Sunday, 27 July 2008

Online gambling: Could you lose everything?

Many people are able to gamble on the odd occasion and leave it at that. Many others get hooked soon after they start - perhaps follows a big win or a series of wins.

If your attempts at gambling have always resulted in losing on experiencing only the occasional small win, then you are unlikely to continue. It is possible to win large amounts of money gambling and this is primarily where gambling becomes dangerous.

Bob (not his real name) walked into a casino for the first time in his life with $200. He played blackjack. He could do nothing wrong and within a few hours had accumulated $20,000.

He was back the next day to win more. Soon the winnings were gone, and he began betting more and more to recoup his losses. He lived at the casino for the next week. Having lost all of his own money, he turned to his father for help. This also ended up at the casino. Bob came from a gambling family. His uncle had lost his entire fortune, his home, his wife and his family. Bob's father recognised the signs and took action.

When on-line gambling becomes compulsive all the same dangers are present. Gambling becomes the primary focus of life. Everything else takes second place.

In the early stages, a gambler is able to win and cash in the money. It doesn't take long before the gambler continues until he has no more access to money. Having lost his entire salary in one sitting, the gambler becomes desperate. He seeks out loans from near and far. These loans are intended to cover the shortfall in living expenses. Instead they are used for gambling.

Home loan and car finance repayments are left unpaid. The gambler desperately tries to avoid creditors. Many have lost everything to gambling. Cars, homes, inheritances are all prey to gambling. Loans from loan sharps lead to worse problems. Some end up homeless.

Many gamblers do lose everything. Most do not recognise that they have a problem until the damage done is irreversible. If you suspect that you are a compulsive gambler, then seek help now.

No comments: