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For an alcoholic, it’s the booze. For a junkie, it’s the heroin or cocaine. For the compulsive gambler, money is the drug. Money is the driving force in their life. With it, the gambler can stay in action, be numb to the rest of the world and hold on to the hope that the big jackpot is coming soon. Without it, a problem gambler is irritable, agitated, frustrated and is on a quest to find more. Once available funds are depleted such as paychecks, savings, equity, retirement and even personal loans, a compulsive gambler will turn to other avenues in order to obtain money. This could entail signing up for multiple credit cards, selling and pawning assets and borrowing from family, friends and co-workers. The need for money is so great that often times, illegal acts are committed. What starts out as writing bad checks can turn to stealing from friends and family and even embezzlement from the workplace. The sad fact is that family members and other loved ones are sometimes left with the financial burden of these debts and losses of personal property. Once the gambler has admitted the problem and seeks help, there are resources that can assist with the financial devastation. Resources such as credit counseling organizations, pressure relief group meetings and literature such as the FCCG’s “A Chance For Change”. These resources have helped many people get their life back on track. If you or someone you know has a problem, call 1-888-ADMIT-IT for resources and referrals.
Was watching the new Fox show “Million Dollar Money Drop”. The participants lost when asked the question “What do Americans spend most money on yearly? The choices were movie tickets, casino gambling, or video games. The couple chose movie tickets and lost, the correct answer was casino gambling. Gambling takes so many forms. If you are a “speeder” for example and are willing to risk trying to go over 10 miles the limit, one has gambled. One could arrive at the destination minutes earlier, but one could also arrive owing $180.00 for a speeding ticket. So next time you evaluate if you are a gambler, do not think of slots or games from companies, but reflect and measure how many risks we take daily without realizing.