We take you through the first week that Arlene made the conscious decision to stop gambling. This was a very emotional period where Arlene’s self esteem was at the lowest in her life. She’s a single woman who was just about to turn thirty-six years old and her life was crumbling around her.Arlene decided to share her story of how she made it through her first week as a non gambler. Her goal was to reach out to others who also have a compulsive gambling addiction because she remembers the pain she went through.From the first day until the seventh day, Arlene went through various emotional revelations that helped her to achieve her goals. She was a special person with a good sense of humor. Even through her self destructive period she always had a smile on her face. For this reason alone people close to her never realized she had a problem gambling.Arlene easily made it through her first day because she had already depleted her checking and savings accounts. She had also maxed out her credit cards. She fortunately would have to wait three more days till pay day before she could gamble again. In the past she borrowed from friends and then would have to give them half her pay check to pay them back. She remembers the pain she was in with no one she could tell or talked to. She was afraid her family and friends would not understand. She didn’t even understand how this happened to her. She decided to go online and find help. She tried a year earlier Gamblers Anonymous, but it was something that she could not relate to. She found a website called I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/ . She liked the name of the site and decided to give it a try. She purchased a self help manual and a year membership to the chat room. Her first thought was “How can something under fifty dollars really help a person who has lost thousands of dollars gambling in one year?” Then she thought maybe she shouldn’t spend any money right now. Her mind was playing tricks with her. During this time she was confused, had major amounts of guilt for losing so much money and her self esteem was at her lowest. She decided to make the investment in herself. This was her justification for the purchase. She eagerly read the manual and joined in the I Stop Gambling chat room. A whole new world opened up for her.In the chat room she met others who could relate to her and help her understand what she was going through. Each and every day she would follow the manual and pop in and out of the chat room. There were times where the chat room was quiet, so she left messages on the tag board of when she would be chatting and other members joined in.As each day passed during Arlene’s first week, she noticed changes in your behavior. For the first time she was taking it one day at a time. She was planning for her future and starting to realize she could live with out gambling. She admitted to people that she was contemplating suicide because she felt there was no way out. She once told me she wouldn’t mind living in a cave as long as her life was peaceful. Her self destructive behavior and low self esteem was taking its toll on Arlene.The one other thing that kept Arlene from going back to gambling was the pain she was in and finally realized she can now move forward with an anticipated positive future.Some people have close friends they can talk to. What ever it takes to share what you are feeling will speed your recovery. It’s going to take time to talk about how you feel. Listening to others that have walked in your shoes will help you start the healing process.Another website that deals directly with teenage compulsive gambling addiction and also has stop gambling resources is the Stop Teenage Gambling Website [http://www.teenage-gambling-addiction.org/].
Gambling establishments continue to negatively affect our community by taking needed resources for personal gain. Since legalizing gambling, our society is addicted in one form or another.The following has situations have occurred since legalizing gambling:1) Illegal gambling increases even though gambling has been legalized.2) Gambling addiction is escalating with no end in site.3) Gambling addiction rates are double for those living near a gambling establishment.4) Personal bankruptcy rates are higher in countries that have gambling establishment.5) Crime rates are on the rise due to desperate individuals who are trying to recover gambling loses.6) Fraud and embezzlement become common among formerly hard-working and highly trusted people.7) Suicide rates among addicted gamblers are greater then any other addiction.8) Local businesses have lost revenues and or have gone bankrupt9) Families lost all their resources due to a spouse having a gambling addiction.With every day that passes more and more people realize someone around them lost their savings at the gambling establishment.
My town is twenty nine miles from the nearest gambling establishment. On my block alone more then fifty percent of the people know some one who lost their life savings. On the same block only twenty percent know someone close who has a drug addiction.As you educate yourself you start to realize there is a problem and something needs to be done before it gets out of control.Governments need to take the time to realize that gambling addiction is a silent addiction and the negative affects are never felt in the short run. It’s up to them to implement procedures to halt this addiction if it’s not too late.
The internet’s ability to blur boundaries and society’s acceptance of casino gambling and sports betting ultimately shed light on the inconsistencies and loopholes of American gambling laws. From the makeshift sports book stalls in Nevada, most sports betting activities shifted operations and exploited the possibilities of cyberspace in the mid-1990s. At present, there are numerous online gaming sites catering to sports betting and casino gambling based in countries like Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Ireland.Despite overseas-based operations, the lion’s share of the revenues and clients of these sites come from American states. In fact, recent studies show that these online casino gambling and sports betting sites earn more than legal casinos operating in Nevada. The profits of online gambling and betting sites are estimated at $70 billion for 2005 alone. This is a staggering amount compared to the reported $2 billion from Nevada casinos. This is enough to overthrow the three-decade reign of Nevada casinos from the 60’s to the early 90’s. Considering that sports book and casino sites have been operating for less than two decades, they are clearly a threat to the thriving Nevada gambling scene.For decades, Las Vegas is the only place legal for gambling operations. Atlantic City followed suit and made casino gambling legal; the following decades saw the proliferation of state lotteries, card clubs, gaming ships, Indian casinos, and off-track betting salons across the nation. But still, these developments are not enough to compete with online gambling. The industry of online gambling is not even swayed by staunch opposition from legal US casinos. The gambling laws of the United States of America do not help, too. They vary widely from the different states. Most states ban all forms of gambling while some make exceptions. Inconsistencies like these make it easy for online operators to find and use loopholes in the law. The American Gaming Association maintains a defensive stand regarding online gambling. The association pushes for federal laws on the regulation of online gambling. According to them, the unregulated nature of the online gambling industry is its advantage over traditional casinos; regulating it puts both camps on even footing.But despite this stand, some Nevada casinos are following the old stand-by: if you cannot beat them, join them. November 1998 saw the start of a new trend; traditional casinos started acquiring off-shore online casino gambling companies to improve their profits. An affiliate of the Hilton Hotels absorbed the Australian sports book Centrebet.com. Other Nevada casinos followed and this cycle again spawned a new barrage of debates.Contrary to their earlier dislike of the online gambling industry, the traditional casinos set their sights higher. They are now pressuring the Congress to pass a law that legalizes online gambling. This is done in an effort to lower production costs; legalization means that they could now shift their operations in the US. Harrah’s and MGM Mirage, the two leading casinos in Nevada and undoubtedly owning their own online gambling sites, lead the casinos in requesting for the regulation of online gaming. Clearly, this move requesting for regulation does not intend to put traditional casinos at par with online sites anymore. The competition shifted between independent online sites and Nevada casino-owned sites. A move to regulate translates to double profits for the Nevada casinos.Whatever comes out of this new development in casino gambling, gamers are still assured of their gambling fix. Possibly, if the proposed regulation is approved, there would be more security in betting online since it is now under US laws. Like before, casino gambling proves itself to be a dynamic and ever-changing industry.