Internet Gambling Explodes While “Stay At Home” Orders in Place During COVID-19 Pandemic. How To Stop Addicted Online Gambling…

 
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Some time ago I did a gambling recovery post about problem and addicted gamblers turning to “Self-Ban” or self-exclusion to help them stop gambling. I wanted to re-visit this as I also included some information about internet gambling online as well. Now that we are in uncertain times and uncharted waters with the COVID-19 pandemic, most states are still on lockdown by our Governors orders and many people who gamble normally in casinos or lottery venues that have video poker/slot machines are not taking this isolation to well.

And, while even Indian casinos closed, many are heading to their computers to gamble online in their own home and it IS as dangerous and addicting as sitting behind a slot machine in real life.  How do I know this?  Because I have done in this in the past when I was still in my gambling addiction and had no car to drive to the Indian Casino! Why? I lost one of our cars due to my gambling!

Yes, just one of the consequences we had. We could not afford two car payments because I was gambling addictively. So I even had to walk to work every day. My husband won’t give me money for a cab and rightly so. Oh, those memories are still fresh and kind of the funny lighter side of recovery when I look back today. It wasn’t very funny though at the time. But it does show how insidious our thinking gets and what we, as an addict will tolerate just to stay in the disease.

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

 

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


So, What is Self-Banning or Self Exclusion?

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

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

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

How Do I Exclude Myself?

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

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

Please click on the FAQ link to the right for more information. Questions & Answers on Self Ban  . . . .Many casinos and states are also trying to help by offering these additional Ban Services as well:

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

Download a copy of  Self-Exclusion ProceduresSelf-Exclusion Form

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

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


THIS IS IMPORTANT NOW DURING COVID-19 ~ AND…One Article all should read: “The Perfect Storm” By Press of Atlantic City

“With brick-and-mortar casinos across the United States shut down to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, public health advocates are concerned that a shift to online wagering may lead to an increase in problematic behaviors.

Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the indefinite closing of Atlantic City’s nine casinos March 16 but permitted online gaming to continue. Industry experts expect an escalation in online gaming activity because of the retail casino closings, and the anticipated growth in internet play has gambling addiction professionals worried.

“We believe every risk factor for gambling problems is increasing right now,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.

USE GamBlock and BAN YOURSELF FROM INTERNET GAMBLING.

Gamblock prevents access to internet gambling sites.


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

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


YOU need to go visit them here at GAMBAN check this out! I hear it is More Protection and an added layer to Stop Online Gambling even if you already use GAMBLOCK …
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gamban® is a software product that blocks access to online gambling. It offers users a secure, reliable, and affordable option to stay away from gambling sites and apps, helping those with a gambling problem to fight the urge. Check out their Informative Blog with updates and new features like this post of a new mobile app “gamban Taking a step Forward.”https://gamban.com/gamban/taking-a-step-forward/
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The Interesting and a But Humorous Side of Gambling and Self-Ban:

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

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

Needless to say, many told of them disguising themselves with make-up, wigs, sunglasses and the like, all to hide their identity from the guards and video cameras and praying they didn’t hit a BIG jackpot for an attendant to have to come and PAY them out or they would be Kicked Out and NO money paid. To me? That is living NOT too far off the edge! And many of these ladies were GRANDMA’S! 

BUT? “If you want something bad enough?”….

I had heard many stories through the years of good and bad about self-banning…
Here
is a place and website I came across with stories that are both Positive and Negatives of gamblers who self-banned and gambled anyway on Psych Forums-Gamblers Banned as I think all need to read.

Here is one person’s experience:

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gambling addiction does become a compulsion, and it is easier not to think about it than it is to soberly consider the repercussions of gambling on your life. When you start using money that goes to your utilities, rent, or house payments, sell or pawn things? You know you have a problem…Please visit… Addictions.com

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Advocate and Author, Catherine Lyon

 

In No Way Shape or Form, Does Business of (Gambling) & State Lotteries Need COVID Money to Be Bailed Out! More From Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation and Les Bernal.

In No Way Shape or Form, Does Business of (Gambling) & State Lotteries Need COVID Money to Be Bailed Out! More From Stop Predatory Gambling   Foundation and Les Bernal.

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Coronavirus Crisis Prompts Call to Suspend Lottery Gambling…At Least For 30-Days

“Antigambling group asks states to suspend lotteries until 30 days after stimulus payments”

Story Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal ~By Katherine Sayre

As millions of Americans begin receiving stimulus payments amid the coronavirus crisis, an anti-gambling group is pushing to suspend lottery betting.

Gambling with stimulus payments: feeding gaming machines with federal dollars. This Headline from 2008-2009 Last Stimulus From The Feds …

The organization Stop Predatory Gambling sent letters Monday to attorneys general and governors in 45 states and the District of Columbia, asking for lottery betting to be shut down for at least 30-days or until Social Distancing Ban is lifted and after many received stimulus checks. Read this full in-depth story here in The Wall Street Journal Special Story…

This morning the members of Stop Predatory Gambling sent a letter to leaders in all states with lotteries (The Wall Street Journal ran a story on it in Monday’s edition.) The letter called on them to shut down all lottery gambling games for 30 days as hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief is delivered to American families across the nation. Luring citizens to lose their money on lottery gambling games during this time defeats the intended purpose of the stimulus.

Here’s the letter we sent to all governors and attorneys general.

Below is the press release we sent to media across the U.S.

Please share it with your email and social media lists as well as any contacts you have in your state or local media. Thanks.

Best,
Les Bernal

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      CONTACT: Les Bernal
April 20, 2020                      (202) 567-6996 │ les@stoppredatorygambling.org

STATE LEADERS CALLED ON TO SHUT DOWN LOTTERY FOR 30 DAYS AS RELIEF CHECKS ARRIVE


“Facts Show Many Citizens Gamble on the Lottery to Change Their Financial Condition and Even More So When They Are Feeling a Sense of Desperation”

(WASHINGTON, DC) — As hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief are delivered to American families across the nation, state leaders are being called upon to shut down the marketing and selling of all state lottery gambling games for 30 days. All U.S. casinos have already been shut down for weeks.

“Federal tax dollars are being sent to American families in order to put food on the table, make rent or mortgage payments, or provide for other daily necessities – not to subsidize state lotteries,” said Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit who sent a letter on Monday to all governors and attorneys general serving in states with lotteries. “For lotteries to continue running when so many citizens are financially desperate is like putting Dracula in charge of the emergency room blood bank.”

Bernal said there is a mountain of facts showing many citizens gamble on the lottery to change their financial condition, and even more so when they are feeling a sense of desperation. Yet state government is continuing to market its lottery gambling games at the very same moment that citizens are receiving their economic relief checks from the U.S. Treasury.

As part of its letter to state officials, Stop Predatory Gambling included its 2020 Briefing on State Lotteries also issued on Monday.

“The report spotlighted lotteries as one of the root causes why more than 60% of Americans had less than $1000 in savings before the coronavirus pandemic occurred.”

The report found “state governments have turned a nation of small earners, who could be small savers, into a nation of habitual gamblers on course to lose more than $1 trillion of wealth to government-sanctioned gambling over the next eight years. At least half of this wealth – $500 billion – will be lost to state lotteries.” Bernal hopes the lottery shutdown and the new report will bring sorely-needed attention to “America’s most-neglected problem today.”

“Building assets and the accumulating and investing of savings, are the keys to financial peace,” Bernal said.  “A home, a college fund, retirement accounts, a stock portfolio—these assets are the hallmarks of middle and upper-class America, and they are all the result of savings. Creating wealth by the accumulation and investment of savings is the direct opposite of what state lotteries represent and encourage.”

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STATE LOTTERY SALES SOAR THE SAME WEEK FEDERAL RELIEF CHECKS ARRIVE

New Report Adds More Urgency to Call for State Lotteries to Suspend Operations for 30 Days! April 23, 2020  

A report this morning by The Houston Chronicle’s Eric Dexheimer revealed that instant scratch-off lottery ticket sales soared at the same time as hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief was being delivered to American families across the nation.

The members of Stop Predatory Gambling renewed our call for state officials to suspend lottery operations for 30 days. We issued the press release below to media across the U.S. Please share it with your email and social media lists as well as any contacts you have in your state or local media.

(HOUSTON, TX) — A report this morning by The Houston Chronicle’s Eric Dexheimer revealed that instant scratch-off lottery ticket sales soared at the same time as hundreds of billions of dollars in direct federal financial relief was being delivered to American families across the nation. The news intensified calls for state officials to suspend lottery operations for 30 days amid a time when all U.S. casinos have already been shut down for weeks.

According to The Chronicle report:

“On Tuesday afternoon, the Texas Lottery released what appeared to be great news: sales of instant scratch-off tickets, by far its largest source of revenue, had surged from the previous week, jumping to $112 million dollars.

The leap came after a month of plunging sales, presumably due to the sputtering pandemic economy, in which revenues had dropped compared to the same periods in 2019. The April 18 weekly figures, by comparison, outpaced the same week in 2019 by more than $15 million – a 16 percent jump.”

The members of Stop Predatory Gambling, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit, renewed their call for state officials to suspend lottery operations for 30 days. On Monday morning, the group sent a letter to all governors and attorneys general serving in states with lotteries to take action.

“State lotteries are openly preying upon the financial desperation of millions of Americans,” said Les Bernal, a spokesman for the organization. “The lottery had a 16% spike in scratch ticket sales over the same week last year, in the middle of a stay-at-home order, during an unprecedented pandemic.
This news is a shame on all of us. State and local government officials in any capacity must listen to and act on their conscience to stop this exploitation of our brothers and sisters.”

Bernal said there is a mountain of facts highlighting that many citizens gamble on the lottery to change their financial condition, and even more so when they are feeling a sense of desperation.

Stop Predatory Gambling’s 2020 Briefing on State Lotteries identified lotteries as why more than 60% of Americans had less than $1000 in savings before the coronavirus pandemic occurred.

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LesBernal-1

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Stop Predatory Gambling – – Who We Are —

– A 501c3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC, we are a national social reform network of individuals and partner groups with members of more than 1 million people.

– We believe in improving the lives of the American people with compassion and fairness, freeing us from the lower standard of living, exploitation, and fraud that commercialized gambling spreads.

– We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, one in which conservatives and progressives work side-by-side to improve the common good.

What We Stand For —

– We believe everyone should have a fair opportunity to get ahead and improve their future.

– We believe every person’s life has worth and that no one is expendable.

– We believe that a good society depends on the values of honesty, concern for others, mutual trust, self-discipline, sacrifice, and a work ethic that connects effort and reward.

– We believe no government body should depend on predatory gambling to fund its activities.

If you share our beliefs, please help sustain our work by making a tax-deductible, financial gift today of $10 or more.

Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation
100 Maryland Avenue NE, Room 310  | Washington, District of Columbia 20002
(202) 567-6996 | les@stoppredatorygambling.org

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March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month ~The National Council on Problem Gambling Asks You To Get Screened. “Gambling Disorder Screening Day is Tuesday, March 10, 2020.”

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month ~The National Council on Problem Gambling Asks You To Get Screened. “Gambling Disorder Screening Day is Tuesday, March 10, 2020.”

 

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March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month ~ The National Council On Problem Gambling


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Do you or a loved one struggle
with problem gambling or gambling addiction?
Most of us maintaining recovery from addicted gambling know the consequences associated with this real addiction and disease.

Here is what the National Council on Problem Gambling shares about problem gambling:

Problem gambling–or gambling addiction–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The symptoms include increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.

ISN’T Problem Gambling Just a Money or Financial Problem? NO…Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has financial consequences. If you pay all the debts of a person affected by problem gambling, the person still has a gambling problem or gambling disorder. The real issue is that they have an uncontrollable obsession with gambling. Those who are at risk can be anyone who gambles can develop problems.

This is why it is important to be aware of the risks and to gamble in a responsible way, if you choose to gamble. When gambling behavior interferes with finances, relationships and the workplace, a serious problem already exists.  Not one such venue of gambling options like casinos or state lotteries is responsible for who may become addicted. The cause of a gambling problem is the individual’s inability to control their gambling.

This may be due in part to a person’s genetic tendency to develop an addiction, their ability to cope with normal life stress and even their social upbringing and moral attitudes about gambling. The casino or lottery provides the opportunity for the person to gamble. It does not, in and of itself, create the problem any more than a liquor store would create alcohol problems, however, the national council feels as I do that everyone who provides gambling opportunities has a responsibility to develop policies and programs to address underage and problem gambling issues.

One of the BIGGEST MYTHS about addicted or problem gambling I hear all the time is? HOW Can a person become addicted to something that isn’t a SUBSTANCE? Here is what NCPG says: Although no substance is ingested, someone with a gambling problem gets the same effect from gambling as one might get from taking a drug or drinking alcohol. But just as tolerance develops to drugs or alcohol, a person with gambling problems finds that it takes more and more of the gambling experience to achieve the same emotional effect as before. This creates an increased urge for the activity and the person finds they have less and less able to resist as the craving grows in intensity and frequency.


This year I wil
l be blogging all month to SUPPORT the team from The National Council on Problem Gambling to continue to shatter the stigma and raise more awareness of an addiction that requires no substances, GAMBLING ADDICTION. I know recovery works and is possible as I have maintained my recovery for 13-yrs, 2 months. I still keep mind how hopeless I was and two failed suicide attempts later, I knew I was in a fight for LIFE.

 

I will be sharing just what it took form to reach long-term recovery all month and much more. The NCPG has partnered this year with Cambridge Health Alliance – Division on Addiction to do screening for those who may feel they have a gambling disorder across the country.

The information is below and can help those who want to know if they do have a real problem with gambling. I hope those who visit me here will share this valuable information and to there is HOPE and HELP in your STATE by visiting The NCPG website and search by your state here https://www.ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/help-by-state/ or you may call the Hotline at 1-800-522-4700 … Advocate/Author, Catherine Lyon 

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Why Screen for Gambling Disorder?

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COURTESY OF Cambridge Health Alliance – Division on Addiction

 

  • Gambling Disorder leads to financial, emotional, social, occupational, and physical harms.
  • Gambling Disorder affects about 1% of the general population, and subclinical past year gambling-related problems affect 2 – 3% of the general population.
  • As much as 10% of primary care patients report lifetime Gambling Disorder, and an additional 5% report lifetime subclinical problems.
  • People with gambling-related problems are more likely to smoke, consume excessive amounts of caffeine, have more emergency department visits, and be obese.
  • Although nearly 50% of people who have gambling problems are in treatment for “something,” national studies have failed to identify anyone who currently reports being in treatment specifically for gambling-related problems.
  • Many cases of Gambling Disorder go undetected, due to limited assessment for this problem.

Who Should Screen for Gambling Disorder?

  • Addiction service providers
  • Mental health service providers
  • Physicians (e.g., primary care and emergency medicine)
  • Gerontologists
  • Pediatricians
  • Educators
  • Youth community leaders
  • Employee Assistance Plan service providers
  • Veterans groups

What Should Happen at Gambling Disorder Screening?

  • Complete a brief Gambling Disorder screen
  • Discuss the results of a positive screen with a health provider
  • Learn where to go for additional help and to access other resources, if necessary
  • Receive educational materials on Gambling DisorderThe goals of this national campaign are:

    To increase public awareness of problem gambling and the availability of prevention, treatment & recovery services.

    To encourage healthcare providers to screen clients for problem gambling. Call today as there is NO SHAME in doing so!
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Holiday Recovery Watch Begins! I’m Here and By Email. A Special Resource and Message From Les of ‘Stop Predatory Gambling.’ A must-visit website!

Holiday Recovery Watch Begins! I’m Here and By Email. A Special Resource and Message From Les of ‘Stop Predatory Gambling.’ A must-visit website!

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It’s night one of my “Recovery Holiday Watch” and my 7th year doing so. WHY? Part of maintaining my recovery is “to be of recovery service to others!” I take that seriously. No needs to be alone through the holiday season and I want others to know there are many who care and that they are worth a better life than being tangled with addicted gambling or any other addictions.

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Meet The National Director and Founder, Mr. Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling. ORG who works tirelessly in Washington, D.C. and around the country to stop FOR-PROFIT Gambling … As gambling venues and options expand that includes, Indian Casinos, State Lottery, Online Sports Betting, and not just your normal places like Vegas, Reno, Tahoe, or even Laughlin and more, and I think we are SMART enough to know these venues are not making money and profits from your “once in a while players.”

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NO, they are making profits off the backs of those who are addicted or are problem gamblers, who get drawn into going all the time. I know because I DID. Here is a SPecial Message from Les and more about who they are and would urge you to visit their website Stop Predatory Gambling.   You can see what’s happening in your state and around the country. It will open your eyes!

~Advocate, Catherine Lyon 

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WHO ARE THEY?

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Who We Are

  • We believe in improving the lives of the American people with compassion and fairness, freeing us from the lower standard of living, exploitation, and fraud that commercialized gambling spreads.

    …..

  • A 501c3 non-profit based in Washington, DC, we are a national government reform network of individuals and organizations from across the country.

    ……

  • We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, one in which conservatives and progressives work side-by-side to improve the common good.

    ……

  • You can read more about our history here.

We Stand For

  • We believe everyone in America should have a fair opportunity to get ahead and improve their future.

    ……

  • We believe every person’s life has worth and that no one is expendable.

    …..

  • We believe that a good society depends on the values of honesty, concern for others, mutual trust, self-discipline, sacrifice, and a work ethic that connects effort and reward.

    …..

  • We believe no agency or entity of government should depend on predatory gambling to fund its activities.

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  • If you believe what we believe, sign An American Declaration on Government and Gamblingtoday.

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One In Every FIVE Addicted or Problem Gambler Will Try SUICIDE … Every Life is Precious.

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A LIFE-CHANGING PROBLEM TO TALK ABOUT:
By, Les Bernal 

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Hi Catherine,

The problem of commercialized gambling will be a subject of conversation in millions of American homes over the next few days as families and friends gather for Thanksgiving and The Christmas Season . . .

Why? Because it’s America’s biggest most-neglected problem today.

Americans are on course to lose more than $1 trillion of personal wealth to commercialized gambling over the next eight years.

Our mission is to reduce this enormous loss of wealth by citizens by 50% over the same span.

Below are some must-share facts along with some specific reforms that will dramatically improve the lives of millions of Americans:

The Problem: Tens of millions of citizens are broke!!! And millions of citizens are now addicted to commercialized gambling.


Partial Policy Solutions That Have Been Put Forward From Both Political Parties to Help Solve the Problem:

  • Tax Cuts
  • Tax Credits
  • Raising the Minimum Wage
  • Increasing Taxes on the Rich
  • ….None of which represent a consequential fix

Absent from the List is America’s Biggest Most-Neglected Problem: The Life-Changing Citizen Losses of Personal Wealth to Commercialized Gambling

The sheer size and scope of these financial losses lack any comparison:

The Way Forward

  • Building assets, the accumulation, and investment of savings, are key for anyone looking to make a better life. A home, a college fund, retirement accounts, a stock portfolio—these assets are the hallmarks of middle and upper-class America, and they are all the result of savings.
  • Building assets is the direct opposite of commercialized gambling. No single policy reform would create more financial peace for low-to-middle-income citizens than reversing the current scheme of turning millions of people who are small earners, who could be small savers, into habitual bettors.

Partial List of Reform Proposals Include:

  • To safeguard the health of minors, no kids under should be exposed to gambling ads and marketing on TV, radio, at point-of-sale, or on the internet.
  • No advertising or marketing of commercialized gambling to low-income populations.
  • A ban on the sale of lottery products in check-cashing outlets, which serve unbanked, low-income people.
  • No high dollar lottery tickets should be sold in low-income areas (ending the practice of selling tickets greater than $5.00)
  • Capping staking levels on all slot machine-style games, regardless of whether it is a physical machine or online, to $2.00 or less. There is no justification for staking levels above $2.00.
  • End the predatory practice of allowing commercialized gambling on credit, whether by credit card or “markers,” (interest-free loans issued by casinos.) It’s inconceivable that states encourage citizens to fund their gambling addiction using debt.
  • Require state lotteries to track and report re-wagers and quantify their relationship to sales and subsequent prizes.
  • Ban “loot boxes” and other elements of commercialized gambling that are currently being engineered into video games that kids under 18 are playing.
  • Reduce the overall amount of lottery games being marketed to the public. Presently, some states offer dozens of different gambling games. For example, Texas was promoting 92 scratch games for sale in November 2019.
  • Reduce the amount of locations where extreme forms of gambling like electronic gambling machines are being marketed by the state.
  • Reduce the speed of the commercialized gambling being offered by states. Many of the most harmful forms of commercialized gambling are also the fastest like electronic gambling machines, online gambling, and scratch tickets.
  • Require commercialized gambling interests to be treated the same under civil litigation laws as any other business.
  • Create an Office of the Public Advocate committed to public service in representing state citizens in any matter that is covered by the authority of the state gambling commissions, as well as proceedings before state and federal agencies and courts, so that they are protected from being exploited and cheated by commercialized gambling operators. This is similar to what many states do in representing state utility consumers.
  • Require that state problem gambling councils collect and report annual data on state gambling addiction numbers and on the effectiveness of the problem gambling interventions being funded (changing the measurement from how many calls are taken to how many people are moved from addicted to not addicted).
  • Restrictions on the inducements offered to gamblers to keep them gambling or luring them to start gambling after they have stopped.

Please consider how you can use your time, talent, and treasure to help move these desperately-needed, long-overdue social reforms forward over the next 18 months and let me know. Thank you. I appreciate all you do, Catherine!

Best,

Les Bernal
National Director
Stop Predatory Gambling

________________________________

Who We Are —

– A 501c3 non-profit based in Washington, DC, we are a national social reform network of citizens and organizations from across the U.S.

– We believe in improving the lives of the American people with compassion and fairness, freeing us from the lower standard of living, exploitation, and fraud that commercialized gambling spreads.

– We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, one in which conservatives and progressives work side-by-side to improve the common good.

