My compulsive gambling story

I am brand new to this site and wanted to get my story out there. It is a little long so please bear with me. I welcome any and all comments. Thank you. Here it goes:

My name is Paul and I am compulsive gambler, it has been 23 days since my last bet. 23 days ago I didn't realize I was a compulsive gambler; however; when I was confronted by my employer for embezzling it finally "hit" me that I am and will always be a compulsive gambler. I am currently attending and will attend (for as long as I am "legally" allowed) Gamblers Anonymous meetings. I have lost a great career (incidentally in the Gaming business), I am in the process of losing everything that I have worked for with the exception of my wife and two children. My father hasn't spoken to me since this all occurred and my older sister will do anything to help my wife and children but she wants nothing to do with me and I can not blame her.

My wife, mother, step father and younger sister have showed tremendous support and without this support I am not sure what I would have done. I have spent five days in jail and I am looking at some serious issues in my future. I cannot change the past and I cannot predict what will happen in the future I can only take things one day at a time.

If someone told me 25 years ago when I made my first wager that when you are 39 years old you will lose everything and be in place where there are no freedoms. I would have told them that they were crazy because I am an intelligent person and I can "control" my gambling. The fact of the matter is the gambling took over my life and ruined it and ruined the lives of my family. Compulsive gambling is an insidious addiction, you do things that no rational person would do. You don't think of the consequences and I am here to tell anyone that will listen that there are serious consequences for all of my horrible actions.

I threw away a great life so I could always be in "action". Having worked in the Gaming Industry for 13 years I wouldn't dare go near a slot machine or a table game. My game of choice was sports betting because I knew (or I thought I knew) that sports betting had the lowest house percentage so I stood a chance to win. However; winning and losing became superfluous it only mattered whether I had action. Of course I lost a great deal more than I won so I had to fuel compulsive gambling with money and addicts will do anything to get their fix and I did anything and everything to perpetuate my fantasy life. This all came to an end 23 days ago.

I have no desire to make a wager but I do understand that this is a disease and it will be with me all of my life. Gamblers Anonymous has helped a great deal and having a sponsor that went through a similar situation 14 years ago also helps. Right now there is a tunnel ahead and it is very dark but with the Grace of God, my family and my friends I will get through this. I keep thinking of my 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son and I want to see them grow up because I love them more than anything in the world.

With the proliferation of gambling society needs to be aware of its pitfalls. Ironically, gambling provided me with a great career and also destroyed it.

The first sign of recovery is admitting you have a problem, if you have an inkling that you have a problem please make a commitment to stop. Whether it is Gamblers Anonymous, self help, hypnosis or whatever try something until it sticks. Don't let it be too late before you change. I hope this helps someone. Thank you for listening and be well.

Paulie D., Wednesday March 23, 2005
09:02 PM EST


Hi Paulie,

I have been in the casino business for some 37 years. Just got fired as shift manager here in Greece. I know your story and have heard it hundreds of times...

What is done is done. Nothing anybody can do to change that. I used to bet horses... same reason as you... thought I was smarter than the average bear and could beat the odds with 'smarts'. For years I did my money, almost every Saturday afternoon... If by chance I won, I would lose it back on Monday, or Tuesday... etc etc.

I got out of it long before you did fortunately for me. I did it through Self-Help psychology. I 'used' a book called Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. Great book! Out of print now, but can be found at 'used' books... they will find you a copy.

Now... what you must do, is think of the worst scenario that can happen due to your crime/s. Accept that this worst scenario 'can' happen. Then do everything you possibly can to make sure that does NOT happen. This way you turn negative thinking, into positive action.

The best lawyer you can find will be a good start.

Take care.

If you apply yourself you will be successful in any endeavor.

Relentless hard work...
I broke..I am so screwed up. I was doing well and then I went back. Why do I do this!!!!!
Because you are a person who is suffering from an emotional addictive insidious mental disease. And as much as you want to stop and get better, you still cant accept that you can not gamble in any sort of manner what so ever. This is our addiction and until you find a way to get help and support other than online groups.. you are going to have trouble with relapsing and going back to gambling. I know you don't want to hear this, neither did I when I was so deep into gambling and suffering from being broke all the time and hoping that the next time will be different.. it is never going to be different, until u get the help to stay in recovery. Every slip can and should be a reminder and a learning experience that gets us closer to finding what will work to keep us from making that next bet..

I do hope that you get mad, not at yourself, but at this compulsive gambling and come back fighting strong to keep working harder at not gambling again.. It doesn't happen over night.. we have to slowly deprogram our way of thinking, change our lifestyles and keep an open mind, be honest and willing to take that next step to work at making sure we stop having relapses..You are going thru what I and everyone else here has gone thru.. so, get back up and start again.. you are smarter today, then you were yesterday.. You can do this.. get your support in hand, call someone, make the next step.. take care of yourself..

Hugs, Audrey
Audrey...I feel so foolish. I really thought I was on y way. I have to analyze why I did this. I will dust myself off...God I hate this thing!!! URRRRRRRRRRR!

Thank you for your help. I feel like this is my one refuge. My head is just spinning.

Well, now I will start again. Talk with you on Friday.

You are the best!

Chin-up Scotty, you busted but at least you did not let turn into a full blown 5 week splurge mate.

You came on here and put your hand up. Still feel that disappointment mate and use it for motivation the next time you are at the cross roads.

The other thing Scotty, get hold of any of us send a bulk email, private someone, especially just as you want to walk out that door made...

With a good attitude you will make it...

Take care.

To all my friends out there...I am back on the horse. Just as Rob says, don't let one mistake (although a rather LARGE one) stop you.

I will make this yet another piece of evidence of how unhappy gambling makes you. The money I BLEW last night can be a lesson for anyone else tempted to FALL OFF THE WAGON.

The moment you get the urge...come back and read this post. This is how you'll feel when you come back to your senses...just walk away, don't do it. IT JUST SUCKS!

Talk to you all this weekend. I am placing game block on my computer NOW. (



You weren't the only one to screw up yesterday on the net. I did too. I was doing so well also..4 days then I blew it. It just reaffirmed to me too that family will not necessarily stop you. My husband saw me playing. At first I was going to tell him it was "play" $ (not real), but, the truth was when I went to the site they had given me a bonus and I played with that. I told him they gave me $ (which sounds like BS to me) and he didn't even question it. So, no safeguards there.
Take the positives out of it, list them down on paper and try and build on what else could you of done. (saying no is not enough sometimes as some have realised)you need actions in place so it takes several barriers to be broken before you can gamble.

As long as we learn from our mistakes we can move forward Zoe. All the best.

Me Too!

I was struggling all day yesterday at work. I checked the site several times and no new posts, I started to think about stopping on the way home. Got my tax return and it started messing with me right away. Money is definitely a trigger!!

I didn't do any considerable damage, thank God. I wasn't feeling hell bent on destruction just for today. The thing is I didn't really enjoy myself all that much either. This happened to me...

toward the end of my drug addiction too. Used to be when I gambled it truly blocked everything out. Now I find myself unable to block out the things that I am trying to escape from. It gives me hope because it brings me closer to surrender.

I am just grateful it didn't turn into an all weekend binge. I have plans for tomorrow with a friend so I am safe. I thank God that I have not gotten into the on line thing. I have to actually leave the house which at least brings more thinking to the forefront.

Thanks all for being here.....Hang in there!!
Hi Annette,

Zoe has given you good advice there. I would just like to add a couple of points. It is not good to compare your own case with somebody else's, such as akneat. If that was what you had in mind?

Your hubby is most likely not a 'compulsive' gambler. It may have been a one-of and he just lost control on that occasion. Let us hope that is the case.

It will help if hubby knows that you are on his side and work at this together. Everybody makes mistakes and you need, for both your sakes, to forgive him for this mistake, even it was an expensive one. Good to let him know that he is forgiven also. He will be carrying a lot of guilt around with himself over this. Try to rid him of the guilt also. But at the same time you must be firm. One mistake like this is tolerable, but any further mistake of the same kind...

If he does not already know it, let him know that you got so worried you joined this forum. Make sure he does not feel guilty about your worry. Try to make it a 'team ' effort, let him know that you will support him thought this and soon put it behind you.

Please keep us posted.