by Steve Bourie
Whenever I write a gambling article for our web site, or make a video for our YouTube channel, I try to make sure that everything will help to make you a better and more knowledgeable gambler when you go to a casino.
I try to include stories and videos that will help you understand how casinos operate, how to choose the best casino games and also how to play those games in the best way possible.
My philosophy is that gambling in a casino is a fun activity and, according to research studies, for about 98% of the people who visit casinos this statement is true. The vast majority of people who gamble in casinos are recreational players who enjoy the fun and excitement of gambling. They know that they won’t always win and they also realize that over the long term they will most likely have more losing sessions than winning ones. They also understand that any losses they incur will be the price they pay for their fun and they only gamble with money they can afford to lose.
In other words, they realize that casino gambling is a form of entertainment, just like going to a movie or an amusement park, and they are willing to pay a price for that entertainment. Unfortunately, there are also some people who go to casinos and become problem gamblers.
According to Gamblers Anonymous you may be a problem gambler if you answer yes to at least seven of the following 20 questions:
- Do you lose time from work due to gambling?
- Does gambling make your home life unhappy?
- Does gambling affect your reputation?
- Do you ever feel remorse after gambling?
- Do you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or to otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Does gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing, do you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win, do you have a strong urge to return and win more?
- Do you often gamble until your last dollar is gone?
- Do you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Do you ever sell anything to finance your gambling?
- Are you reluctant to use your “gambling money” for other expenses?
- Does gambling make you careless about the welfare of your family?
- Do you ever gamble longer than you planned?
- Do you ever gamble to escape worry or trouble?
- Do you ever commit, or consider committing, an illegal act to finance your gambling?
- Does gambling cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments, or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
- Do you have an urge to celebrate good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Do you ever consider self-destruction as a result of your gambling?
If you believe you might have a gambling problem you should be aware that help is available from The National Council on Problem Gambling, Inc. It is the foremost advocacy organization in the country for problem gamblers and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was formed in 1972 as a non-profit agency to promote public education and awareness about gambling problems and operates a 24-hour nationwide help line at (800) 522-4700, plus a website at www.ncpgambling.org. Anyone contacting that organization will be provided with the appropriate referral resources for help with their gambling problem.
Another good source for anyone seeking help with a gambling problem is Gambler’s Anonymous. They have chapters in many cities throughout the U.S. as well as in most major cities throughout the world. You can see a list of all those cities on their website at www.gamblersanonymous.org or contact them by telephone at (213) 386-8789.
A third program, Gam-Anon, specializes in helping the spouse, family and close friends of compulsive gamblers rather than the gamblers themselves.If you are adversely affected by a loved one who is a compulsive gambler, then Gam-Anon is an organization that may benefit you. They have a website at www.gam-anon.org that lists the cities which host meetings. They can also be contacted by telephone at (718) 352-1671.
I sincerely hope that none of you willever have a need to contact any of these worthwhile organizations, but it was an issue that I felt should be addressed.