If you share our beliefs, please help sustain our work by making a tax-deductible, financial gift today of $10 or more.

spg_logo_CMYK-e1494622496875

Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation
100 Maryland Avenue NE, Room 310  | Washington, District of Columbia 20002
(202) 567-6996 | les@stoppredatorygambling.org

Legal Sports Betting Expansion Passed By Supreme Court – What’s It All About?

Legal Sports Betting Expansion Passed By Supreme Court – What’s It All About?

I was honored to be invited and take part in a multi-line phone conference today that addressed the law passed on Sports Betting and Expansion and it means with Founder, Les Bernal National Director of Stop Predatory Gambling . org and over 100 phone guests today.

Parents, heads up as YOU need to be informed on what is happening and changes coming with online sports betting. And we are not talking places like Fan Fuel or Daily Fantasy Sports betting either. Today was just the first phone session to have a stradegy on how all of concerned of how this will open door up to another easy gambling venue to our kids.

Especially those not old enough yet to walk into a casino or place state lottery bets or play machines of slots, horse racing, and video poker machines. I wanted to share a little some of 2 articles as well about a young man’s story of how Daily Fantasy got him hooked and just how misleading Daily Fantasy is. And another from last moth about the Surpreme Court Decission on sports betting in general to understand what can happen now …

I look forward to sharing more about this problem of sports betting sites as we need always be informed and educated. Now that gambling is reaching our kids, parents, this IS the time to be aware about your kids and what they are really doing on the Internet! They may not be playing video games. They just might be gambling right from their room … Catherine

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How the Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Turns Fans Into Suckers ~ The New Times Magazine ~ Jay Caspian Kang

 

Full Disclosure: “I am a 36-year-old dude who bores easily, drinks I.P.A.s and wears sports-themed T-shirts, especially ones with faded, nostalgic logos that suggest better times.”

In my early 20s, I developed a gambling problem that I’ve since learned to spread out over a variety of low-stakes games — Scrabble, pitch-and-putt golf, my stock profile on ETrade. I watch somewhere between six and 20 hours of basketball per week. I try to keep up with the usual cultural things — documentaries about conflict in South Sudan, Netflix binge shows, memes — but whenever I find myself awake in the early morning and there is no email to answer and no news to track, I watch SportsCenter, or I scan the previous night’s N.B.A. box scores to check up on Porzingis, or I read some dissertation on Johnny Cueto’s unusual ability to hold runners on first base. It’s not the most glamorous way to spend my time, but what can I do? My mind, at its most aimless, obsessively seeks out sports information. I am, in other words, the target demographic for the daily fantasy sports industry.

Since the start of this N.F.L. season, I have lost roughly $1,900 on DraftKings and FanDuel, the two main proprietors of daily fantasy sports (D.F.S.). I play pretty much every night. This requires me to pick a team of players — whether baseball, basketball, football, hockey or soccer — each of whom have been assigned a dollar amount, and fit them all under a salary cap. I base these lineups on reasonably educated hunches, something to the effect of: I’ll play the Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill tonight, because he’s going up against the New Orleans Pelicans, who have been a defensive train wreck this season, especially on the perimeter.

Also, Monta Ellis, Hill’s back-court partner, is sitting out, which means more of the usage load should fall to Hill. Sometimes, usually while walking the dog, I’ll even sit down on a park bench and check to make sure that at least some of those facts are real. My bets range anywhere from $3 to $100. My losses in D.F.S. are not financially crippling, nor are they happening at a rate that should be cause for concern. But every gambler, whatever the size of the problem, wants to know that he or she has some chance of winning.

The ads, (advertising) I admit, are what got me. For the first 10 months of 2015, DraftKings and FanDuel spent more than a combined $200 million on advertising, a surge that peaked at the start of the football season, when a DraftKings ad ran seemingly every couple of minutes on television. In addition to the ads, many of which showed regular guys like me who had won, in the DraftKings parlance, “a shipload of money,” there were DraftKings lounges in N.F.L. stadiums, FanDuel sidelines in N.B.A. arenas and daily fantasy advice segments in the sports sections of newspapers and all over ESPN, which, during the first weeks of the N.F.L. season, felt as if it had been converted into a nonstop publicity machine for DraftKings. As of August, both companies had billion-dollar valuations and promised weekly competitions with huge payouts and fast and easy withdrawals.


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(Gabriel Harber, the fantasy-sports podcaster, broadcaster and writer known to fans as CrazyGabey, at his home outside Columbus, Ohio, in late December 2015.CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times)

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“Given the current state of online gaming, the next logical question is, ‘Is this site legal?’” Fargis continued. “Happily, I’m able to tell you that fantasy sports games are explicitly protected by the U.I.G.E.A. (the same law that has given online poker so much trouble in the U.S.A.). Instant Fantasy Sports is 100 percent legal in the U.S.A. and Canada.” 

I hope you will visit the link The New Times Mag to read the rest of this article as it has some good information … 

 

 

###################  ~ Now to the next article!

 

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932550272.jpg.0.jpg(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

6 winners and 4 losers from the Supreme Court’s big sports gambling decision Loser: sports leagues. Winner: sports leagues.

Gambling, Suicide, Twitter News Around The Web of Friends and More!

Gambling, Suicide, Twitter News Around The Web of Friends and More!

So I had a busy weekend visiting some of my favorite recovery websites, and there is a lot going on that is Good News. So I thought I would share some of my friends I am connected to around the web and social media. Many exciting things are happening with gambling and legislation by The National Council on Problem Gambling and my friends of Stop Predatory Gambling team!

I feel the more educated and informed we are as advocates maintaining recovery, and the public, the better we are for having the news and updates of the hard-working people who Care and Share Hope to those who are still suffering and for those reaching out for help. That is the main reason’s I do what I do here on my Recovery Blog! It truly is my way of “being in recovery service to others”…

I was also on Twitter yesterday and was few days prior had been interacting and sharing with some of my good friends. My Brandon Novak from The Jack Ass movies and a few others including myself were tweeting back and forth. I then get a very nice DM on Twitter from a HUGE FAN of the guys of Jack Ass movies like Brandon, BAM, … And I was so “Touched” I shared it with my buddies and wanted to share it here. WHY?

Because we never know who is reading and we may be helping others who need support maintaining recovery!! I Thanked Kylie too!! xoxo

TWITTER MESSAGES:

I’m a massive fan of Bam it’s so good to see him and Brandon skating again and I’ve been watching them both in recovery it’s been exceptionally inspirational Brandon Novak is truly amazing and he inspires me daily as to your tweets! To watch Novak in the Jackass and CKY days, now turned into the true gentleman he is today is a real blessing. Some people never get to see that there is a chance at recovery. YOU truly have an amazing gift and they’re very lucky to be writing about sobriety and all it has to offer. YOUR words are so true addiction is a major problem in Australia where I come from and gambling is huge. It’s the “unspoken addiction.” I had to download all the “Pokie” games on my hubby’s phone to keep him out of the clubs!

It’s more people like you that we need in the world! I try to practice by giving back “Positiveness” to my friends that are still suffering and in addiction and I hope that they see that if I can do it they can do it!! They just need a little bit of love, as I know I felt within addiction I didn’t even love myself, therefore I didn’t feel that I was capable of receiving it …Really is a pleasure to be speaking with you and I look forward to getting to know you better and reading more about your inspirational tweets. If it can just reach one person, then that one person has more of a chance to live again.

You are very lucky to have gotten to know Brandon Novak, I just hope that “Bam” can get through his demons … It is such a shame to see a young boy so full of life and had the world at his feet and after losing his best friend turn to addiction. It’s a constant battle and I just hope that with the love of Novak, and others that Bam can find some peace.

Thanks again for all of your encouragement and support! lots of love Kylie.

MY MESSAGE BACK TO KYLIE:

Very KIND words and I thank you for your support and new friendship! Your words mean much to me and all advocates who share, then it brings our Voices collectively as ONE.

Brandon ‘s friendship, like you said, has been a blessing and inspiration to me. He is always open and transparent maintaining and speaking about his recovery. Though not easy, and yes, we have days when we hit a bump or two, but we never give up! As I have learned, addiction IS always “lying in wait” for those rough days. So if I can help and share HOPE with others so they know to never give up the battle.

WE ARE Worth more than DEATH due to addiction. The more I can inform, educate, and raise awareness about the dangers of Gambling Addiction and Alcoholism, maybe those still suffering will finally have that “Light Bulb Moment” of clarity to not want to live that any longer! Just my 2 cents worth …LOL. I look forward to knowing you better as well!

Please Email Me anytime! lyonmedia@aol.com XoXo CaT 😺💞🤟

“JUST AMAZING SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE ON MY Twitter @LUV_Recovery!!”

 


NOW NEWS AROUND THE WEB!

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SPORTS BETTING WEBINAR: May 22nd, 2018 ~ NCPGambling ~ 1:00 PM ET

The US Supreme Court has declared the federal ban on sports betting to be unconstitutional. By repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the Supreme Court opens the door for any state to legalize sports betting.
Join NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte on this webinar as he discusses the implications resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision as it relates to problem gambling and responsible gaming including:
  • Increased Prevalence of Problem Gambling Across the US
  • The Impact on Public Health
  • A Rise in Youth Gambling
  • The Risks of Mobile Platforms for Sports Betting
  • Legislation and Consumer Protections
Have a specific question you would like addressed in the webinar? Email them to CaitH@ncpgambling.org by 8am ET on Tuesday, May 22.
FREE for NCPG Members | $59 for Non-Members

 

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Hi Catherine,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE               CONTACT: Les Bernal, National Director
May 14, 2018                                          202-567-6996 | mail@stoppredatorygambling.org

STOP PREDATORY GAMBLING STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT’S DECISION IN MURPHY VS. NCAA!!! …

(WASHINGTON, DC) — Stop Predatory Gambling released the following statement following this morning’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning the federal law that preventing states from sanctioning and promoting sports gambling:

“All men and women in our nation deserve a fair opportunity to build the best life possible for themselves and their families.”

This litigation was conceived in greed by powerful gambling interests in partnership with a handful of self-serving politicians to benefit a privileged few. It’s a naked money grab from the wallets of ordinary Americans cloaked as a “states’ rights” case.

While the Court’s ruling centered on lofty questions involving states’ rights, the real-world consequences of its decision are severe. The American people lost $117 billion on state-sanctioned gambling in 2016, causing life-changing financial losses for millions of citizens. It directly contributes to the lack of mobility out of poverty that traps so many. This serious national problem will be made far worse if the government is allowed to operate and advertise sports betting.

Sports betting is especially dangerous for American kids. Studies show that children in those countries with legal sports gambling are repeatedly exposed to harmful messages and advertisements about sports gambling. It normalizes gambling for kids.

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Author, Macauley South


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State-sanctioned gambling is a relic of past failures of political leadership. Strong, visionary leaders from both political parties will ultimately phase out state-sanctioned gambling because it’s failed. It’s inevitable. It’s not a question of if but when.

We’ll continue our just fight to improve people’s lives with compassion and fairness until then.”

Click here to read the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

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Stop Predatory Gambling

Who We Are

  • A 501c3 non-profit based in Washington, DC, we are a national government reform network of individuals and organizations from across the U.S.
  • We believe in improving the lives of the American people with compassion and fairness, freeing us from the lower standard of living, exploitation, and fraud that commercialized gambling spreads.
  • We are one of the most diverse organizations in the United States, one in which progressives work side-by-side with conservatives with a common national purpose.

