“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.” .. .. ..
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“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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Look Back On How Gambling Addiction & Offerings Have Grown In The Last 50 Years, Courtesy Of Arnie Wexler.

Hello Recovery Friends and Welcome All Visitors,

 


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My dear friend Arnie Wexler has sent me an interesting comparison to see how far gambling & Gambling addiction has grown over the last 50 years. Now he has been in recovery for almost the same amount of time, so he has really seen the growth and expansion of all types of gambling offerings. I’ll do my best to make it understandable for everyone.

He and I talked the other day about how hard it must be for those trying to recovery from this addiction today because of all the new and added growth of State Lotteries, Indian Casinos, and added services at race tracks too. So lets take a look at Gambling Past and present shall we?
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Gambling Offerings & Recovery Services In & Before 1968:
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GA MEETINGS IN LESS THAN 12 STATES 

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL JUST STARTED

SUPERBOWL, NEW

NO Off Track Betting

CASINOS IN LAS VEGAS ONLY

ONLY 3 STATES HAD LOTTERY OFFERINGS

WORLD SERIES PLAYED IN THE DAYTIME

ALL PRO SPORTS NOT PLAYED AT THE SAME TIME

THE RACE TRACKS WERE CLOSED SOMETIMES

NO LEGAL TELEPHONE BETTING/HAD NO REDIAL

NO PHONES AT THE RACETRACK

NO RIVERBOATS —- TRIPS ON MISS

NO CREDIT AT THE RACETRACKS / OR CHECKS / NO ATM

RARE TO SEE WOMEN GAMBLING

MEADOWLANDS OPEN / ROOSEVELT CLOSED

NO MONDAY OR NIGHT FOOTBALL

NO ATM MACHINES

NO CELL PHONES

NO INTERNET GAMBLING

NO AIRPLANE GAMBLING

NO 800/900 LINES SELLING   INFORMATION

NO BUS TRIPS TO INDIAN OR REGULAR CASINOS
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GA MEETINGS IN 50 STATES & AROUND THE WORLD!

80% OF AMERICANS LIVE WITH IN 200 MILES OF GAMBLING

MORE $$$ BET ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

SUPERBOWL BETTING $95+ MILLION LAS VEGAS

OFF TRACK BETTING SIMALCASTING THRIVING BUSINESS

CASINOS IN 28 STATES

40 STATES OR MORE HAVE A LOTTERY

TRACKS OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND

6 STATES / LEGALIZED TELEPHONE BETTING

PHONES ARE IN RACETRACKS – NOW HAVE CELL PHONES

CREDIT GIVEN AT TRACKS/ CHECKS/ THEY HAVE ATMS

SO MANY PRO COLLEGE GAMES ARE ON TV~ MARCH MADDNESS/BIG $$ BETTING

ATM MACHINES ON CASINO & RACE TRACK FLOORS

INTERNET GAMBLING ALLOWS GAMBLING FROM HOME, DORMS & More!

AIRPLANE GAMBLING

FINALLY 800 / 900 HELP LINES IN PAPERS & ON INTERNET

MORE ACTIVE COMPULSIVE GAMBLING THAN EVER BEFORE

LIVE RACES ON TV

GAMBLING INFO SPOKEN & GIVEN ALL OVER

POWERBALL / BIG GAMES/ INTERNET LOTTERY

NATIONAL LOTTERY

STATE LOTTERY OFFERINGS ARE HUGE LEGAL GOVERNMENT PROFITS

BEEPERS, APPS, CELL PHONES & INTERNET TO GET GAMBLING & RECOVERY INFO

WOMEN GAMBLERS GAMBLE LOTS ~ MUCH MORE THEN MEN

EASIER TO PLACE A BET THEN BUY BEER OR CIGS TODAY

GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS BOOK SAY’S~ “DON’TTEMPT OR TEST YOURSELF, DON’T GO NEAR OR IN A GAMBLING ESTABLISHMENTS — NO MATTER WHAT!”

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There is hope
There is hope
There is hope
There is hope
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Locate a meeting near you Talk to someone now: 1-888-GA-HELPS

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MORE AWESOME RECOVERY STUFF!
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THE INTERNET HAS CHANGED RECOVERY!

NOW RECOVERY WEBSITES WITH GOOD INFO, 24/7 CHATLINES & ROOMS, GA MEETINGS NOW
AVAILABLE ON LINE.

