and the NCAA have said gambling damages the integrity of the game.”

Today they all have a sponsorship deal with the daily fantasy people and signs all over their venues about gambling? Not one of those signs carry a note like = Sports Betting Gambling can be a problem. Need help call 1-888 LAST BET . . Arnie

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“Years ago, I was on a TV show with Howard Cossell (ABC Sports Beat). The topic was: Does the media encourage the public to gamble? David Stern, NBA commissioner said: “We don’t want the week’s grocery money to be bet on the outcome of a particular sporting event”. . . Arnie
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SO WHY IS IT CHANGING NOW?

Lets look at the history of sports betting NJ… In 1992, Senator Bill Bradley sponsored a bill that allowed sports betting to be grand fathered. The states got an 18 month window to make sports betting legal within their state. No state did that, not even New Jersey . hhhhmmmmm?.
KIND OF FUNNY WHEN THE GOV OF NJ WANTED TO PUT IN SPORT BETTING A FEW YEARS AGO & ALL THE leagues AND NCAA WENT TO COURT 2 STOP IT! 
NOW THEY ALL WANT TO PARTNER WITH  NJ TO GET SPORTS BETTING AS LONG AS THEY GET SOME OF THE $$$$ PROFITS.

The NBA Commissioner Adam Silver: Allowed Gambling on Pro Games.

NOW?

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver wants New Jersey governor Chris Christie to work with the league on expanding sports betting, according to ABC News.

Governor Christie, “I’m happy to join him, should turn his attention to Washington, D.C., to Congress, and say, ‘Here are all the reasons it should be regulated, but let’s come up with a framework that makes sense on a national basis presumably that would allow states to opt in,’” Silver said.  “If you have a gentleman’s bet or a small wager on any kind of sports contest, it makes you that much more engaged in it,” Silver said. “That’s where we’re going to see it pay dividends.”
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ARNIE: NOW ITS ALL ABOUT TRYING TO GET A PIECE OF THE ACTION JUST LET OUR FAN BASE GAMBLE SO WE CAN GET SOME $$$$ FROM IT. Who cares if they get addicted! AND WE DONT KNOW IF YOUNG KIDS HAVE THE GENE FOR ADDICTION TO GAMBLING?

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred sees Fantasy Leagues producing revenue and attracting younger fans to baseball.  DOES he know that the younger a person starts gambling the greater the risk to get ADDICTED!?

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*Let me interject a fact about High School & College Kids… 16+ million people in just the US are problem gamblers. PARENTS? HALF this number are now your KIDS.*

“If the leagues are so against gambling, why do they release injury reports and allow point spreads to be published via ESPN?”
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ARNIE:   “ITS ALL ABOUT HELPING THE GAMBLERS KNOW HOW 2 BET THE GAMES WITH OUT GAMBLING ON THE GAMES. THEY WOULD NOT GET THE ATTENDENCE OR TV RATINGS OR GET THE $$$$ THEY GET FROM THE NETWORKS TO SHOW THERE GAMES.”

.
Why do you think you the NFL has a 2 week lag BETWEEN THE END OF THE PLAYOFFS AND THE SUPER BOWL?  DOES IT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH GAMBLING?

Maybe next they will want to put mutual machines at all the seats in all there venues so people can bet right at there seats? So they could get some of the profits.

 We have come a long way baby from when — The Pro leagues and the NCAA have said gambling damages the integrity of the game.

.
**So that is jest of it. But in closing the share of these Emails? These are the Best of the Lot! **

“In a 2-to-1 vote, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has ruled against the authorization of sports gambling in New Jersey”. . . AND

We are also hearing that if we legalize sports betting we will stop the illegal sports betting in the state of NJ. We know it can’t be true! But what we do know is that if you add a new form of gambling more people try it and some of those people will become addicted.”

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“The proof to that test is that we heard that when lottery came into effect we were going to stop the illegal numbers games. In fact that never happened. One of the reasons is that you can still get credit from a “runner” when you play an illegal number, and today some stores that sell lottery tickets, still allow known players to run up a tab and pay when they can.”
In fact, when I was(ARNIE WEXLER) the Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ (1986-1994), we did a survey that “Gallup” conducted for us. Two of the questions on the survey were: Have you ever played illegal numbers? 31% of the respondents said “yes”.
Second question was: Do you play legal lottery in the state of NJ. 81% said “yes” . . . .

HERE IS THE MOST INTERESTING PART OF SHARING THESE EMAILS AND INFO FROM ARNIE! And?  These were back & forth from a Known Sports Media Person!
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From Arnie:

In 1999 I was asked to fly to New York to the National Basketball Associations office in Manhattan and met with League Officials, ex-players and Union Officials, concerned about players gambling.

I was told,  “We have a problem, and we’re trying to find out how bad the problem is.”  “We have players gambling on airplane trips loosing all kinds of $$$$.. So, officials asked me to keep my calendar open for the spring of the following year. Officials said to me, “they wanted me to address every team and player in the league about gambling.”
They then flew my wife in, and we had a second meeting. They asked us to develop questions that were going to be given to the players to answer, saying “We need to know how big the gambling problem is in the N.B.A?”  When I hadn’t heard from the N.B.A, I called and asked, “When do we start?” The talks were cancelled, and the response I got was THIS: “They said that the higher-ups didn’t want the media to find out” . . .

PS.  I HAVE THE QUESTIONS WE WROTE IN A STAMPED SEALED ENVELOPE.

.
Email To Me: Catherine
Here is what I sent the Big Media Guy and In The Rooms…. Thanks Richard,

ITS TO BAD ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS THE $$$$ – PROFITS & MEDIA.  THEY DONT CARE THAT THEY WILL BE STARTING  SOME KIDS ON THE ROAD TO GAMBLING ADDICTION & DISTROYING THERE LIVES.
THANKS ARNIE ..

HERE IS THE BIG MEDIA GUYS Reply:
Thanks Arnie. I agree with you, its hypocritical of these sports.
Sadly we’re all in bed with them. They advertise everywhere. Richard
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FACTS: 

Why Most Sports Gamblers Lose

It’s a widely known concept that the vast majority of sports bettors are going to lose money. The most popular is that 90-percent of sports gamblers will lose money over the course of the year, but that doesn’t stop people from wagering on sports. When those bettors eventually go broke and cannot wager any more, there’s always somebody else waiting to take their place in line.

The number one reason most sports gamblers lose isn’t because of poor picks, but instead is because of poor money management. There are far more bettors who can pick winners than there are who can make money, and money management is the key.

Betting $50 on one game and $500 on another is a sure way to find yourself separated from your cash in the long run, just as betting 50-percent of your bankroll on one game will ultimately lead disaster. A sports better may win a few games when betting more than they should, but eventually the loss, or losses, will come and the bettors ends up in trouble.

Doubling up after wins or losses is another recipe for disaster, and is a common mistake many bettors make, including those who have been betting for many years. … So Just Say No To Sport Betting!
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Wow!, is about all I can say about rounding out this blog post on Sports Betting and the ending of The National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling. What a weekend right?

Thanks and Appreciation to Arnie & Sheila Wexler for giving us the actual inside look of the Sports Betting world, media, ball leagues views and scoops.  Like I said in the beginning of my post? It is really sad that the Commissioner, Ball Leagues and officials are only thinking about HOW THEY LOOK IN THE MEDIA and ALL ABOUT THE PROFITS $$$$$… Not the well-being of their PLAYERS .. .. ..

About The Wexler’s:

Arnie and Sheila Wexler currently work with Sunspire Health www.sunspirehealth.com, a national network of addiction recovery providers. They work closely with facilities Sunspire Health Recovery Road in Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Sunspire Health Spring Hill in Ashby, MA where gambling disorder, substance abuse and co-occurring mental health recovery programs are offered. *And Arnie’s new book is out! Now you can get all the inside scoop of his history with Sports Betting! He tells like it is before he went into recovery.*


“We need to not let our addiction define us, but have our recovery define us.” ~Arnie Wexler 
GET OUR NEW BOOK GAMBLING ADDICTION AND HOW TO RECOVER FROM IT
  ” ALL BETS ARE OFF”

BY: ARNIE AND SHEILA WEXLER AND STEVE JACOBSON

 

Product Details

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

Jan 20, 2015

The Book is getting Rave Reviews!! Over 34 Amazon 5 Star Reviews!