What We Stand For

  • We believe everyone should have a fair opportunity to get ahead and improve their economic standing.
  • We believe every person’s life has worth and that no one is expendable.
  • We believe that a good society depends on the values of honesty, concern for others, mutual trust, self-discipline, sacrifice, and a work ethic that connects effort and reward.
  • We believe no government body should depend on predatory gambling to fund its activities.

If you share our beliefsplease help sustain our work by making a tax-deductible, financial gift today of $10 or more.

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Our Vision

“One day we will live in a world where we won’t have to call it “brave” when talking about mental illness. We’ll just call it talking.”

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MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS ~ OUR MISSION

The mission of This Is My Brave, Inc. is to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues by sharing personal stories of individuals living successful, full lives despite mental illness through poetry, essay and original music, on stage in front of a live audience, through stories submitted and published to our blog, and via our YouTube channel.

Through the sharing of stories and experiences of those in recovery, we provide a sense of community and hope; and encourage others to share their stories. We believe that each time one of us shares our story, there’s another crack helping to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. Right now, it’s time to #LiveBrave, stand up with us to say #isharemystory and help us bring mental health issues into the spotlight because they’ve been in the dark too long.

We believe in the power of community. There’s strength found in people coming together to propel a movement forward which is why we created our organization.

Please Help Prevent Suicide and Support The Mission and Visit  “This Is My Brave Org” to Help TODAY!

 

(Huffington Post) – Truckers Line Up Below Bridge To Help Prevent Suicide

 

 

Gambling Addiction is NOT a Poor Person’s Addiction. Meet Melinda L., An RN…

imageedit_1_6172885164 Courtesy of InRecovery Magazine

“My name is Melinda and I saved lives for a living.”

I was an ICU nurse and a nursing supervisor at a hospital where I had been employed for 27 years. I had earned respect, accolades and a good degree of success in my career. There are people alive today because of actions I took and decisions I made, often in a split second, to save their lives. With all of this success, I could not for the life of me stop gambling or think I could stop any more than changing the tides of the ocean.

Believe me, I tried.  In the local bookstore, I found rows and rows of books on alcoholism, drug addiction, overeating, overspending, over-sexing, over this, over that. There were entire sections dedicated to the innocent enablers who unwillingly allowed the “overs” to continue their destructive behavior. There were no manuals for the hapless gambler.

I would sit in my car, slam the steering wheel, lower my head and sob. My gas gauge was on empty, and that familiar nauseating feeling of disgust and terror would return. Then, as always, I would form a momentary sense of resolution and regurgitate the lines of an old sermon filled with rallying cries: “I can’t do this anymore . . . this is not me . . . I’m not a caged animal on a treadmill . . . I am better than this!” Each time I spoke these words, I had the feeling that this time I would stop gambling.

Less than 24 hours later, my car was back in the casino parking lot. It was as if I had no control; I realize now that I didn’t. This continued for close to five years until my life came crashing down. Due to choices I’d made to feed my addiction, I lost my job of 27 years, damaged relationships with friends and family, forfeited an insane amount of money and nearly lost my life. I also lost perhaps the most precious thing of all; time. Time I can never get back wasted in front of slot machines.

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Slot machines were designed with one goal: to make an addict out of everyone. The longer a person plays, the more money they lose, until it is all gone. In the midst of my gambling addiction, my sensible way of thinking about money all but vanished. I would drive an extra four miles to save $2 on paper towels, and yet drop $500 in a slot machine. I kept 50 cents in the console of my car for enough gas to get home. It was often the only money I had left at the end of a day of gambling.

One time when I was so engrossed in my machine, I failed to hear a man’s call for help when his mother passed out. I had performed several Good Samaritan acts in public, but I had a good thing going that particular Sunday afternoon; I was winning. That should have been the time I faced reality, but it wasn’t. I had two more years of self-destruction, convoluted thinking, and unhinged behavior ahead of me.  I was just as impaired by gambling as a bar patron who has had too much to drink. After about eight drinks, a bartender would no doubt cut them off; after all, they might hurt themselves, or worse, kill someone. When a patron’s judgment is impaired, the responsible thing would be to cut them off.

No such limits exist at the casino. Every time I went gambling, it was as though I was walking into the Cheers bar. The greeters knew my name when I usually gambled and the machine I liked; I’m sure they were also aware of how often I lost. No one ever came over and suggested, “Take a break, go home, take care of your kids.” There were no safety nets in place; just a few signs with a number to call if you thought you had a gambling problem.

I hit rock bottom and stopped gambling on April 29, 2012. My hard work was just beginning. My life was in shambles. I had no job, no money and no direction. Nursing was all I had ever known and loved, and I had jeopardized my license. There is a reason why gambling addiction has the highest rate of suicide of any addiction. One in five addicts attempt suicide, and many succeed. There is only so much cocaine, heroin or alcohol you can put into your body before ending up in a morgue. Gambling has no such constraints; when it gets bad, suicide seems to be the only answer.

Fortunately, I knew I had to live. I had to be a mother to my children.

Pain medication 3

As I slowly emerged from a cloud of profound shame and despair, I began going to Gamblers Anonymous meetings and reached out to organizations I had avoided in the past. One of those organizations was a nonprofit in Washington, DC, called Stop Predatory Gambling. Their mission is to stop the injustice and inequality created by government-sponsored gambling. I became their official National Victim’s Advocate, a voice for those who remain silent and in the shadows due to social stigma and discrimination. I began speaking all over the country and joined in the fight against gambling expansion. The underlying message was simple: Gambling addiction is a beast that destroys families and individuals; it is fundamentally wrong for our government to prey upon the vulnerable to fill their coffers. My goal was to bring advocacy, raise awareness and reform for this highly misunderstood addiction.

“I once had a one-on-one conversation with a senator from Illinois. “You don’t look like a gambler,” he said. “What do you think one looks like?” I replied. “We look like who we are: your neighbor, sister, father, spiritual leader, co-worker. The slot machine didn’t look back at me and say, ‘Gee, you are a bit too put together, I’m not going to make you an addict.”

Gambling operates on the Pareto Principle: 90% of profits come from 10% of the gamblers. These are not your casual weekend night-on-the-town gamblers, they are the most vulnerable: the elderly, poor, women and minorities. “Casino Cafes” located every few miles in strip malls with cutesy names like Stella’s and Dolly’s are blatantly predatory to women. Many states and municipalities view gambling as an economic panacea, yet they miss the hidden costs: child neglect, crime and ultimately the need for state assistance. Gambling addiction tears families apart and ruins lives.

Gambling addiction is now recognized as a disease and may be covered by insurance and have benefits that cover treatment. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the number of gambling addicts is rising at an alarming rate. In Illinois alone, there are nearly 12,000 people on the voluntary self-exclusion list – just an estimated 10% of the state’s problem gamblers.  Gambling nearly killed me, and I never saw it coming.  Things need to change. We have far to go before the problem of compulsive gambling is resolved.

Change begins when even one addicted gambler finds recovery.

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Melynda Litchfield has been a registered nurse for over 30 years, working in ICU, nursing administration and now home care. She is the National Victim’s Advocate for Stop Predatory Gambling, mans the GA hotline twice a week and speaks on the predatory effects of gambling and the nature of the gambling industry. Melynda is the proud mother of three children and is active in community organizations, including her church council.
www.stoppredatorygambling.org

**I have known and worked with Melinda and Les Bernal Founder of Stop Predatory Gambling about the expansion and impact of the growing offerings of gambling sponsored by the Oregon State Lottery and when I lived in Oregon until late 2013. Please visit there website by the link above and see how gambling has a negative impact on your State and Community today…

Catherine Lyon

The Oregonian’s Continuing series about the Oregon Lottery and how it Disproportionately Leans on Problem Gamblers to keep its Revenues Flowing.

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends,

Here is another article of this series I will be sharing this week and weekend to prove that for-profit gambling profits ARE being made on the backs of problem gamblers and those addicted. Common sense is they don’t make profits off the just “once in awhile” players . .  .  . “Players Beware”

 

Oregon Lottery: Agency pushes slot machines as problem gamblers pay the price
(Courtesy of TheOregoniann Newspaper)

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.  ( Courtesy: Harry Esteve | hesteve@oregonian.com )

In 2011, a team of Texas consultants hired by the Oregon Lottery visited dozens of Portland-area bars, restaurants and “delis” with video slot and poker machines to ask hundreds of patrons about their gambling habits.

What they found is the exact opposite of the fun-loving image the lottery has cultivated for years.

The biggest chunk of players, according to documents obtained by The Oregonian, park in front of a machine and gamble alone until all their money is gone.

“Video lottery is currently a solitary exercise,” Mozak Advertising & Insights concluded in bold green type, adding that “running out of money” is the primary reason for ending a gambling session.

It’s a classic description of problem gambling. 

And it fits with other records analyzed by The Oregonian showing that most of the lottery’s revenue comes from just a sliver of players who lose thousands of dollars a year. Some wind up bankrupt, divorced, unemployed or suicidal.

Yet lottery officials expressed no alarm. Instead, they’ve embarked on one of the agency’s most aggressive marketing efforts yet to increase play on the machines, considered by problem gambling experts to be among the most addictive forms of gambling on the planet.

Together, the findings and marketing plan paint a disturbing picture of a state agency knowingly — and increasingly — siphoning money away from a relatively small group of problem gamblers to pay for schools, parks, business development and other programs.

“It puts the government in the business of vice,” says Roger Humble, an addiction counselor who has treated more than 1,300 problem gamblers at the Bridgeway clinic in Salem. “We play them as suckers to help us pay our taxes.”

“Bled slowly”

The Oregon Lottery’s marketing plan declares that 2014 “will be a milestone year for Video Lottery,” with efforts to attract younger players and install new machines across the state.

It’s no wonder lottery officials are targeting video machines. The numbers tell the story:

In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the lottery netted $856 million from all its games: Powerball, Megabucks, scratch tickets, Keno and video machines. A whopping $737 million -– 86 percent — came from video players.

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Lottery officials, along with state policymakers, have long known that addicted gamblers do more than their share to prop up state lottery revenues. What’s new is the state’s fervor in feeding their addiction.

The five-member state Lottery Commission last year approved spending $250 million over the next five years to replace the agency’s 12,000-plus video machines with state-of-the-art models. The first 3,000 machines are on order and could be in taverns, restaurants, strip clubs, bowling alleys and gambling-oriented “delis” in Portland and along the Interstate 5 corridor by late spring.

Created with help from math experts and neuroscientists, the machines are part of a new generation of electronic slots meant to attract younger customers used to playing arcade-style video games. They feature detailed color graphics and exotic names such as Golden Goddess and Shadow of the Panther.

But they’re all designed with one goal, says Natasha Dow Schüll, an anthropologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of “Addiction by Design,” a book about the link between video slots and compulsive gambling.

“They’re catering to the ones who want to zone out or escape,” Schüll says. “These machines are geared to provide that kind of experience.” The idea, Schüll says, is to lull players into a sense that they’re winning even as they slowly lose by returning 60 to 90 percent of the money they drop into the machines. “You don’t really notice that your money is going away,” she says. “As one industry designer told me, some gamblers like to be bled slowly.” 

In the Oregon Lottery’s case, gamblers fed a jaw-dropping $9.9 billion into the machines in fiscal 2013, according to lottery financial statements. They walked away with about $9.2 billion, a return rate of 93 percent. But that 7 percent loss represents a $1 billion boost to the state budget every two years — money that few are willing to walk away from, regardless of who pays it.

Problem gamblers pay a steep price and so does society, counselors say.

Addicts steal from their employers, from stores and from family members to get money to play, says Humble, the Bridgeway counselor. They wind up in trouble with the law or ostracized from their families. Often, they contract health problems, such as hypertension, that land them in the hospital.

“It’s incredible how going like this,” Humble says, mimicking the motion of pushing a slot machine button, “can create a monster.”


Slots push aside poker:

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Oregon Lottery leaders plan to increase profits from video games by $10 million, or 3 percent, in fiscal 2014. The focus clearly is on electronic slot games — “line games” that mimic slots. The games are shoving aside video poker as the game of choice.

The Mozak study shows 55 percent of players prefer line games, compared with 28 percent who prefer video poker. The remaining players divide their gambling time evenly.

The agency’s marketing plan calls for on-site advertising to bring in new players, lottery-sponsored events to teach newcomers how to play slot machines, and research into potential “mobile gaming” — think iPads in bars — as an extension to playing video slots.

The agency’s enthusiasm for the games worries mental health and addiction experts. Jeff Marotta, a nationally recognized consultant on problem gambling who lives in Portland, read the Mozak report and came away shaking his head.

“The most disturbing aspect of this study is that it is clearly focused on assisting the Oregon State Lottery to strategize ways to increase player volume,” Marotta said in an email. “I don’t believe a state agency should be aggressively pushing the public to participate in an activity that has well-documented risks associated with its addictive potential.” Marotta, who has consulted with the Oregon Lottery on problem gambling, said the recent voter rejection of a private casino in Gresham shows the public doesn’t want an expansion of gambling in the state.

“So why,” he asks, “has the lottery recently invested in research and advertising to promote a form of gambling that addicts more Oregonians than any other form of gambling?”

Les Bernal, an outspoken critic of state-run lotteries, puts it more bluntly.

“That’s a government program that’s consciously exploiting the addiction of its own citizens,” says Bernal, who heads the Washington, D.C.-based group Stop Predatory Gambling. “How many people are injured every year by the Oregon Lottery’s machines? Instead of stopping, they’re saying, ‘You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to bring in new machines.’ How incredible is that?”

Director denies findings:

The Oregon Lottery spends heavily to research nearly every aspect of its player base. Contracts with Mozak, the Texas firm that conducted the interviews of video players in bars, came to $275,000 alone.

As part of its research, Mozak also brought 130 gamblers into a room in Portland filled with video machines and closely studied their habits and preferences. Lottery officials rejected The Oregonian’s request to look at results from the study, citing a “trade secrets” exemption from state public records law.

Despite all the data, the lottery’s director either doesn’t understand or won’t acknowledge the extent to which the agency relies on problem gamblers for revenue.

In a lengthy interview with The Oregonian, lottery Director Larry Niswender defended the lottery’s practices and denied that the agency targets problem gamblers. He also disputed data showing that an outsize share of lottery revenue comes from a small group of players. He offered no explanation for Mosak’s finding that lone players gamble until they empty their wallets or purses.

“We’re operating under a framework set in the constitution, approved by voters,” said Niswender, who announced he is retiring from the lottery at the end of the month. Former state Labor Commissioner Jack Roberts takes over as director Dec. 1.

Voters overwhelmingly approved creating the lottery in 1984, Niswender said, and surveys show strong support today. And the whole point is to raise as much money as possible to substitute for tax increases, he said.

Niswender also pointed to a new responsible-gambling plan developed by lottery staff that will be implemented next year. The plan calls for the lottery to establish a “responsible gaming code of practice” but largely continues practices in place, such as clocks on game screens and prominent display of the 877-MYLIMIT help number for problem gamblers.

**To be fair here is the info from the “My Limit” website**

The Oregon Problem Gambling Helpline has been in operation since 2001 and is currently taking approximately 5,000 calls a year. Trained professional staff members are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to listen, educate, answer questions, and refer people to free confidential treatment services.

If you (or someone you know) are gambling too much, you can call the Oregon Problem Gambling Helpline and speak to a certified gambling counselor. All information shared is confidential and this service is FREE to Oregon residents.

Call the Helpline 1-877-695-4648 (My Limit) and speak with someone who can get you to the help you may need. Or text 503-713-6000.

All calls are free.
All calls are confidential.
Call anytime, 24 hours a day.

You are not alone. There is help, there is hope, and there is a way to get your life back on track.


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The lottery’s goal, Niswender said, “is to attract new players so we don’t have a few that play a lot, we have a lot playing a little.” He questioned lottery data showing the opposite.

“I have a hard time believing there’s a very small number of people generating what is probably between $12 million to $14 million a week in revenue,” Niswender said. “It’s got to be a broad diverse player base.”

But later, his research staff confirmed through lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann that the lottery’s video revenue does come from a small segment of players.

As far as the finding that most play alone, Niswender referred to surveys in which video players reported playing mainly for fun. “It’s to hang out with friends,” he said.

“Anything but a social thing”

A visit to just about anyplace with lottery video games offers a different view.

On a recent Wednesday afternoon at top grossing lottery outlets, people sat at the machines, quietly feeding in $5 and $20 bills.

At Ace Tavern on Northeast Sandy Boulevard, patron Amanda Elliot watched while two women who declined to give their names played slot machines in silence.

“Your focus is on the screen,” said Elliot, who rarely plays. “It’s anything but a social thing.”

Habitual players say they may go to casinos with friends, but they play Oregon Lottery alone.

“I have no interest in interacting with other people while I’m gambling,” says Kitty Martz of Northwest Portland, who recently completed a gambling treatment program. “I can’t stand to have someone even comment, ‘Looks like you’ve got a win there.’” She says she would wear a “gambling suit” that included ear buds to block outside noise and a scarf to hide her face.

Martz, 44, is a world traveler who once had a thriving home-remodeling business. Once she fell into the grip of video poker and slots, she started blowing through her and her now ex-husband’s life savings.

“A lot of people think it’s a tax on the stupid,” Martz says. “Really, we’re behaving exactly the way the machines want us to.”

A devil’s bargain

The lottery has always been something of a devil’s bargain, suggests Peter Bragdon, who helped lead a 1995 task force on state-run gambling. The task force, established by Gov. John Kitzhaber, issued a widely publicized report warning that the state was becoming overly dependent on money that came at least in part from gambling addicts.
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Years later, Bragdon was serving as chief of staff to then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who also served on the task force and helped write the report. The state was in the middle of a budget crisis, and “pressure was intense” to increase lottery profits, Bragdon said.

At the time, the state had video poker but not slots because of their addictive allure. First, the state loosened rules to allow six video poker machines per establishment instead of five. Then the governor decided to allow slot machines.

“It’s not pressure from gambling interests, it’s pressure from people who want to spend the money,” Bragdon says. “You’ve got the reality of getting people to play these games, but you’re also looking at a budget where you’ve got really vulnerable people losing medicine, losing shelter, school doors closing early.

“And you’ve got to make a choice.”

— Harry Esteve, The Oregonian

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**Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & ‘In Recovery Magazine’ Columnist**

 

 

 

Meet Ronda Hatefi and How She is Advocating About Gambling Addiction with “The Take a Break Campaign & Day of Awareness”

“Ronda Hatefi and her family work tirelessly to raise awareness about problem gambling and gambling addiction. WHY? Because she lost her brother, Bobby Hafemann to this disease by suicide. Ronda does this through the help of “Prevention Lane” a program through Lane County Public Health in Oregon. It is a Day of Awareness for those who Gamble to just “Take A Break!” So, here is more about her campaign and how she advocates.”

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TAKE A BREAK CAMPAIGN:


OUR MISSION:

Problem Gamblers Awareness Day/ Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling’s purpose in “Take a Break Campaign” is to reach out to gamblers and family members to check in to make sure they are in control and gambling responsibly.

OUR GOALS:

• To offer an opportunity for businesses that offer gambling to show they care for their customer base.
• To offer family members and friends a way to start a conversation about responsible gambling.
• To reach out with our helpline information and offer hope and help to those who are unable to take a break.

WHO WE ARE:


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Ronda Hatefi, founder of Oregonians for Gambling Awareness Organization. I have been married 30 years, have 2 grown children and 2 granddaughters. Both of my children have graduated college, are working in their professions and are married. I am very proud of them and their accomplishments. They both grew up knowing my passion for helping others with gambling addiction.

I lost my brother, Bobby, 21 years ago after he took his life due to gambling addiction. I have worked since then to speak HOPE and HELP to gamblers and their families. I have been to many conferences, have spoken many places including New York, Washington DC, South Dakota and Oregon, as well as taken part in 3 documentaries (South Korea, California, and France).

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We have had our Oregon Governor sign a proclamation every year declaring September 29th as Problem Gamblers Awareness Day since 1997. Last year being the 20th anniversary of Bobby’s death, we took our Awareness day National. We are working with others across our Country to spread the message of HOPE AND HELP, as well as speaking the truth about how State sponsored gambling is a bad public policy and doesn’t bring only good things to our States.

The work I have done for 21 years has all been volunteer, I believe in what I am doing. I have partnered with some amazing people, Lane County Prevention Team, STOP Predatory Gambling, Voices of Problem Gamblers, and others. I feel it is important to work as a team to do the best work for the gamblers in our State.

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September 29, 2016 – Problem Gamblers Awareness Day in Oregon



HOW CAN YOU HELP?

First, click on the blue link above and READ all that Ronda is doing in conjunction with Lane County Public Health Prevention Team through the “Problem Gambling Awareness & Take A Break” campaign. As many other organizations too like “Stop Predatory Gambling – Les Bernal,” and others listed below are Joining In!

You can help spread the word by a REBLOG today, Friday and Sat…. through Oct 1st 2016! I know Ronda and I would appreciate the SUPPORT!!

And lastly:

Like other addictions, the compulsion to gamble can become the main priority of a person’s life. When this happens the emotional and financial upheavals are devastating. Often, the family is just as impacted by this devastation as the gambler. According to prevalence studies conducted by the Oregon Council on Problem Gambling, problem gambling affects approximately 80,000 adult Oregonians. For those entering treatment last year, the Oregon Health Authority estimates their combined debt related to gambling at more than $31 million.

Key events locally include the “Take A Break” campaign and Bridgeway Recovery Walk & Run.

In Oregon, treatment for problem gamblers and their loved ones is free and confidential and provided through Oregon Lottery revenues; those interested in seeking help may call the 24-hour help line at 1-877-MY-LIMIT (877-695-4648).

For more information about Awareness Day, contact Ronda Hatefi: ogao.ronda@gmail.com

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” Author, Recovery Columnist, and Gambling Recovery Advocate ~ Catherine Lyon ”

Let’s Kick Off “National Week of Action Against Predatory Gambling” And Voices From Beyond. . .