BOOKS WRITTEN BY OTHERS IN RECOVERY

1-800 HOTLINES FOR HELP POSTED IN GAMBLING & LOTTERY ESTABLISMENTS!

TREATMENT IN SOME STATES AND PRIVATE TREATMENT & REHABS
BUT INS NOT PAYING 4 IT? THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE!!CASINOS ARE RUNNING R G P AND TRAINING THERE WORKERS TO LOOK FOR SIGNS
OF ADDICTED GAMBLERS. . . . . .


**For more Gambling Addiction Recovery Resources? Please See My Page Here Titled:,
Gambling Addiction Recovery Resources & Other Recovery Stuff. **

 


God Bless All, and have a Happy Safe 4th of July Weekend!! *Catherine*

Senior Population Is At Great Risk Due To Casino Expansions…

Is It Time to Slow Down The Expansion Of Casino’s And State Lotteries? YES!!

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Senior Citizens Feeling the Grip of Gambling Addiction
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With the availability of casinos in more than half of the U.S. states, senior citizens are becoming more and more addicted to gambling.

According to the Las Vegas Problem Gambling Center, around 40% of the people they see are over the age of 50 and more disturbing is that often chronic health conditions within this group are related to gambling addiction.

Some years ago, San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor who is in her 60’s and who was addicted to video poker, landed herself in a $13 million debt to various casinos and even at one point, she used more than $3 million from a charity foundation that her late husband had set up.

The problem seems to be growing daily as the number of casinos in the U.S. has grown from being limited to Atlantic City and Nevada while now, these casinos are available in more than 30 states with more on the way.

Without consistent monthly income, these seniors are cashing in their social security checks in the hope of catching the big one, but this just isn’t the case and the gambling addiction problem is simply growing daily.

*Some News About Gambling Casino & State Lottery Expansions*
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It is clearly evident that there is a common desire in Colorado to expand gambling in order to boost the economy. A Rhode Island company, Twin River Worldwide Holdings, is leading a group of Canadians to try and expand gambling to the Pueblo, Arapahoe and Mesa counties.
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Colorado Working On Expanding Gambling

It seems that various Colorado communities are considering expanding gambling in order to boost the economy in the region.

Meanwhile, others are trying to expand gambling on the Western slope while limited stakes gambling could be up for a vote soon. Since the state has already legalized the use of marijuana, Action 22, which is a regional group lobbying for gambling in the south of Colorado, feels that gambling should be expanded in the region.

Opposing these groups is the Colorado Gaming Association who already represents casinos in Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek. Their objections are against the fact that the new casinos will be large Vegas–style casinos and that the initiative will give the Arapahoe Park owner a 5-year monopoly on Front Range gaming in the state.

As a result of this conflict of interest, existing hotels in the area such as the Monarch Casino Black Hawk has placed their intended expansions on hold until the final outcome of this initiative.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office has received two measures to allow table games, slots and video lottery terminals at the Aurora racetrack as well as two other future racetracks in Mesa and Pueblo counties.

The upside of this initiative is that the community would receive 2% of the casino profits as well as $10m in upfront fees while the State will receive $25M. Meanwhile, Trinidad is also considering gaming in the area and Tom Acre, the City Manager, has said that he will bring up this topic at the City Council retreat.
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*Now I don’t know about you, but I’m getting very TIRED of States using gambling profits to boost the “State Budget Short Falls” as we already have to pay a TAX on many other things like Gas, Smokes, and Alcohol. And THEY use the excuse that “State Lottery Profits” are going to help our schools, and other services, but why then is our schools still CLOSING? Why are the school’s Music, Band, and Sports programs STILL getting CUT? I think it’s time for STATES to find other ways besides Gambling Profits to fix their Budget Woes!*

And Lastly, more about our Senior’s and Problem Gambling,…
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“Seniors Impetus & Problem Gambling”
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Who’d know, that conscious and adult people could be hooked by gambling addiction. Serious games for seniors can be converted into the most serious addiction problem, because it’s really hard to convince mature people that they are not right and their life style, which leads to the serious problems, is incorrect.
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Loneliness, boredom are just individual problems, which can happen in life of every adult person, really provoke different desperate decisions, provoking addiction symptoms. It is considered that gamblers of female gender tend to play such games, as slots more often, and thus they express their escapism, while men, who vice versa want to feel as valid members of society, are playing such games, as roulette or craps.

