We Can Learn Recovery From Addicted Gambling By Reading Others Stories. Guest Article By The MA., Council on Gaming & Health. Meet Scott.

Bottoming out for good. Scott’s story.

Apr 14, 2022 | https://macgh.org/8376-2/

A Great Resource for Those Living in Massachusetts

Here’s Scott’s story.

If you’ve ever been to Atlantic City, you know it’s an exciting place. High-rise hotels, famous nightclubs, and glitzy casinos line the boardwalk. As a young guy, Atlantic City had all the appeal of a fun spot to spend an evening and unwind.

At the casinos, these thrills were more enticing than I realized. That evening, I found myself glued to the gaming tables. I couldn’t get up and walk back to my room. I ended up gambling all night long.

When I visited Atlantic City, I’d been sober for about a year. Growing up, I had problems with drinking and drugs, but fortunately, the effects of these addictions hit me early and hard. I got into recovery programs and by all accounts, was doing well.

That night triggered another addiction that I’d fight for years: problem gambling.

Deep down, I knew that as a recovering alcoholic and drug user, finding and chasing other highs wasn’t a good idea. I swore to my girlfriend that I’d never gamble again.

Except I did. I started to chase, even sprint after the high of gambling. I started buying scratch tickets and visiting more casinos. And unlike my drinking or drug use, I didn’t seek recovery.

Several years later, I fell on tough times. That’s when my gambling got out of control. I didn’t have any close family or friends I could turn to, and instead, I turned to slot machines. I started going to casinos to play high-limit slot machines. Gambling became an escape and winning felt ecstatic. And like my night in Atlantic City, I found it harder and harder to walk away from the machines and the tables.

My life began to revolve around weekends at the casino. I drifted away from participating in 12-step recovery programs. I started spending money like it didn’t matter and racked up thousands of dollars in credit card debt. When I maxed out my credit cards, I sold personal possessions, trying to pay off the surging debts from each weekend’s worth of gambling. My relationships took a toll, too. I pushed many people away.

No wake-up call seemed to shake my habit. One day, I ended up hitting the slots and winning a huge jackpot but left the casino with only a few thousand in my pocket. Even refinancing my home to pay off my debts didn’t deter my gambling. The addiction had me by the throat, and I was powerless, unable to look past the upcoming weekend and my next bets.

The real jolt to the system was when I started thinking of doing something illegal to continue gambling. I realized I was helpless and hopeless. I was contemplating suicide.

Just 20 minutes later, one of my sisters called me. A friend of mine from one of the 12-step programs was worried about my wellbeing. He had called my family.

That was May 2008. I was in rough shape mentally and emotionally, but I got help. Through the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health, I found a counselor. I’ve been fortunate to find some really important people in my life and got back on track with the 12-step programs for my addictions.

Since then, gambling has been a monkey on my shoulder. I’ve stayed as vigilant around gambling as I need to be around drinking or drugs. From the high highs to the low lows, I didn’t want to look at my gambling honestly until I reached a point of sheer desperation. When I got honest with myself, it became a weight lifted off my shoulders. My advice? Help yourself before you bottom out!

********* ********* ********** **********

If you or a loved one needs help and you live in the MA., Call Council’s Live-Chat or call the GamLine at
1-800-GAM-1234, 24/7. For everyone in the United States, visit The National Council on Problem Gambling
look up your State Here: https://www.ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/help-by-state/.

Or Call 24 Hour Confidential National Helpline
Call 1-800-522-4700
Chat ncpgambling.org/chat
Text 1-800-522-4700


Yes it is Super Bowl Sunday and the Biggest Gambling Day of the Year ~ Sports Betting the Ugly Side

Hello Recovery Friends, Supporters, and Welcome New Visitors,


My Favorite Player ~ Russell Wilson of the Seattle Sea Hawks!
Now I know what your thinking, and NO, I was never a sports better when I was deep into my gambling addiction. But, today is the Biggest Gambling Day of the Year!
Sports Betting on the Super Bowl and a lot of Wasted Money. . .

Now I currently live in the city and state where the Super Bowl is being held this year, I can not tell you how many Casino commercials I have seen on TV trying to lure guys to come  watch and bet on this years super bowl!! There are Indian Casinos everywhere here.And, not only is this day big money business for sports betting and gambling, but the women also go and gamble while their partners are watching the game. Casinos make a lot money on both ends of this spectrum today. So I thought it would be interesting to share some facts and info about this topic today from around the web. Now, I know I say this a lot,. . .I have no ill feelings toward others who can gamble normally, or don’t have a problem with gambling, and I don’t think gambling should be banned?

What I do have a problem with is the biggest betting day of the year, the profits made will be from the problem and addicted gamblers, not on the every once in a while sport better, card player, or slot player. So lets just see some real info so others can be informed and raise awareness of just what goes on in a day like today with Super Bowl Sunday & Gambling!