God Bless Recovery Friends!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

 

 

 

 

 

Others Partake In The First National Day of Action Stop Predatory Gambling!

“START SPREADING THE NEWS!! National Day of Action Stop Predatory Gambling!”

Here are some happenings around the US and around the World of The First National Day of Action!!

Gambling opponents protest casino planned in Medford!

Citizens of Long Island, NY participated in today’s National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling. Their action made headlines in Newsday.

http://www.newsday.com/…/gambling-opponents-protest-casino-…

Gambling opponents protest casino planned in Medford State lawmakers opposed to a planned video lottery and casino with 1,000 video slot machines…
(Courtesy of newsday.com)

Australia is behind The First National Day of Action!!

Thank you to our friends in Australia, participating in National Day of Action with black arm bands to highlight the hundreds of thousands harmed in that country! This is a Worldwide event!! Keep the pictures coming!

Stop Predatory Gambling's photo.Stop Predatory Gambling's photo.

Even our Friends in New Mexico helps The National Day of Action!!

The first of the more than 100 actions taking place this week as part of the National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling kicked off in New Mexico. No matter what it is, DO SOMETHING this week to express your hopes and your willingness to act for a future better than the one predatory gambling offers all of us

http://www.abqjournal.com/…/abq-antigambling-activists-join…

 

Demonstrators gathered outside the New Mexico Lottery offices on Saturday morning, burning losing an …  abqjournal.com |By Albuquerque Journal .. ..

“Other happenings and concerns of Gambling, Problem Gambling, and to much access”
If you’re wondering what’s behind all the intense and unavoidable advertising for FanDuel and DraftKings as Week 1 of the NFL season gets underway, then you need to read and share this revealing story by BusinessWeek. So-called “daily fantasy sports” is a massive ripoff of the American people. Because it’s blatantly dishonest and predatory, it should be targeted by every serious state Attorney General in the US.

Is that a problem for DraftKings and FanDuel?
bloomberg.com ~
“I am SO tired of seeing the Damn FANDUEL Commercials, are you?”
Just another form of Gambling!

**YOU really need to go read the article the link above in blue! It will knock your gambling socks OFF!!
Here is just of snippet!**

You Aren’t Good Enough to Win Money Playing Daily Fantasy Football ~ Is that a problem for DraftKings and FanDuel?

Every first-time player of daily fantasy football begins the new season undefeated, just like even the most hopeless NFL teams. But after 16 weeks of real football, most rookie fantasy players will have been separated from their money, just as certainly as the Cleveland Browns will be disabused of their playoff ambitions.

Daily fantasy is getting ready to generate more losers in 2015 than ever before. Each year in the history of daily fantasy sports has been bigger than the last, and September has become the biggest month for new fans trying the game, which combines the stats-jockeying of traditional fantasy contests with the thrills of old-fashioned sports betting. (Fantasy sports are exempted from the federal ban on sports gambling.) FanDuel and DraftKings, the two main services, will bring in a combined $60 million in entry fees in the first week of the NFL season, according to Adam Krejcik, a partner at Eilers Research. Sports books in Las Vegas, by contrast, are expected to handle about $30 million.

The rival startups prospered in football’s offseason. Both companies raised huge new rounds of investment, bringing DraftKings’s total haul to $426 million and FanDuel’s to $363 million, and both are now valued at more than $1 billion.  .. .. .. *CHECK OUT THE REST AT ON THE BLUE LINK ABOVE!*
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“Lets Keep The Pressure On People!! STOP Predatory Gambling in Your Community!!”

Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Gambling Recovery Advocate!