Friday, March 15, 2013

Problem Gambling

By Diane Forrest

John, who was in financial difficulty, walked into a church and started to pray. ''Listen God,'' John said. ''I know I haven't been perfect but I really need to win the lottery. I don't have a lot of money. Please help me out.'' He left the church, a week went by, and he hadn't won the lottery, so he walked into a synagogue. ''Come on, God,'' he said. ''I really need this money. My mom needs surgery and I have bills to pay. Please let me win the lottery.'' He left the synagogue, a week went by, and he didn't win the lottery. So, he went to a mosque and started to pray again. ''You're starting to disappoint me, God,'' he said. ''I've prayed and prayed. If you just let me win the lottery, I'll be a better person. I don't have to win the jackpot, just enough to get me out of debt. I'll give some to charity, even. Just let me win the lottery.'' John thought this did it, so he got up and walked outside. 

The clouds opened up and a booming voice said, ''John, buy a lottery ticket!''

I love this order to win it big, you have to play the game!  Some people don't know when to stop.  They play cards, roll dice, make bets on almost anything, bet on horse races, dog races, sports.  During the Superbowl I was reading they were placing bets on what color gatorade they were gonna pour over the winning coach's head, and how many times the announcers were gonna say a certain word.  I have never been a gambler.  This past November I did buy a power-ball ticket, the jackpot was 425 million dollars.  I only got one ticket, but it didn't win.  In December we had a new casino open in town, and I still haven't been.  My husband and I would occasionally go to the first casino, but just to eat, the chef was an old friend and coworker of mine.  Once we were there, we would split 20 dollars to play the slot machines.  Once that was gone, we left. 

When our first casino arrived in town, it wasn't too long before the first gamblers anonymous began having meetings.  I have heard stories about people spending their whole paychecks there, neglecting their bills and feeding their families, all hoping to strike it rich.      

Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term "Problem Gambling" includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as "Pathological", or "Compulsive" Gambling, a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, "chasing" losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.

According the the National Council on Problem Gambling, their goal is to increase public awareness of pathological gambling, ensure the widespread availability of treatment for problem gamblers and their families, and to encourage research and programs for prevention and education.

For more information, and how you can help, click on this site:

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