Gambling:  Of Dice and Men

I decided to include this section because gambling in many forms is rapidly spreading across North America with full government approval and promotion. Gambling is a form of entertainment and whomever is giving you the opportunity to gamble is expecting you to eventually pay for it. Otherwise, why would they put out the effort? For example, casinos are designed to help you part with your hard earned cash as quickly as possible. Their owners will do nearly anything to get you in the door including the offer of free rooms, meals, drinks and show tickets. Casino profits depend on a steady flow of customers passing through, of whom a certain percentage lose money.

Once you are inside the casino, the casino’s employees will deal the casino’s cards according to the casino’s rules. You may also choose to place your money in or on one of the casino’s machines. Under these circumstances the average player will notice the casino has a more than slight advantage. Though there are occasional big winners, gambling is designed to relieve you of your money if you play long enough.

I learned to enjoy gambling without spending too much money by studying How to Gamble in a Casino by Tom Ainslie. He outlines a way of controlling how to allocate your money and then teaches the best gambling strategies. It’s fun to skillfully gamble for an evening, visit with others players, and leave the casino with a small profit in your pocket. I have spent numerous enjoyable evenings following Ainslie’s advice and highly recommend his book.

As is the case with many exciting activities, gambling can become an addiction. If you feel a need to gamble on a regular basis you may be in trouble. Gamblers Anonymous (GA) has prepared a list of 20 questions it considers useful in identifying the compulsive gambler. According to GA, most compulsive gamblers will agree with at least 7 of the following questions:

  • Do you lose time from work due to gambling?
     
  • Is gambling making your home life unhappy?
     
  • Is gambling affecting your reputation?
     
  • Have you ever felt 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?
     
  • Have you ever sold any real or personal property to finance gambling?
     
  • Are you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
     
  • Does gambling make you careless of the welfare of your family?
     
  • Do you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
     
  • Do you ever gamble to escape worry or trouble?
     
  • Have you ever committed or considered committing an illegal act to finance gambling?
     
  • Does gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
     
  • Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?

  • Do you have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
     
  • Have you ever considered self-destruction as a result of your
    gambling?

If you answered “yes” to 7 or more of these questions, you should consider contacting Gambler’s Anonymous. They’re likely listed in the white pages of your telephone book.

Addictions tend to affect lives in predictable ways. If you suspect having another form of addiction, such as to alcohol or drugs, substitute it for gambling in the following list.

Do you lose time from work due to __________?

Is __________ making your home life unhappy?

Is __________ affecting your reputation?

Have you ever felt remorse after __________?

Does __________ cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?

Do you often __________ until your last dollar is gone?

Do you ever borrow to finance your __________?

Have you ever sold any real or personal property to finance __________?

Does __________ make you careless of the welfare of your family?

Do you ever __________ longer than you had planned?

Do you ever __________ to escape worry or trouble?

Have you ever committed or considered committing an illegal act to finance __________?

Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to __________?

Have you ever considered self-destruction as a result of your __________?

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