At first, adults perceive gambling as a kind of luxurious entertainment that they seldom experience because of a full-time job and very brief weekends. Gambling is not an innocent amusement, during which people just relax and get pleasure. The strong and sharp feelings of heat and greed, which it evokes, can cause a wish to continue playing all the time.
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Statistics announces that one among 10 seniors usually have all the possibilities to become one of the addicted gamblers. The members of this age group just don’t come to the casino in order to have a chat or great recreation, the greatest idea of luck is being generated in the brain of every senior person during gambling it’s like a check of destiny for them. The doctor of Psychology of Medical Centre in Nebraska indicates that all the sorts of entertainment for seniors, especially if they like it very much; tend to grow into some kind of addiction. Their life is too monotonous to resist those incredible feelings of freedom and luck.
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During the period from 1974 till 1994, the seniors’ gamblers percentage grew for 30% (from 20% to 50%). The main factor is that adults are really obstinate and just refuse to hear and to acknowledge the fact of their guiltiness. If for the teenagers and just young people, it’s quite possible to give childish explanations for serious outcomes of problem gambling, seniors just don’t understand it.
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And the most horrible thing in the entire situation with adults’ addiction is that their children suffer. And it’s not the case, where one of the spouses just can abandon an addict and finish suffering. Here, children are powerless, and there are no people that could instruct the gamblers in more of the cases. Children face lots of risk to become the same and follow the mother’s\father’s example. Their child can have the highest psychological complications and an adjustment disorder, observing adult’s addiction. Even such a serious syndrome as Oppositional Defiant Disorder can be provoked in the gambler’s children (especially in boys).
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*Yes, this is true about our loved ones are effected to when we become addicted to gambling. This will be my next “Topic” I’ll explore and blog in my next post. To share insights from the our loved ones, family, and our friends who may have been hurt while we where in the worst of our addiction! I hope this information has been helpful to you. Not just those in recovery, or those who are reaching out to stop the “insanity” of gambling addiction, but for those who don’t know that these things do happen. To help shatter the stigma around an addiction that is so Socially Accepted by our society. YOU CAN BECOME ADDICTED*…
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National Hotline for Gambling Help ~ 1-800-522-4700
National Suicide Hotline ~ 1-800-273-8255
Stop Predatory Gambling ~ http://stoppredatorygambling.org
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GOD BLESS ALL,
AUTHOR, CATHERINE TOWNSEND-LYON
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*UPDATE/REMINDER*…. AN IMPORTANT DOCUMENTARY IS AIRING TONIGHT ABOUT GAMBLING ADDICTION*!
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http://www.mpt.org/understandingjoy/
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Understanding Joy:
The Devastation of a Gambling Addiction
Premiering Wednesday, March 19 at 8pm
An MPT co-production with MedSchool Maryland Productions

With an estimated 150,000 problem gamblers in the state and a growing number of casino-based gambling opportunities available in Maryland and surrounding states, problem gambling has become epidemic. To explore the issue, MPT presents Understanding Joy: The Devastation of a Gambling Addiction, a revealing documentary on the destructive nature of gambling addiction. The one-hour special also will feature a panel of experts and a call-in telephone bank to respond to viewers’ questions or requests for help.
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Produced by Susan Hadary and John Anglim of MedSchool Maryland Productions and with funding by the Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, a program of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Understanding Joy enters the mind of Joy, a 57-year-old woman. Joy’s gambling addiction has overcome her sense of morality and driven her to embezzle $700,000 from two employers. As she awaits sentencing for her crime, Joy struggles to explain her disease to her children, to the world, and to herself.
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Understanding Joy executive producer for MPT Frank Batavick explains that the documentary will be presented in three segments. During breaks between segments, MPT anchor Yolanda Vazquez will interview nationally recognized local experts on gambling addiction and responsible gambling. These experts and specially trained counselors will be available to receive calls from the public during and after the broadcast at the MPT toll-free number 1-800-222-1292.
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To address the increase in problem gambling, the Maryland Center of Excellence of Program Gambling supports an ongoing public awareness campaign to help problem gamblers and their families become familiar with the symptoms of the addiction and how to get help. The center maintains a 24-hour help line (1-800-522-4700) and a public awareness website (www.mdproblemgambling.com) and supports numerous public outreach initiatives through MedSchool Maryland Productions….
*PLEASE VISIT HERE FOR MORE INFO*
http://www.mdproblemgambling.com
>     MD Problem Gambling     ‏@MDCEPG         

*IF YOU don’t live in MD, it will stream live on Twitter!*