Flash-Back Friday and a Guest Article Re-Share of My Dear Recovery Supporter and Friend, Author Marilyn. She Shared Her Story In The NY Times …

Flash-Back Friday and a Guest Article Re-Share of My Dear Recovery Supporter and Friend, Author Marilyn. She Shared Her Story In The NY Times …

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I wanted to re-share this post, article, and my dear friend Marilyn Lancelot who has authored several books about her gambling addiction and road maintaining recovery long-term. She has been such a help and support to me since moving to Arizona 6-years ago from Southern Oregon. When I need a should to lean on or an ear to listen, Marilyn is always there when I call. It may not sound like much, but when you are maintaining recovery from a cunning disease like ours? Just a phone call means the world to me and in knowing I am not alone. I hope you find something from this post to use in your path to being and staying BET FREE . . .  ~Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Advocate

“Author and Advocate, Marilyn Lancelot, 86, said that after being a compulsive gambler for seven years, she was arrested at age 61 for embezzling $350,000 from her job and served nearly a year in prison.”

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New York Times – “Fighting Compulsive Gambling Among Women”
by:   APRIL 28, 2017.
(Photo Courtesy Deanna Alejandra Dent for The New York Times.

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Blinking lights, the clicking sound of coins, and perks like free or inexpensive food, drinks, and casino bus trips are enticing many older women to gamble.

For some people, that seductive environment can be extremely dangerous.

“Casinos are trained to make you feel welcome, while you lose your life,” said Sandra Adell, 70, a literature professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who recounted her experiences as a compulsive gambler in the book “Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen.” In an interview, Professor Adell said that advertisements aimed at older adults often show smiling people, dressed up and looking glamorous, “to create an illusion that plays to people’s weaknesses.”

“What the industry is doing,” she continued, “the way it markets and keeps casinos filled with elderly people, is morally reprehensible.”

Hard numbers are difficult to find, but Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said that gambling addiction among older women near or in retirement appears to be increasing in scope and severity, with a devastating impact on personal finances.

Marilyn Lancelot, 86, of Sun City, Ariz., for example, said that after being a compulsive gambler for seven years, she was arrested at age 61 for embezzling $350,000 from her job and served nearly a year in prison. “I really thought I’d win the big one deep down in my heart,” she said in an interview. “Every gambler says that.” Ms. Lancelot has described her experiences in the book “Gripped by Gambling.”

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Product Details

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Many experts say that men are often “action” gamblers, who favor blackjack and poker, while women tend to be “escape” gamblers, drawn to games based on luck, like slot machines and lottery tickets. Women often begin gambling later in life than men, sometimes after a major life event, like the death of a spouse or when they become empty nesters.

Women are less likely to develop gambling problems than men, Mr. Whyte said, but “telescoping, the rapid development of problems, is especially pronounced in senior women.” It may seem surprising to some people that women have severe gambling problems, he said. “Grandma is not seen as someone who embezzles money and is taken off to jail,” he said, yet it happens.

Many women lose significant amounts of money and jeopardize their futures. “Once they tap into retirement savings, it’s incredibly hard — if they are ever able — to rebuild those savings,” Mr. Whyte said.

Stephanie Iacopino, 63, of Toms River, N.J., who works part-time in retail sales, said that during years of compulsive gambling, she stole money from family members, friends, and clients in the travel business, and ultimately went to prison in 2010 for embezzling about $18,000 from her church.

She said she served nearly four months at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women near Clinton, N.J., followed by 22 months in New Jersey’s Intensive Supervision Program, which, the state says, is “more onerous” than traditional probation. “We don’t have a nest egg,” said Ms. Iacopino, who is married. “We live paycheck to paycheck.” But she said that while she is struggling financially, she is happy to be recovering from her addiction.

Some women have medical issues associated with gambling, Mr. Whyte said, like bladder problems aggravated by not getting up from slot machines to go to the bathroom. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting that among older people, some medications may lead to compulsive behavior, including a gambling addiction. Decreased cognitive functioning can also interfere with the ability to make sound decisions, he added.

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There is a strong connection between gambling and substance abuse. “If you are a problem gambler, you are four times more likely to have a problem with alcohol at some point in your life,” he said. “At a minimum, the rate of problem gambling among people with substance-use disorders is four to five times that found in the general population.” (The council operates a national 24/7 help line for problem gamblers and their families.)

Patricia A. Healy, clinical director of Healy Counseling Associates, in Toms River, N.J., which specializes in addiction counseling, said problem gambling among the elderly “is a hot issue and under-noticed in this country.”

“Gambling is the stepchild of the addiction world,” she said. “You can’t smell it, you can’t see it, you can’t observe it,” unless you see someone in action.

For certain people, she said, there is an adrenaline rush and “suddenly they’re in the chase. Sadly for some, it’s a death spiral.” Bus trips to casinos are sometimes arranged to coincide with the arrival of pension and Social Security checks, she said, and cases of retirees who cash in their I.R.A.s and pensions, or mortgage or ultimately lose their houses are not uncommon.

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“There is a tremendous amount of shame.”

Neva Pryor, executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said some older people gamble with money intended for medication and find themselves in desperate straits. Some who become suicidal may “drive out in traffic and get killed so families can collect insurance,” she said.

Sam Skolnik, author of “High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America’s Gambling Addiction,” said the aftereffects of pathological gambling include social costs that range from loss of productivity at work, domestic crime, suicide and harm to families from rising indebtedness, home foreclosure, and bankruptcy. “When the elderly gamble, they are often harmed in a more permanent way, sadly,” he said.

“There’s no question the industry knows that they lose more money than they should.”

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It's Not Just a Penny Slot Machine: Gambling Addiction in Seniors

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Sara Slane, senior vice president for public affairs at the American Gaming Association, which represents casinos, said in an email statement, “While problem gambling has not increased along with the increase in casinos, the industry and the A.G.A. continue to increase their investment and commitment to responsible gaming programs.”

She cited research in The Journal of Gambling Studies that compared telephone surveys conducted in 1999 and 2000 with those from 2011 to 2013 and found that rates of problem gambling remained stable overall and actually declined among women.

Rachel Volberg, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, who studies gambling, said the state of knowledge about the issue in the United States is still inadequate.

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“There’s not much support for gambling research in the U.S.,” she said.

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It wasn’t until 1980 that pathological gambling was designated as a mental health issue in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, she said: “It’s a relatively young disorder as far as having recognition.”

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Ms. Lancelot, of Arizona, who is now retired, said she left prison with nothing but eventually recovered financially. As a felon, getting a job and an apartment was difficult, but she borrowed three months’ rent from her brother, offered to pay the landlord in advance and found work as a secretary with the Arizona state government. Within 10 years, she said, she had two homes, a new car and checking accounts. “I want older people to know that it’s not the end of the world,” she said.

Ms. Pryor, of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said older adults can protect themselves from potential gambling problems in retirement by seeking help in managing their finances — and in planning how to spend their time — long before they stop working.

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“What people need to realize,” she said, “is, they may win a little, but ultimately, the house always wins.”

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This Week It’s All About Addicted Compulsive Gambling, The Disease & Caring People….

Hello Recovery Friends, Followers, & New Seekers,…

Photo: I cried the first time I read this, it was at my Uncle's funeral. I stood on the stage beside the pastor reading from the bible. It was a favorite passage of his and it was about love. Unconditional love. The type of love I'd never experienced or given. I couldn't fathom a love without conditions, or hurting words, or jealousy, or control.Today unconditional love is what I want to give. I need to lean on my higher power, because those of us clothed in human flesh often make mistakes. I don't love unconditionally all the time .... but I'm trying.

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www.BelieveAndCreate.com

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*There is a VERY SPECIAL reason why I shared these ABOVE, when I talk about an Awesome and Wonderful friend of mine. She not only is a Recovering Addicted Gambler like myself, But she has done a lot for women who have reached out for HELP & HOPE from this Cunning Disease! And it is why I want to Share with ALL of you WHO she IS, & WHAT she does for others.*

This week I’m also sticking to my Grass-Roots sharing of insights, Info, Tips, and Opinions on Recovery from Addicted Compulsive Gambling. Jan 29th, 2007….I will CELEBRATE 7 years in recovery from this Cunning, Progressive disease. And without all my Recovery friends and Supporters, I will not have made it without them!
Please meet my good friend….

 

Author, Marilyn Lancelot  http://www.GrippedByGambling.com
Here is more of who she is and what she does, her book, and a couple of Book Reviews as well….

 

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Gripped by Gambling   mslancelot@cox.net

Click on:  YouTube Video   for a glimpse into the addiction.  Also available in Kindle edition.

 
 
One weekend on my way home from work, the numbers on my odometer read 77,776.7 miles. Because the driveway to my house was circular, I could drive around until the odometer reached all 7’s. With each trip around the yard, the odometer added one tenth of a mile. With my heart pounding, I raced around the circle, spinning gravel into the air while my grand-kids waved from the front porch..When the odometer reached the magic number and rolled over to six sevens, I slammed on the brakes and ran into the house screaming, “Tommie, come quick and see what happened . . . there’s six sevens on the odometer, three for you and three for me.” I twirled around the kitchen and yelling, “Let’s hit the road! Right now!” Anything with seven in it was good luck, street signs, license plates, billboards and even adding page numbers in a book. But this sign was special because it had six of the lucky numbers….
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Even as I drove down the streets in Yuma, I watched for cars with license plates with sevens in them, or if all the numbers in the license plate added up to a seven, it meant good luck. Or if there was a twenty-one in the number, I could divide it by three and then I had three sevens. I believed in lucky jewelry, especially my crystals and lucky clothes, like my red blouse…
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If you wish to read the Women Helping Women Newsletter, the new link
is:  www.femalegamblers.info.    grippedbygambling.com/qualification.htm

*Marilyn has done some Generous work in many & most Arizona State *Women’s Prisons* & Women’s Correctional Institutes to bring Relief for women who are addicted gamblers serving time. Marilyn was successful in starting *Gamblers Anonymous Meetings* for these women to find Recovery while being incarcerated.*

( http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/  )..

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*Her book “Gripped by Gambling” is also HER PERSONAL STORY of addicted compulsive gambling. On her website above, you can really get a look and get INSIGHT as how Women Gamble for many different reasons than Men. What this woman endured is an INSPIRATION to many of us! Here is my Review on her book, “Gripped by Gambling”*

*MY REVIEW ~~ By, Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon*…

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I have to say the I was captivated by the info on this authors book to begin with. It said how a woman, in front of her family and grand kids had police and Federal police came to her home and took her away in hand cuffs!! WELL, that was all I needed to want to read her True Story and experience of late in Life and finding yourself in the middle of a full blown Compulsive Addicted Gambling Addiction! She shares her time and experience in Prison, and how NOW she helps many other women still in Prison, and they have Gamblers Anonymous meetings to help them all through the State of Arizona!..

This book is not ONLY a must read for others touched by Gambling Addiction, but for the Insights it holds about the Disease that the Public needs to be aware of!

Great Job Marilyn, and THANK YOU for your Friendship and Recovery Support! xxoo *Catherine*

Now here is one more REVIEW by I feel,  a Professional who understands about Addicted Compulsive Gambling from Amazon.com/books….

Don’s review is for: Gripped by Gambling (Paperback)….

“GRIPPED BY GAMBLING”
A review by Don Hulen:

Finally! A book about a woman compulsive gambler, an Escape Gambler. Thank you Marilyn. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and that person is a woman or just plays slot machines you need to read this book. It is real. When I finally got a copy I read it from beginning to end. I am ADHD, and that is the first time in probably 30 years I have done that.

It isn’t about flipping coins when you were seven or eight, betting on the ponies, playing dice or the numbers. It isn’t about craps, poker or blackjack. Its a book about a woman who couldn’t stop gambling. I will say it again, couldn’t stop gambling. Every counselor who treats or pretends to treat Escape Compulsive gambling should read this book and have a copy in their library for required reading by patients. I have read many of the books written by problem/compulsive gamblers. I have read many of the articles written about problem gamblers…

The majority are about men who gambled huge amounts and seem to glorify their gambling. Marilyn has written about the pain, the real pain she caused her children, her grandchildren her lover and her sister, her victim as well as herself. Witting about these experiences while pointing the finger directly at yourself is a very difficult thing to do. I know, I can’t seem to do it.


I was there in the court room when they slapped the handcuffs on her and took her to prison while her children and grandchildren were crying. I was there when her boyfriend died. I was there when her son died. I was there when her grandson who is now in prison was the lead story on the news. I was there when her daughter finally got straight. I was there when she started a meeting for women (despite adverse consequences). I was there when some of us didn’t really accept women into our program but she insisted on coming and changed our program forever.

Its been over sixteen years since I met Marilyn, I thought I knew something about women gamblers, I didn’t know anything until I read her book….

Don Hulen, Executive Director, Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling

*I THANK you all for taking time out of your day to Stop By my *Little Recovery Blog*
And I look forward to your continued *Recovery Support* for ME and My Friends! *

Warm Regards,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon