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Slots Losing It All... the addiction

Discussion in 'Slots' started by deansrobinson, Nov 22, 2016.

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  1. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    "Americans now spend more money on casino gambling than on music purchases and going to movies and sports events combined. The largest share by far goes to slots and video poker - and of that, much is spent by people who are literally addicted to the machines"

    Here's a link to the complete article:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/12/losing-it-all/505814/

    another excerpt.....

    "Stacy thought that her husband was off to a job interview followed by an appointment with his therapist. Instead, he drove the 22 miles from their home in Steubenville, Ohio, to the Mountaineer Casino, just outside New Cumberland, West Virginia. He used the casino ATM to check his bank-account balance: $13,400. He walked across the casino floor to his favorite slot machine in the high-limit area: Triple Stars, a three-reel game that cost $10 a spin. Maybe this time it would pay out enough to save him.

    It didn’t. He spent the next four hours burning through $13,000 from the account, plugging any winnings back into the machine, until he had only $4,000 left. Around noon, he gave up.

    Stevens, 52, left the casino and wrote a five-page letter to Stacy. A former chief operating officer at Louis Berkman Investment, he gave her careful financial instructions that would enable her to avoid responsibility for his losses and keep her credit intact: She was to deposit the enclosed check for $4,000; move her funds into a new checking account; decline to pay the money he owed the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas; disregard his credit-card debt (it was in his name alone); file her tax returns; and sign up for Social Security survivor benefits. He asked that she have him cremated."
    =============================================================

    Quite an amazing read. Just want to hear input from the fellow board members.
     
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  2. TrewBrew

    TrewBrew VIP Whale

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    It is easy to see how gambling can take someone down this path. I am glad that I was not introduced to gambling when I was young and had little dicretionary money it could have went south for me also.

    I had a former boss who traveld down this road the business that we worked for had a branch in Las Vegas and he would go there 2 to 3 times a year. It was about 3 years after I left the companyt that I ran into a formaer coworker that told me that n one trip to Vegas he took several advances on a company credit card and lost all of it. I later found out it was over $10,0000. The night before he was supposed to come home he smashed the Window of his hotel room and jumped out.

    I know the owner would have forgave him and worked it out he was like a son the him. But that may be more of the reason he did it than the taking of the money.
     
  3. hotreds

    hotreds Illegitimi non carborundum!

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    I have fallen into the trap of trying to make up my losses in one fell swoop, only to fall deeper in the hole. Happily, we're not talking much money, but I can see how addicting gambling can be, and once big money is bet, things can go south pretty quickly. Hopefully those here heed the constant warnings to be careful and not bet the rent money!
     
  4. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Likely there are a few members here teetering on that thin line. I wish them the best and the strength to do what's best for them and their families.
     
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  5. Suekel

    Suekel VIP Whale

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    These kinds of stories scare and depress me. One of the reasons we are so disciplined about the daily budget/envelope system is to avoid this kind of chasing of losses. My husband and I have both felt that urge at times, to keep playing, one more hand, one more pull. Luckily it's never taken hold with us and we've been able to walk away and stick to our budgeted gambling amounts. It's a very slippery slope.

    Every single person who likes gambling should read this as a stark reminder of how bad it can get.
     
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  6. Backagain1

    Backagain1 High-Roller

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    That is so sad and heartbreaking. Reminds me to stick to my very small budget. I know addiction though - food, shopping...
     
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  7. Onmyown32

    Onmyown32 Low-Roller

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    My older brother has a bad gambling problem. He lost his business, car and almost his home (my parents helped him out). And you know where he is right now most likely.... the Casino 45 min away.

    I once went to Tunica and got a players card at a casino and was asked "is "frank" your brother?" very unusual last name. I was like yup but don't get excited I don't have a gambling problem like he does. She was like "yeah he spends a lot here"

    I like gambling but only spend what I can afford to lose, very low rolling.
     
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  8. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    I've known several contractors who would go to Vegas and bet their workers payroll money.

    It can get really bad once you lose control of yourself.
     
  9. idtwins

    idtwins Low-Roller

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    This quote caught my eye:

    "For instance, if you bet $1 on each of five different patterns and then get a $3 payout on one pattern, the machine will treat you like a winner, with flashing lights and congratulatory videos and the requisite clinking of virtual coins. The reality, of course, is that you have lost $2.
    “The brain somehow registers a win,” Kevin Harrigan says. “No matter what you think, physically you’re being affected by these things—the lights, the sounds, the graphics—as a win. You can get 150 to 200 of these false wins, which we also call losses, an hour. That’s a lot of positive reinforcement.”

    I don't register this as a win so does that mean I don't have to worry about having a problem?? :) There are plenty of the newer machines today that will pay you less than you bet for 5 symbols on a pay line. I usually walk away when I see that happen as feeling like you're getting ripped off isn't fun at all.

    Seriously though: I can see how the temptation can be overwhelming for some. Many, many years ago I went to a newly opened local casino with my girlfriend and her mom. Her mom won a huge amount of quarters on Video Keno (something like 19,000+). It was really exciting to see it happen but unfortunately that one win hooked her. She was a bookkeeper at a local grocery store and was soon figuring out ways to pilfer money from the safe to keep gambling. It took less than a year for her to get caught and arrested.
     
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  10. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    I substitute that urge to gamble too much by drinking too much instead.
     
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  11. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED The biggest Degenerate on VMB

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    Sounds like that guy had way more than gambling problems to worry about...you could insert any addiction into that scenario, rather than gambling...
     
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  12. WHU66

    WHU66 High-Roller

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    Very interesting article, thoughts go out to his wife and daughters and anyone else with problems. We all have a degree of addiction in us, some really interesting points raised. Thanks for sharing....
     
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  13. boxofbirds

    boxofbirds Royal Flushless

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    A couple of very sad stories in this article. A few other thoughts popped up in my head. One is that I don't find slots that addictive, maybe it only works for some people? I play and am entertained for a bit, but if I lose money quickly, or all I win are a few small amounts that are less than what the spin costs in the first place I move on and play something more entertaining like BJ or Craps where you're interacting with other people or VP where you at least have to think about what cards to hold. I don't care how many bells and whistles pop up, I want to have fun and win some money!

    The other part was how the article made comps sound like some sort of sinister plot cooked up to tempt problem gamblers. I agree that casinos should do a better job identifying problem gamblers and doing their part not to market to them, but comps aren't the problem!
     
  14. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    It works better on some than others. I think I respond a bit better with more partial losses than losing the entire bet. But generally slots are less intriguing to me generally because I do occasionally step back, look at the bottom line, and it's rare that I'm winning on slot games.
     
  15. Drewm1972

    Drewm1972 VIP Whale

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    I read it article last night and I think I was having a nightmare about it....those who gamble (I been doing it on and off for 30 years) now I play little heavy (only table games, even tho I'm UP S YEAR) I am really scare just in case... I guess in a way I must feel that way sometime... I could lose it all in one day however I BELIEVE I HAVE SOME SELF CONTROL
    If I'm up decent amount I usually get up the table. Good luck to all our VMB FRIENDS
     
  16. NJS24

    NJS24 Voice of Reason

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    Unless you ocassionally put up the rent money, is it even really considered gambling?
     
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  17. zanepro

    zanepro Tourist

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    I get bored playing slots but I have won and lost many times. My view on slot machines is what goes up must come down. Sometimes I'll put $20 in and if I hit something I cash out immediately. I know how easy it is to get sucked in with thinking "I can't leave because the next spin could be a jackpot!"
     
  18. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    It's sad when anyone loses their life due to addiction and that includes drugs, alcohol, tobacco and even health problems to obesity and overeating. But it's also sad that the first thing the widow does is to get lawyered up and file a lawsuit against the slot machine manufacturer and the casino. We have become a litigious society wanting to place blame on others rather than take personal responsibility for our actions.
     
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  19. Rush

    Rush MIA

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    Stevens got his first taste of casino gambling while attending a 2006 trade show in Las Vegas. On a subsequent trip, he hit a jackpot on a slot machine and was hooked.

    I wonder how many gambling addicts started that way? It stands to reason that if you got beat the first 3-4 times out, you might stop, figuring gambling isn't very fun.

    I wonder how many VMB readers see themselves somewhere in that article? I would venture a guess at a few dozen.....

    I know I am a "lifelong" loser at this endeavor!
     
  20. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    The proliferation of gaming nationwide also means the proliferation of stories and changed and ruined lives we here in Nevada have witnessed for many, many years. I get the whole personal responsibility thing, but there is a social and societal cost to gambling. Homeless types gambling with their hustle money trying to make it "something". An insurance agent acquaintance of mine blowing very large commission checks on an evening bender. Former employees of mine blowing their entire $1,000 2-week paycheck the same night they cashed it at the casino to spin the wheel, asking for a draw the very next day to get them through. If you earn $1,000 every 2 weeks, you probably have no business gambling. Bored housewives and seniors on fixed-incomes just grinding away on the slots or video poker, blowing money they really don't have and then allowing bills and obligations to pile up and go unmet. There's an ugly side to glitz and glamor of gaming when you're around it in your communities.
     
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