Hello and Welcome All Recovery Friends and Visitors,

This coming week is a big deal for me. I get together with the fine folks at Stop Predatory Gambling, Les Bernal, and staff to raise awareness about predatory gambling by our Government and by our States Lottery. Just about every state in the US has some form of state sponsored for-profit gambling offering. Now we all are pretty smart people as to know they are not making money and profits from gaming by the “once in a blue moon players.” NO, they are making profits off those who are the problem or addicted gamblers. And quite frankly that should be ILLEGAL. But since the Government approves it and so do the states, it is legal. HHHHHMMMMM.

Many have NO idea that Gambling Addiction is currently the #1 addiction with the highest suicide rate,  YES, that is over drug and alcohol addictions.  Please take some time to read this story which will touch your heart: Gambling Addiction Suicide – Lanie’s Hope as I shared Lanie’s story this time last year. It is heartbreaking to me that these suicides are happening at a faster 2x the rate than any other addiction and our Government is still cutting funding for treatment. Also, our State Lotteries are not giving enough money for funding required funding for treatment of those who become addicted to it. Where I came from, the State of Oregon, you can see the petty amount allotted for treatment in this article below. 1% is pretty embarrassing, to say the least  . . .

How funds are allocated – Oregon Lottery


“Over the years, Oregon voters have approved constitutional amendments allowing Lottery funds to be used for economic development (1984), public education (1995) and natural resources (1998). The Oregon Legislature transfers 1 percent of Lottery revenues every biennium to fund problem gambling treatment.”

And like in my previous posts, I am advocating and participating again this year for “The National Week of Action To Stop Predatory Gambling” along with my friend Ronda Hatefi and Les Bernal from Stop Predatory Gambling Website in HONOR of Ronda’s brother, Bobby Hafemann who took his own life due to gambling addiction. Now here are more Voice’s we will never hear like Bobby’s as they too felt they had no other options to STOP Gambling and are no longer with us  .  .  .

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“VOICES FROM BEYOND WE WON’T HEAR”

    “Gambling is a real drug for addicted players, who continue returning back to the casino every day and wasting all money there. And they don’t care about the spouses, that have already packed their luggage to leave, or children who don’t eat much because of money deficiency.”

And this is just the tip of the List!

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 Ventnor 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


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Need help from Gambling Addiction or Problem Gambling? Call Today.


In Oregon:  call 1-877-MY-LIMIT (695-4648).

National Hotline:  call  1-800-522-4700 all days and hours for resources and referrals.

National Suicide Hotline: call Call  1-800-273-8255 24 hours a day.

Gamblers Anonymous –http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/hotlines
Find A Meeting: http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/locations

For Family Help:  Gam-Anon: Family and friends of problem gamblers can find resources and a list of meetings at gam-anon.org or 718-352-1671.


 

Coming The End of Sept. ‘The 2nd Annual National Week Of Action To Stop Predatory Gambling’and Ronda Hatefi.

IT’S TIME TO STOP PREDATORY GAMBLING
FROM GOVERNMENT & STATES…

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*TIME AGAIN FOR “THE NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION TO STOP PREDATORY GAMBLING” SEPTEMBER 2016*

Fall is in the air and that means another week of ‘Raising Awareness, Educating, and Informing the Public about Problem and Addicted Gambling’ . . . . .

Most all my friends and recovery blog followers know I live my life in recovery for almost 10-year’s from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse. For my new visitors?

That is what this recovery blog is all about. It is my continued journey from my current book/memoir titled; “Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) ” My story of my life and what I went through with gambling addiction and living with undiagnosed mental health, which cost me way more than the money lost, it almost cost my LIFE TWICE by SUICIDE.

So once again this year I will be blogging here all month long in “Honor” of My dear friend Ronda Hatefi and her brother Bobby Hafemann who had committed suicide due his gambling addiction. Suicide should never be an option to STOP GAMBLING ADDICTION.

 
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.    ( Ronda Hatefi and a Photo of her brother Bobby Hafemann )

My dear friend Ronda lost her brother July 20, 1995, and for 21 years she has been sharing his story and raising awareness of State Lottery Predatory Gambling. See, Bobby Hafemann became addicted to ‘The Oregon State Lottery Video Poker machines’ after they were introduced in 1992 throughout the State of Oregon, USA. And as Ronda knows, so was I later in 1997 on for many years. Shortly after Bobby’s death, she started the organization Oregonians For Gambling Awareness and petitioned Oregon’s governor to proclaim September 29 as “Problem Gamblers Awareness Day.”

I spoke with Ronda the other day by phone and told her that The Oregon Lottery and our State failed her, her family and Bobby by not having enough funding for Bobby from the lottery for treatment services they are supposed to set up for those who become addicted. There have been many articles written about Bobby Hafemann and his story through the year’s, here is one to get the full scope of Ronda and her families loss here: http://www.mentalhealthportland.org/since-brothers-suicide-ronda-hatefi-has-worked-to-raise-awareness-about-problem-gambling/

And the expansion of lottery and casinos? That will be another blog post topic here this month. And this is not taking into account all the Indian Casinos that have opened throughout my former state I lived in for over 26-years myself. Gambling machines were everywhere! So last year’s very first “National Week of Action to Stop Predatory Gambling” was to Honor and Remember Bobby Hatefi and were many events held with the help of Les Bernal and the fine folks of
Stop Predatory Gambling  ….

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Les has been National Director since 2008 when the national network grew into the organization of Stop Predatory Gambling. Like many of the thousands of citizens who have fought against government-sponsored casinos and lotteries over the last twenty-five years, Les was a convert to the cause. The more he learned about the spectacular failure of this public policy, so the more committed he became to work for a more honest, fairer, healthier and more hopeful vision of the path to American prosperity.

He has spoken and written extensively about online gambling, regional casinos, and state lotteries, all of which are being promoted by our government and states to citizens. He has testified before Congress, he has appeared on national television and radio including 60 Minutes, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, National Public Radio and The BBC. He has been cited by more than 550 newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, USA Today, and Sports Illustrated. He has also spoken before more than 1000 business organizations, college audiences and faith groups across the nation.

They are a great resource to see how gambling establishments are “impacting your community.” So visit their website, type in your STATE, and see what you can do to help in your community here:  Check Your State
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Now  Ronda works very hard sharing her “Take a Break Campaign” that has been educating and raising awareness about addicted gambling.  And Ronda will be with us all month sharing more about the campaign and how she advocates. But today, I wanted to share a little of what she and her family experienced and had gone through watching her brother, their son slip through their fingers as he became deeper into gambling addiction.

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THE PLACES LUCK WILL TAKE YOU  ~ Ronda Hatefi

My story is about luck. You know, everyone today wishes to be lucky. Lucky enough to win the game, to get the promotion at work, to not get a speeding ticket when your late for work, and of course to win the lottery or just your local poker game.

How much does just plain luck have to do with these things? Are some people just luckier than others? Can you increase your luck by carrying a lucky penny, rabbit’s foot, or token of some sort?

I used to think these things were true. We always said that my brother was the lucky one in our family. As kids we would walk through the store together, he found a $20 bill near the register. Camping we all walked along the same log, he found the $10 bill. He was always picking up coins off the ground, and somehow we all just knew it was because he was luckier than we were. This did not stop in adulthood.

When he turned 18 he bought himself a scratch ticket from the Oregon Lottery. Guess what, $500 winner. How can one guy be this lucky? He continued to buy lottery tickets, winning some, losing some. He bought some mega bucks, and keno tickets as well. We heard a lot more about the winning than we did the losing so I can’t really tell you a percentage of wins to losses.

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Then video poker machines came into Oregon. This was a new challenge for him, one that he took on like any other, with 110% effort. Again, he started out lucky, with wins; enough for him and us to all think once again, he was just lucky.

After some time, it seemed that his luck had started to run out. Things were not going his way anymore. He was losing more than he was winning, to the point of having to borrow and sell things to keep gambling, and he was passed up for a promotion at work. He continued to gamble, more than he had been to try to get his lost money back. Chasing that win, knowing that his luck would turn again. It didn’t happen liked he had hoped. For a guy that was used to winning, these were some pretty hard facts to face.

He became suicidal and spoke about it to only a couple of people who didn’t know what to do so they did nothing. I am not sure how long he felt this way; I know that he did write a few notes. The last one he wrote was the hardest to read. He spoke of a cruel world, (things weren’t going his way anymore), he felt like a ghost, someone that no one could see, and that he couldn’t see anyone else. You see, Bobby’s luck took him places for a long time, but when it ran out, he lost more than his money.

Before he lost his life, he lost his self-respect, his self-esteem, his quality of life, his love of life, and his desire to live and hope. He wanted it all to stop. This is way too much to lose; I think gambling with these things is too much to ask. My point of this story is that you really can’t rely on luck, you may be lucky for awhile but chances are it will run out. You hear about the good things that gambling does, the big wins, this is the other side.

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If you can’t control it by sticking to time and money limits or if it controls your thoughts, or it is not fun anymore, it is time to get help.  I have learned there are people out there that care, and that really want to and know how to help, that it is okay to talk about your gambling problem or your family members gambling problem without feeling the shame and guilt that Bobby felt. I know that if we continue to educate people on this issue that maybe we can help others not suffer the same pain that Bobby suffered and that we are still suffering today.

I have always said that the pain that my family and I have felt is sometimes unbearable, but it is nothing compared to what he must have been feeling at the moment he decided to end it. I can’t imagine having that kind of pain over something that is offered as entertainment by our State and Country.

Please help us continue to share about the addiction of gambling, and the trouble it can cause. Know that help is available. It is free, confidential and it works.


If you live in the State of Oregon, Please Call 1-877-MY-LIMIT ( 1-877-695-4648).

If in any other State Call The National Hotline: Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700).  If you feel ‘Hopeless’ call The Suicide Hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255 Available 24 hours every day  .  .  .  .

 

Ronda Hatefi –Eugene, OR.
Founder  Oregonians for Gambling Awareness Organization and Ronda Hatefi  And The Take a Break Campaign.

“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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

“National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling & No More For Profit State Lotteries.”

    

(Oregon State Lottery Video & Slot Style Machines)

 

“Here is a place I spent many wasted hours, and so much money gambled away. No, I didn’t wake one day and say, I think I will become an addicted gambler today and destroy my life, destroy all that I have worked hard for, become so addicted that I want to kill myself not once, but twice.”

Sadly, that is most of the truth of what happened to me. And not just me, my husband as well. WHY?
I know some of the reasons why, but I am still learning and doing the work needed in my continuing 8 1/2 year recovery journey to find some of the answers. I’m still in therapy, and I still have emotional/mental health issues to this day. Yes, some of my disorders are a direct effect of my years of compulsive addicted gambling.

“These machines and all other lottery offerings are everywhere in Oregon.”

I stopped going to the Indian Casinos. WHY? Well, why drive many miles to the nearest casino when I can just walk up the street to a Lottery Retail shop and play my choice of six machines to gamble.
And don’t let me count the hundreds of times I would lie to my husband as to where I was going, and 3 hours later he was coming in looking for me everywhere they has video lottery machines!!! I came to Oregon to make a better life, to find the man of my dreams, get married, buy a house, and that was all taken away due to my gambling addiction.

It has been a long road. And sadly? I am not the only one from Oregon that this happened to. I now live in Glendale, AZ … due to my husband’s current job. So here are some stories of others from the many of media articles that have been written about good people who also became addicted to gambling thanks to the heavy access of the Oregon State Lottery poker and slot machines.

I still remember the that day when I learned about the state lottery video poker machines. It changed my life. Since many who have visited my blog know much of my story, or have read my book, I wanted to share some others from Oregon who have gone through hell due to the Oregon lottery machines .. .. ..
(Courtesy of The Oregonian Newspaper.)

“The Oregonian invited readers to share Oregon Lottery experiences in a questionnaire. Because of the personal nature of comments, many asked that their names be withheld all or in part.”

A 67-year-old Hillsboro, OR woman:

How much do you spend on a typical outing to play video poker or line games?

It used to be $500. That was the most I could access from my ATM. They recently changed it to $600, so now I spend $600. Sometimes I even go to the bank and write a check for another $500. Don’t ask me why I do this, but I have destroyed our lives.

Have you ever lost more than you could afford?

I cannot begin to tell you the agony and shame that I have suffered from gambling. We are right now in a position that we could lose everything. I have spent more than we had so many times that I cannot remember them all. I spent my husband’s entire retirement of 33 years with [a state agency], and we owe over $100,000 to the IRS with a lien on our home. All of our credit cards are maxed out. We had to borrow money on our vehicle once to cover my gambling, and my husband’s brother has given us over $12,000 to cover. Now he can’t give us any more and I still continue to overspend.

When you play, do you sometimes feel you have a problem stopping even though you know you should?

I know I have a problem and I stopped for a while. I love to gamble. I am addicted to trying to beat them. I just don’t know what the hell is wrong with me. I understand how much we have lost, and it makes me so disgusted with myself. No one knows except my husband and I how bad it is. We are so ashamed. I just can’t talk to anyone about it. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to address this issue. If I won the lottery today, I would be right back at the machines trying to win. Excitement junkie? Bipolar? Depressed? Suicidal? Stupid? Delusional? Maybe all of those things. I think I have spent almost a million dollars in three years on gambling and the consequences.

Do you know other people who have a problem with gambling?

Yes, my sister. She actually is the one who got me started. We started going to Spirit Mountain because she had a friend who was taking her. We would go occasionally. Then it was stupid to drive all the way to Spirit Mountain when we could just go to the local lotto. Now she is 63 and living from paycheck to paycheck, maxed out on credit and trying to find more ways to be able to gamble. I am a decent, educated, financial services professional who has no excuse for not understanding the consequences. I just don’t understand.

Has your life been affected by problem gambling?

OMG, I can’t begin to tell you. We don’t do the things we used to do. We are going to lose everything we have, I hate and despise what I have done, and I just want to turn back the clock and do it differently.

Do you think the benefits from Oregon Lottery revenues — to schools, parks and such — outweigh the harm caused by problem gambling?

You’ve got to be kidding! I’m sure much more of that money would have gone to retailers and businesses that would have paid much more in taxes than the lottery. What a racket! I am sure that the people I sit next to must be in the same boat! I cannot imagine how many people do the same thing, but if they are like me, they don’t want anyone to know and you NEVER TELL ANYONE. It is the most well-kept secret in the world.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

I am so addicted. I would go today if I had any money left. I love it. When my husband first retired, we would go all over Oregon and Washington to all the Indian casinos gambling. It was awesome, exciting, fun and sometimes rewarding. We know every casino and have our favorites. My only regret is that I have no money to continue to go. Sick, reasonable, unbelievable? What is wrong with me?
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Pat, a 42-year-old Albany, Oregon man:

How much (did) you spend on a typical outing to play video poker or line games?

On average I would say that I lost between $100 and $300 a day.

What (did) you enjoy about playing lottery games?

At first I enjoyed the chance at winning. When the games got me hooked and turned me into a video poker zombie, I did not enjoy them anymore.

Have you ever won a big prize?

I have won over $5,000 in one night on various machines. The thrill of the big payouts was a wonderful high. But other times I’s win and put every penny back in the machine thinking I’d hit a bigger win!

Have you ever lost more than you can afford?

I have lost an entire paycheck in less than an hour. By the end of my active gambling, I did not care whether I won or lost. I only wanted to keep putting money in the machine. I felt out of control of my actions and needed only to put money in to feel like I was alive.

When you play, do you sometimes feel you have a problem stopping even though you know you should?

I could not stop until I was out of money, but then bar owners let me right personal checks for cash to keep playing. They should not allow this.

Have you ever sought help for gambling addiction?

[This year], I received a gambling addiction assessment and started in the gambling addiction program through Linn County alcohol and drug prevention offices. I have been clean from gambling since Feb 23. I owe my healthy mental state to this program. I feel that the Oregon Lottery video poker machines hypnotized me and turned me into a person that only cared about putting money into these machines.

I do not ever want to go through that mental hell again, and I hope that other people that have a problem can realize that there is wonderful help out there. I feel that the Oregon Lottery expanded so rapidly that people were not aware of the dangers that having easy access to gambling can have on people. I believe that the reported percentage of problem gamblers is far too low and that the lawmakers in this state are unaware of the widespread epidemic that problem gambling has become.

Has your life been affected by problem gambling?

Where do I start? It ruined me financially and personally. It ruined my relationship with my girlfriend whom I loved dearly. It took all of my self-esteem. It sent me into a deep, dark depression that has taken me about nine months to come out of. I realize that I am responsible for my own actions, but when you realize that your addiction to these video games has left you with no more control over your life and that these games are not only approved by but also advertised by the leadership of this state, it gives me a bad feeling about the direction that we are going as a society.
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34-year-old Milwaukie, Oregon woman & mother:

Do you know other people who have a problem with gambling?

My mother started gambling and now has a gambling problem. It has been devastating. She moved to California where she has had less temptation, but every time she visits, she gets sucked back in. I never experienced or saw addiction before, and I cannot believe how powerful it is.

“An example of how it takes over”: She was visiting me and my young son, and I let her borrow my car to go to the mall. We had plans to go out for a mother-daughter night that evening. She skipped out on me and did not return home until 3 a.m. She had been gone for over 12 hours. I had no way to reach her since she forgot her cell phone at home. When she came home I was furious, felt betrayed, and she was emotional and guilt-stricken. It ended up she had gambled (video poker) the whole time. There have been so many incidents like this where we can’t trust her or she put gambling before her family/responsibilities.

I am furious that … everywhere I go more places with the [Oregon Lottery] logo keep popping up. Strip malls now have not one but sometimes two video poker cafe’s. Family establishments such as Shari’s have them. They are everywhere! But unlike alcohol, which has some limits to times that you can buy it or consume it publicly, gambling is available 24 hours everywhere!

What irritates me the most is how much Oregon Lottery advertises that they give back to Oregon. Has there been any study showing the costs related to gambling? I would bet that the costs associated with problem gambling have a far greater toll on our state than what Oregon Lottery contributes. For example, my mother who has always been very good with money now is behind in her property taxes and is in debt for the first time in her life. Everything she worked hard for is now at risk of being lost just before she retires .. .. ..
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I can tell you that these stories by other Oregon residents sound so much like my own, and many other stories I have heard sitting in the rooms of GA meetings. Ironically, when living in Oregon, my inpatient and outpatient treatment programs were paid for by “The Oregon Lottery” through Options of So. Oregon, a gambling, drug, alcohol and mental health treatment center.  The Oregon Lottery also paid for my two crisis stays in their crisis center a bit over two weeks each time. WHY was I there?
I went there from the hospital to the crisis center after both my suicide attempts. That is how bad my gambling addiction had gotten.

Another misconception that addicted gamblers are poor, low life type people. That could not be farther from the truth. I myself spent most my career working years in the banking industry.  Again, attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings, and in my treatment group meetings, there were all type of people being effected by problem gambling like, lawyers, policemen, doctors, surgeons, accountants, seniors and more.  So there is no truth to that.

And of course, my earlier blog post today of Bobby H. of Eugene, OR. He was not so lucky. He lost his life due to gambling addiction and being addicted to the Oregon Lottery Machines. It’s why I am blogging all this weekend, in Honor of his memory.

Is gambling addiction just the addicts choice? Many think so. But it’s not. Many people have this personality trait to be addicts. That is just my opinion. Good people don’t choose to become addicted gamblers and destroy their lives “Just for the fun it!” .. .. .. .
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Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Gambling Recovery Advocate.
This is my story of Gambling. . . .

 

Product Details

Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat)

May 14, 2013 | Kindle eBook

 

This Weekend Is “National Day of Action Against Predatory Gambling!”

Hello and Welcome Recovery Friends, Supporters and New Visitor’s,

“THIS is a SPECIAL weekend for me to take action and share my gambling addiction and recovery with as many as I can reach along with the fantastic friends over at Stop Predatory Gambling. Les, Melynda, and Ronda Hatefi have worked hard to “Honor The Memory of Ronda’s brother, Bobby Hafemann who took his own life by suicide from addicted gambling, and to make this weekend happen!  Bobby had become addicted to Oregon State Lottery sponsored Video Poker Machines when they were introduced everywhere throughout the State of Oregon.
And so was I.


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I lived in Southern Oregon for over 26 years before moving to Arizona. It is the Government & State’s way of Legalizing Gambling for profit.”
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~ “Bobby Hafemann took his life because he became addicted to electronic gambling machines. Who was the primary sponsor and beneficiary of the machines that led to his death? His own state government.”

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Oregon's Problem Gamblers Awareness Day: 'Gambling took that from us'
(courtesy of the Oregonian News)

Here is Bobby Hafemann’s story. I will be sharing my own experiences with these state-run video poker machines this weekend. So I hope you will come and visit several time to “Honor Bobby’s Memory” and support my 8 1/2 years in recovery from addicted compulsive gambling.

Bobby’s Story:

Oregon’s Problem Gamblers Awareness Day: ‘Gambling took that from us’

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*

“Yes it’s Recovery Ramblings Time As I Need To Purge Some Important Feelings About Gambling and Suicide”

Hello and Thank You for Visiting Recovery Friends and Visitors,

 

I can tell you I’m not surprised at all that another major casino is closing down, are YOU?

Looks like the expansion of Indian casinos and State Lotteries, and Online offshore gambling is finally changing the Gambling Game!

– Another Atlantic City Casino goes Bust, Trump Casino is Closing …

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino closed its doors early Tuesday, the fourth Atlantic City casino to go belly up so far this year.
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Image: Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ (© Mel Evans/AP)
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I think they call it, ‘Karma” as the growing expansion of Indian Casinos and State Lotteries seems from my point of view, catching up with all the big ‘Mega-Casinos’ in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Laughlin, and even Reno & Riverboat Casinos in the south. As a compulsive addicted gambler in long-term recovery, why fly to Vegas or drive to the Indian Casino 35 miles away, when I can just go across the street to my local bar and play the Oregon Lottery Video & Slot style machines? Or now, living in Arizona, to a local Indian casino just a few miles away. It won’t also surprise me if more Vegas casinos become the next in line to suffer a lot more closures.
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It’s why they keep change their marketing and business plans to keep enticing people to come for a visit.
Here is a current list courtesy of CasinoCity.com of how many States have casinos in them.
States with Gambling ~ Order by: State

Alabama (8)
Alaska (7)
Arizona (35)
Arkansas (2)
California (172)
Colorado (41)
Connecticut (3)
Delaware (3)
Florida (133)
Georgia (2)
Idaho (18)
Illinois (18)
Indiana (13)
Iowa (21)
Kansas (8)
Kentucky (8)
Louisiana (50)
Maine (14)
Maryland (11)
Massachusetts (3)
Michigan (31)
Minnesota (41)
Mississippi (32)
Missouri (13)
Montana (142)
Nebraska (9)
Nevada (383)
New Hampshire (10)
New Jersey (13)
New Mexico (29)
New York (23)
North Carolina (2)
North Dakota (35)
Ohio (11)
Oklahoma (121)
Oregon (27)
Pennsylvania (12)
Rhode Island (2)
South Carolina (3)
South Dakota (51)
Texas (9)
Virginia (1)
Washington (141)
West Virginia (5)
Wisconsin (31)
Wyoming (6)
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And we need to keep in mind, this doesn’t take in all the states that offer State Lottery gambling too.
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Photo: #RecoveryMonth #Inspiration
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So you can understand that for those of us who try to be successful in recovery from addicted compulsive gambling, it can be very challenging. I happened to be talking to my nephew last night, and here in Arizona, there are many casinos around us. We talked a bit about “Self-Banning” yourself from casinos, and he said he tried to do this a couple of times here at the casinos, but he would eventually go gamble anyway, and it took the casino months before they caught him.
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Part of it he says, is you have to be careful not to win a big jackpot, but what he did to get around this little problem is take a friend with him to the casino, and if he did win a big jackpot over $1,500.00, he would just let his friend switch places with him, he would go to the restroom, and let his buddy collect the money. Then my nephew would calculate what the amount of State & Federal tax would be on the amount, and just give it to his buddy. Sad thing is, my hubby’s nephew is a problem gambler and he would most likely play most all the money he won back in the damn machines! AGAIN, that’s called a problem or addicted gambler. And as the article I’m in currently, a study and research done by Columbia University, and The Dept. of Public Health & Epidemiology, Elaine Meyer mentioned that gambling addiction has currently the highest Suicide rate then any other addiction.
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Which brings me to my next topic of ramblings. As you see, I changed my blog background & profile photo to advocate Suicide Prevention. Even though this month I’m Celebrating with many other organizations, September is The 25th Anniversary of Recovery Month, these past few weeks I have been touched by others attempting, and one was successful of Suicide!
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NRM Logo
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It started with a good friend and fellow author, advocate, and blogger, Rhonda Sellers Elkins, who took he life on August 29th, 2014. I have an earlier blog post here as a “Tribute” to her, and all the parents she helped with her new book, and her experiences of the loss of her own daughter, yes, to suicide. This happened right after Actor, Robin Williams. She blogged tirelessly about the how she was trying to cope, and helping other parents was helping her stay the course a little.

A couple of days after Rhonda’s passing, my next door neighbor Sean attempted suicide. He is still in a crisis center, via the hospital. Then just this past weekend, my other friend and neighbor across the way did THE SAME!! She and Sean suffer like me with bipolar ll with manic depression, sometimes severe, as they too are in recovery from drugs & alcohol. Brittany is a mom of 4 kids, and only 28 years old. Sean is single, doing a 28 day program, so he is not home yet. Brittany just came home yesterday. For Sean it must be hard to not have anyone to be accountable to. I have my husband to be accountable to, to stay in recovery, and many times it does make a difference. Support is dire in recovery.
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THEN, we got a call from my hubby’s sister on Sunday, and his other nephew Ricky was also in the hospital in South Carolina due to attempted Suicide!! He also suffers Bipolar severe depression and PTSD. He took the whole bottles of 2 psych meds. He was just transferred to a Mental/Behavioral crisis center as well, and will be there for 30 days. So I’m thinking to myself, WTF??!! Is there something in the water or something? Is something in the air that people are having such a hard time with LIFE? And with managing their Mental Health issues? This all really hits me very hard. It’s why I need to write and share my own feelings around all of this. It really, really bothers me. WHY? I myself will be going through psych med changes early next month because 2 of my psych meds I take now, which I have been on to long, are now effecting my liver and cholesterol levels. So this means it’s going to be guinea pig time again.
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It really makes me sad, and just breaks my heart when others, and especially those of us who have dual diagnosis of Mental health issues and live in recovery from addictions are having a rough patch. Just like both my neighbors who are both in recovery from drug & alcohol use, many like them with mental illness can misuse and self-medicate with their psych meds. My husband’s nephew almost succeeded in his suicide attempt, as he took a whole bottle of his Cymbalta and another psych drug. He was very lucky EMT’s got to him in time and to the hospital to pump his stomach. And so again, this so hurts and bothers me in the way of understanding the level of Hopelessness & Darkness a person can get to when you feel like a burden to others, or feeling tired of life and just want to go away forever, not feel pain or hurt anymore, and deep depression. Just to have SILENCE …
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He, (Ricky) is still having a hard time, like all of us in my husband’s family from the death of his oldest sister, Ricky’s mother who also committed intentional Suicide by taking all her psych meds. She didn’t cope well after her husband suddenly passed of a heart attack at 54 years old. So, Ricky is trying to still overcome, as we all are, loosing not only his father 2 years ago next month, but also his mother a year ago next month.
One thing I can add to this is I’m very blessed in having been through all the recovery treatment, therapy, and currently still being under a psychiatrist’s care. I also have the life skills and tools learned to help cope when life throws those nasty rough patches in our lives.
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BUT, we have to take those tools out of the toolbox and use them! It’s why I do, because I REFUSE to be another Statistic of Suicide from Addictions and/or Mental Illness!! Two failed suicide attempts were enough for me to choose LIFE over any addiction or mental illness challenges and disabilities. I’m very aware many people may find these kind of ramblings of mine hard to read.
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But look, if I or others like me don’t share our feelings and personal experiences about Addiction, Suicide, and our Mental Health challenges, and innermost thoughts, then how can we promote and advocate for change, inform, raise awareness, and educate the public? If I, and others don’t Speak-up and Speak-out about Suicide, and these other issues, then who will?
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Yes, there are many fantastic, helpful, and informative organizations out here who do a great job in giving the public help, information, facts and Resources, but I also feel a Personal perspective is just as important to share to help shatter Stigma around these very important topics.| It shows others who are feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, and suffer mental health challenges that they are not alone! That there is NO SHAME with having Mental or Emotional health problems, or live life in recovery from any addiction, and to let them know they have a voice and are heard!
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I still feel very lucky, (no pun intended) that my gambling actually brought out my own mental and emotional health problems, as I was suffering and didn’t know I was. I used gambling to escape, become numb to all feelings and emotions, and just zone out because I wasn’t able to stuff all my garbage in life, all the hurt and pain through the years, starting as a little girl anymore.
Eventually, all this unhealthy stuff can only be stuffed, hidden, and tucked away behind a HAPPY MASK for so long. It’s not healthy or good for you. Eventually you’ll have to process it, walk through all the fear, and learn from it. Because if you don’t get the help, and don’t push through all that pain, hurt, and your fears? That is when unhealthy things begin to invade your life.
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It’s when addictions will come knocking and teach you to self medicate with drugs, alcohol, and many other addictions out there. My life was also effected in the relationships I had with men. From the sex abuse I endured seemed to give me a false impression when I got into adulthood, and made me think if I had sex in a relationship? Then I would get that unconditional love from men that I chased to get from my parents for years. Yes, I was a pretty screwed up girl.
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WHY, because most of the relationships and marriages never worked because I was being co-dependent in many of those relationships.
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If someone in your family has a mental illness, you may be feeling frustration, anger, resentment and more. What can you do to help yourself, and by doing so your loved one as well”?
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Mental illness brings doubt, confusion and chaos to a family. But a family can heal when it moves beyond their loved one’s illness—not away from their loved one” …


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I used these relationships as trying to fix or change others. Or I relied on the man to make my happiness, and be the center of my world. Smothering them away. Looking back, I was SO needy. Because I never got any of that from my parents. so I chased it in all my relationships with men. I didn’t have barely an ounce of self-worth, because I was always demeaned, verbally abused, and accused of things by my parents that I never was or DID! Then in adulthood, I wasted years of trying to prove and to show my parents that I was a good person, that I was successful,  happy, and took care of myself, but they didn’t care or bother see it. Was I to dumb, or so uneducated in life lessons because of the way I was raised, to even know what a normal and healthy relationship is? What a healthy relationship looks like? Because looking back my own family was so dysfunctional. You don’t see or grasp that until your out of the dynamic. Which is what happened to me as I was the only one in the family that moved out-of-state, and far from my family for many of those reasons. And of course I became the the black sheep of the family for that.
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So all that really affected the way I seen and looked at relationships. And the GOOD relationships I did have with a man? The more they treated me like a queen? I would end up sabotaging the relationship some how, because I felt I was not worthy of there love, gifts, compliments. I felt that way when I was using gambling addiction to cope and try to navigate through life. When I became an addicted gambler, and feeling shame and guilt, it didn’t matter, because I was hurting all of them BACK for all the pain I went through, for all the times they had hurt me deeply.
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The diseased thoughts gave me a sense of entitlement to do what I did within my gambling addiction, because I felt I became a victim because of the way my parents had treated us kids, plus then the sex abuse and trauma on top of that, believe me, I did a lot of damage, but I was only hurting myself and others around me, especially what I put my husband through. That is why you must have good people around you who will support you no matter what. And I had to learn the hard way that gambling wasn’t hurting anyone but ME. It wasn’t going to change my past, and it was destroying my FUTURE! See I never got that from my family. Even to this day.
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I think they are in the mind-set that if I’m not around, then there is no problem. They don’t have to acknowledge that our family was and still is dysfunctional. Is it ignorance? Or is it continuing the unhealthy habits and behaviors we seen from our parents? My mom was one of a kind in this aspect of the family dynamic that went on in our house. And when she passed, my youngest sister continued the poor behaviors my mom passed on to us all those years. So was I doomed? Maybe, but I think I’m the only one in our family that tried to interrupt and stop this cycle. I surely didn’t want the same things repeating down to my nieces and nephews. I’m think I’m also the only one who has been in therapy, in recovery, and have taken control of my mental disabilities by seeking professional help. But I guess I won’t really know since I haven’t talked to any of them for over 8 years.
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So, family sometimes may not understand if no else is suffering from mental health issues. Which was my experience with my side of the family after they saw me take my psych meds one time when my mom passed, and we were down for the funeral. That’s when they started treating me different. Even though my older sister was still an alcoholic, my other sister was still EVIL and had anger issues, my dad was oblivious to all it, and my brother is still estranged from the rest of the family like I am.
So, just because we may share the same family blood? Doesn’t give them the right to mistreat you. No family should.
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Having boundaries sure is a beautiful thing …
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God Bless All,
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485/