About Sports Betting:
Is sports betting a waste of time?
I feel like I already know it is, but could somebody please give me a definitive reason to quit betting? I know the whole concept behind it is that the bookies are making profits so they can run their shops and pay staff etc. This makes it obvious that customers are losing, in order to pay for this! Also if you are betting, you’re not actually doing anything useful or good in this world, the sports people are doing something with their lives and you are just sitting there pretending you know what’s going to happen. Still, it’s addictive and easy to believe you have a chance of winning long-term. . .

What Las Vegas Is
Are we headed toward our first true pick ’em Super Bowl of all time?
Super Bowl Odds Move, Seattle Betting Forces Spread Down.

As of early Sunday, several sportsbooks in Las Vegas and online had dropped the Super Bowl XLIX betting odds for the New England Patriots, who were consensus one-point favorites but are now down to pick ’em. The reason was a surge of late Seattle money, which OddsShark.com analysts predicted would continue up til game time.

The Golden Nugget in Vegas even moved the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks to one-point favorites for about six hours on Saturday with thousands of bettors in town just to wager on the big game. Only five times in Super Bowl history has the line closed at less than a field goal, ending up at -1 twice.

Dangers of Online Sports Betting:
The greatest danger in sports betting is compulsive gambling, that in many cases is fueled by a type of bets that has become very popular during the recent years in gambling houses called “live bets”. In certain events, the gambling houses allow people to bet while certain events are taking place, messing with the psychology of the gambler by offering very profitable odds. This leads to placing a bet and by definition, this type of bets are very volatile, making the player cover his losses if the game changes. Therefore, the player has placed two bets that were not part of his strategy and odds are he will lose on both. One of them for sure. It is not recommended to the novice gambler to participate in “live bets”.

What are Bookies:
A bookmaker, bookie, or turf accountant is an organization or a person that takes bets on sporting and other events at agreed upon odds.
Bookmakers in focus betting on professional sports, especially horse racing and association football; however, a wider range of bets, including on political elections, awards ceremonies such as The Oscars, and novelty bets can also be placed.

By adjusting the odds in their favor or by having a point spread, bookmakers will aim to guarantee a profit by achieving a ‘balanced book’, either by getting an equal number of bets for each outcome or (when they are offering odds) by getting the amounts wagered on each outcome to reflect the odds. When a large bet comes in, a bookmaker may also try to lay off the risk by buying bets from other bookmakers. Bookmakers do not generally attempt to make money from the bets themselves but rather by acting as market makers and profiting from the event regardless of the outcome. Their working methods are similar to that of an actuary, who does a similar balancing of financial outcomes of events for the assurance and insurance industries.

Here’s what Forbes Mag says about Sports Betting on Super Bowl 49:

Surest Super Bowl Bet Ever?
More money will be gambled on Super Bowl XLIX—number 49 to those of us mystified by Roman numerals—than on any other sporting event this year. There’s nothing like it, for both legal and illegal wagers. At casinos in Las Vegas, online sportsbooks, in an office pool or somewhere else, America likes to bet on the Super Bowl. But bear in mind, not every bet is about winning or losing.

Many bets are so-called prop bets (propositions), over/unders and spreads. For example, what color hoodie will Patriots head coach Bill Belichick be wearing on game day? How many times will Gisele Bundchen be shown on TV during the game? Will the Seahawk’s Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch during the Super Bowl? These bets may be silly, but can be fun. A friendly or even a commercial bet on the Super Bowl seems all-American.

And this time of year, it’s also all-American to remember who gets a piece of every single bet every single day: the IRS. The safe bet is that the IRS gets a piece. Whether sports betting, rolling the dice, playing cards or betting on the ponies, all gambling winnings are always taxable income in the eyes of the IRS. And the IRS doesn’t allow you to automatically reduce your winnings by your losses to just report the difference.

How Much Money is Bet on the Super Bowl?
In last year’s Super Bowl Las Vegas sportsbooks made a killing.  For the first time in history, over $100 million dollars was wagered on the Super Bowl, and with the Seahawks blowout win (43-8) over the favored Denver Broncos, books also posted a record $19.7 million in profit.  These numbers are obviously impressive, but the return on the handle was only the second-highest in history at 16.5%.  The biggest return since 1991 still belongs to the 2005 Super Bowl between the Patriots and Eagles where sportsbooks returned 17% on their handle.There have been a lot of reports of wild prop bets being won, like players who won at 100-to-1 odds on the first score of the game being a Seahawks safety, but don’t let those numbers fool you.  Those exotic wagers don’t really mean much to the books when they are turning millions in profit on the game.

After a brief lull from 2008 to 2009, the amount wagered on the Super Bowl has steadily increased for six-straight years.  In fact, the 21% growth in the amount wagered from 2013 to 2014 is the biggest since 1995, which saw a 28% spike in the amount of wagers taken.

So there you have it. This is just small snippets of the wealth of information out there about “Gambling and Sports Betting on Super Bowl”. But all I can guarantee is there will BE LOSERS, and very few winners. Most likely there are going to be more losers on this biggest betting and gambling day of the year.

So, if you plan to gamble? Please, be responsible, set a money limit and stick to it. For those who are in recovery from addicted gambling?? Read a good book! May I suggest my book about what I lost due to gambling addiction! And it wasn’t just the $$$$$. . . .
God Bless All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon