I love to gamble, without any doubt! It could be Blackjack, CRAPS, my favorite, Video Poker, and just an outside chance to make a quick buck. I have learned that the quick buck in is a quicker buck out! I quit!!! Why?

The T.V. series Monk makes fun of the OCB, Obsessive Compulsive Behavior, but in real life has its exposure in many forms. Gambling is one of the most compelling forms of OCB you can find and probable the most damaging. After coming home with a bad loss, I don’t know how many times, I have prayed to stop. Two or three days later, all is forgotten, and I am back doing what I know is, nothing but, destructive to my wellbeing. I justify by saying, “I have no responsibilities and only responsible for me, what would just a little more money to get even.” How soon do you forget, we were even when we walked into the door!

A gambler knows how to get money. Look at all the offers available in the mail, VISA, Master Change, etc., and the payday loans at 300 % interest. Let us not forget about the rent money, the grocery money, and, maybe, most assuredly, you are lying to someone. You need to get the money to replace the money spent on gambling. Any of these actions relate to where you are? I have spent 40 years living in Las Vegas. Now take a look across our country and all the casinos/gambling growth. You can’t tell me you don’t lose! Or, I’m up for the week, month… You can not win!!!

Let’s look at the winners. When I first moved to Las Vegas, the population was a little over 200,000. Now, on an average weekend, there are over a quarter million tourists driving or flying in to have a good time. I have to admit, there are some great restaurants, entertainment, as they say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” and betting on almost anything you want. When Harrah’s buys up the competition and turns around and sells for 23 Billion Dollars, someone is winning! Atlantic City has expanded there casinos, but you still don’t want to walk the Boardwalk, the Indian Casinos across the country, well that is another story, are making more money than they know what to do with. God Bless them, but what is in it for you?

Now let’s take a look at the losers! Is it in money? Time? Energy? Just think about the time you have spent on that Blackjack table, in front of the slot machine, race book, or what other form you act on. You take that significant other on date night. Been there done that. The only time you see each other is when they want to go, need more money, and a few times share the winnings. You can’t say waist of time traveling anymore, a casino is usually within a short range of your home. You know that trip home seems a longer, especially when you have lost. You tell yourself, “I’m not going to do that again” or “I should have quit when I was ahead. I will know better next time!”

Is there an answer? Yes! What is magic all about, but the illusion of miss direction? Not much different than gambling! There is no such thing as a quick buck or something for nothing. Even the lottery winner had to purchase the ticket. Well, all those millions they just won was someone’s loss. Taking that time and energy and placing it into something with value, like; family time, education, exercise, or rekindle that first love. This will create a healthy environment and a focus for tomorrow. There are a lot of help sources available, but you have to make the decision. I helped support the Illinois Council on Compulsive Gambling, in 1996, but from 1999 to 2005, I lost well over $150,000 and filed bankruptcy for $140,000. I knew what to look for in a problem gambler, but didn’t take responsibility, until now. Do I have the urge, yes; I was ready to play a couple of days ago. I had the hunch, like you don’t get one? Instead, I went out with a friend and had a nice dinner.

We all need support. The National Council Problem Gambling is a great place to start and locate support in your area. Look at the repercussions of your actions: stress at home, bills late, dysfunctional family, high debt, and the list goes on. Almost, like those Red Neck Jokes, if you find yourself lying to your friends and family…You could have a gambling problem! Recovery starts now!

Steve Fulwider, CEO, River Valley Inflatables, http://www.rvinflatables.com/sponsoredcharities.html

By Steve Fulwider
Working in the Casino Industry, Gaming Industry, or what ever you want to call it, it all comes down to gambling. I have seen people have the best of fun and I have seen lives destroyed. Trading fun for money and time, you have to determine how much is fun and when the fun ends.