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ADDICTED GAMBLER IN YOUR FAMILY — The Gambler’s Daughter BOOK

This is a must read book on gambling addiction
ARNIE WEXLER CCGC
 
The Gambler’s Daughter: A Personal and Social History
 
Don’t Let the Gambler in Your Life Get You Down
 
By
 
Annette B. Dunlap
 
Life with a family member who is a compulsive gambler is a roller coaster ride – your emotions go up and down depending on where your loved one is in the gambling cycle. When your gambler is winning and flush with cash, he or she can be the most wonderful person in the world – loving, generous, and fun to be around. When the losing streak hits, all hell breaks loose.
 
Sometimes, when you don’t understand the gambling cycle, you blame yourself for what is happening. It’s so easy to think that you’re the person at fault. And because gambling, unlike alcohol or drug use, can so easily be hidden from view, family members are often clueless until your gambler hits rock bottom.
 
This was a lot of my growing up experience with a father who was a compulsive gambler. Until I turned thirty, and started to find information about compulsive gambling in the literature, I never fully understood why my father acted the way he did. Once I began to learn about the gambling cycle and the typical behaviors of compulsive gamblers, I was able to deal with the emotional pain caused by my father’s addiction.
 
The Gambler’s Daughter: A Personal and Social History is the story of my experience growing up with a father who gambled. It is the story of my mother, who struggled to hold her marriage and our family together, and it is also the story of gambling in the Jewish community. Gambling addiction is much more common than anyone realizes. The Gambler’s Daughter is a story of understanding, hope, and healing. If you grew up with, or are now living with, a gambler, this book will help you.
 
You can order The Gambler’s Daughter: A Personal and Social History from:
 
Or

 

GAMBLING ON HIGH SCHOOL GAMES

The Virginian-Pilot


 THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT Copyright (c) 1996, Landmark Communications, Inc. DATE: Saturday, May 11, 1996 TAG: 9605110442 SECTION: SPORTS PAGE: C1 EDITION: FINAL SOURCE: BY HARRY MINIUM, STAFF WRITER DATELINE: NORFOLK LENGTH: Long : 193 lines 

GAMBLERS’ MESSAGE: IT’S IN YOUR SCHOOLS EX-CRIME BOSS, FORMER GAMBLING ADDICT BRING CHILLING MESSAGE TO NORFOLK SCHOOL OFFICIALS

Norfolk school officials must have been relieved Thursday when police announced they were unable to prove allegations that a Maury High School basketball game had been fixed.

But if there was a sense of complacency, it dissipated later that evening.

For two hours following the press conference at Lake Taylor High, more than 150 coaches, principals and administrators listened to a powerful presentation on gambling and point shaving, courtesy of the National Basketball Association.

The NBA’s message: gambling is in your schools, drug dealers are influencing your athletes, and if this game wasn’t fixed, others will be unless you take action.

Horace Balmer, the NBA’s vice president for security, showed a stark video produced by the four major sports leagues that is seen by every rookie entering the NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League baseball. The video showshow organized crime has entrapped athletes into shaving points with sexual liaisons, gambling and drugs.

Balmer, a Norfolk native and Booker T. Washington graduate, had two speakers flown to Norfolk whose messages were even more disturbing. Michael Franzese, a former mob boss who fixed professional and college games for organized crime, and Arnie Wexler, who for 23 years was a compulsive gambler.

Franzese, who served 7 1/2 years in federal prison for racketeering, said games on all levels are fixed by the mob, including high schools.

“You have no idea how easy it is to influence these kids to shave points,” said the New York native, who was a captain in the notorious Colombo family.

“I talked to the NBA rookies earlier this season . . . and it’s amazing how many confided to me that they have gambling habits. I’m not going to mention their names, but if I did, you would know them.

“I personally got involved in compromising games with players, and it all came through their gambling habits.”

Wexler, who is now a counselor, said gambling in high schools is rampant everywhere, including Norfolk.

“In a city of this size, you’ve got 12,000 or 13,000 compulsive gamblers and no Gamblers Anonymous here,” he said. “The closest meeting you’ve got is in Virginia Beach.

“You think high school games aren’t fixed? A New York City kid confided to me he had shaved points. The day he was being scouted by some Division I scouts, he shaved points. He ended up at a Division III school.

“Your kids in Norfolk need help. There are 1.5 million adolescents nationally who are compulsive gamblers. You’ve got to do something to help these kids.”

Wexler and Franzese overcame their shady pasts with help from their wives and families. But their testimonies, which drew enthusiastic ovations from coaches and administrators, revealed how deadly a combination gambling, the Mafia and drugs can be.

Franzese was a prodigy in the New York Mafia. His father, Sonny, was second in command of the Colombo family and Michael became a family “soldier” in 1975.

In 1980 he made captain. He was involved in union racketeering, gambling and, as he put it, “a number of other things that organized crime people do.”

He recalls taking over a New York City auto dealership when the dealer went into gambling debt. The dealer was providing cars to professional and college athletes and helping them to place bets, all at Franzese’s urging.

Some of those players went deep into debt and Franzese forced them to fix games.

“In a tight game, we would tell them, `Don’t hit the ball in the bottom of the ninth,’ or, `Don’t catch a pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter,’ ” said Franzese, who was involved in the Boston College game-fixing ring of the 1970s.

“And they did it. They had no choice.

“We were able to fix (horse) races. Not the big ones, like the Kentucky Derby. But some races are fixed.”

In 1985 he was indicted for racketeering. He had been indicted and acquitted six times before on the same charge, but not this time. He accepted a plea bargain, which resulted in a 10-year prison sentence and a $15 million fine.

In 1987, he severed his ties with organized crime.

“It was not a question of joining the witness protection program or testifying against any of my former associates,” he said. He is said to be the first Mafia crime boss to walk away from the mob and live to tell about it.

Franzese said he is writing his life story for a made-for-TV special on ABC. Meanwhile, he does seminars for the NBA and other major leagues on the dangers of gambling and organized crime.

“I was real interested in coming to Norfolk because of the commitment to young people I made in prison,” said Franzese, who lives in California. “I came across more young people doing barrels of time, guys doing 30 and 40 years. Most were in gangs and had gambling problems.

“A lot of guys I saw in prison came right out of high school. They were real tough and macho outwardly, but let me tell you something: at 2 o’clock in the morning, when that cell door shuts and these kids realize this is their life for the next 20 years, you see a different image.

“I can’t tell you how many were crying in my cell at night, and you want to cry with them, because you know their lives are over.”

Wexler, a Brooklyn native, began gambling when he was 7 – pitching pennies and playing marbles. At 14 he was betting with bookmakers and by 17 he was stealing to support his gambling addiction.

“I needed to gamble like any drug addict needs to stick a needle in his arm or any alcoholic needs a drink,” said Wexler, who has told his story on dozens of TV shows, including 60 Minutes.

“I went out with two girls before I was 21. On both dates I took them to the racetrack and lost. I decided girls were unlucky.

“I would bet on 40 ballgames on a weekend and would sit in my car and try to figure out what I was going to do after I won all 40. That’s the kind of optimism there is with a compulsive gambler. I thought gambling was going to make me a millionaire by the time I was 30.

“I bet on hockey for three months and didn’t even know the game was played on ice.

“On my first date with my wife, we went to a movie. The next 300 were to the racetrack.”

In spite of his gambling habit, he moved up the corporate ladder and became head of a clothier factory. Wexler stole from his company to pay gambling debts. He even sold stolen dresses to his wife to support is habit.

“I was doing illegal stuff in the stock market to support my gambling addiction,” he said. “Today I would be put in jail, but in those days they didn’t have computers, so they never caught me.”

During the 38 hours his wife was in labor with his first daughter, Wexler said he made two trips to the racetrack. When he made love to his wife, Wexler said she often swore she could hear a radio playing. He would tell her she was crazy.

“It was beneath the pillow,” he said. “I was listening to ballgames because . . . gambling totally controlled me.

“I don’t remember my first daughter walking and talking for the first time because I probably wasn’t home and if I was, my head was somewhere else. Gambling completely destroyed my marriage.”

He finally quit gambling at age 30. That was 28 years and 62 days ago. He and his long-suffering wife, Sheila, run a compulsive gambling counseling service from Bradley Beach, N.J. They put on seminars for casinos, racetracks and professional and college sports teams.

Athletes call him daily for advice on how to break their gambling habits. One athlete with an $800,000 salary was in debt so deeply to a Las Vegas casino that the casino’s owners were threatening to go to the player’s team. Wexler set up a payment schedule and is trying to ween the athlete from his addiction.

But he’s had failures, including former baseball player Denny McLain and football quarterback Art Schlichter.

“They just haven’t been able to stop,” he said. “People have their heads in the sand. The gambling problem is exploding. It’s everywhere, including your schools here in Norfolk, and it’s getting worse.”

Balmer said he brought the speakers to Norfolk because he still cares for his native city.

“I grew up on B Avenue near Church Street,” he said. “There wasn’t an indoor toilet until I was 14 years old. There was no television and no telephone.

“But the one thing I had that many children don’t have today is someone who cares. . . . I wouldn’t have made it without caring teachers and caring parents.”

Today, he said, the city needs to do more than just care.

“You have guys in BMWs, drug dealers right here in Norfolk who I consider to be small-time organized crime,” he said. “They have so much money that they can walk into your schools and take your athletes and threaten the hell out of them and make them do things they don’t want to do.

“The problem here is this: When I talked to three athletes here, the one question they asked me is, `Where do we go if we have a problem? Who do we talk to?’ ”

The answer: There is no place.

Balmer urged the city to start a help line, where kids can call anonymously if they are having gambling or drug problems. The police, schools and churches must all cooperate on such a venture, he said.

Franzese went a step further.

“A lot of inner city kids see the police as the bad guys,” he said. “You need to get the police into the schools full time, working with the kids, so they know the police are not bad guys, that doing the right thing is OK.”

Norfolk officials got the message, at least in part. Friday morning, Norfolk Schools Superintendent Roy D. Nichols Jr. instructed officials to begin planning an educational program for athletes. School spokesman George D. Raiss said the program will be in place by August.

A good start, Wexler said, but not enough.

“It will help, but what happens to the kids two months after they’ve been counseled?” he said. “There’s got to be a support system, and sadly, a lot of kids today don’t get that support at home.”

Balmer said he’s spoken to leaders of many school systems who promised to put such a program together, but few have followed through.

“A lot of school systems are not ready to do these things,” he said. “Because as long as life is going easy and we’re getting paid, we want to keep it that way.

“We’ve got to find a way to save some of these kids, but coaches can’t do the entire job. If the coaches don’t have a lot of help, forget about it. They can’t win.” ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

Horace Balmer, NBA vice president for security and a Norfolk native,

warned of a “small-time organized crime” element alive in local

schools.

KEYWORDS: GAMBLING SPORTS HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE

YOUTH GAMBLING ADDDICTION -These questions may help you consider whether or not you have a gambling problem.

These questions were prepared by:

Arnie and Sheila Wexler Associates                                                                   

                                                                  

888-LAST BET                                                                          

Www.aswexler.com

 

 

 

 

YOUTH QUESTIONS

 

 

These questions may help you consider whether or not you have a gambling problem.

 

1.     Do you find yourself gambling more frequently than you used to?

2.     Has anyone ever suggested that you have a problem with gambling?

3.     Did you ever gamble more than you intended to? (time or money)

4.     Do you have a fantasy that gambling is going to make you rich?

5.     Do you believe you have superior knowledge when you place a bet?

6.     Do you lose time from school due to gambling?

7.     Do you have intense interest in point spreads or odds?

8.     Do you make frequent calls to sports phones or lotteries?

9.     Have you ever bet with a bookmaker or used credit cards to gamble?

10. Have your grades dropped because of gambling?

11. Have you ever done anything illegal to finance your gambling?

12. Is gambling language or references part of your vocabulary?

13. Do you prefer to socialize with friends who gamble?

14. Does anyone in your family have an addiction?

15. Have you ever borrowed money to finance gambling?

16. Has anyone ever paid your gambling debts for you?

17. Does gambling give you a “rush or high ”?

18. Do you find yourself craving another gambling experience?

19. Do you find yourself “chasing: your losses?

20. Have you ever tried to stop or control your gambling?

21. Have you lied about your gambling to family and/or friends?

22. Are you spending more time on the internet?

23. Are you playing poker on the internet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPULSIVE GAMBERS WORKING IN GAMING INDUSTRY

The Compulsive Gambler Working in the Gaming Industry
Many people, who work in the gaming industry, are vulnerable to problems with their own gambling behaviors. Some are naturally attracted to the action, because they already have a gambling problem. Some develop a problem after being exposed to the environment. Studies have shown that employees in gaming establishments (racetracks, casinos, lottery vendors, etc.) have a higher percentage of gambling problems than the general population. When Mickey Brown was the president of Foxwoods Casino, he urged his staff not to ” become one of the people you’ve seen across the table”. Mr. Brown estimated that “5-10% of Foxwoods employees have gambled more than they probably should, and more than just recreational”.

It is difficult to spot a compulsive gambler, because, unlike other addictions, it is a hidden and invisible disease. For millions of people, gambling offers a harmless and entertaining diversion from everyday life. Whether playing bingo or baccarat, these people are participating in a legitimate and time-honored recreational activity by taking a chance on an unpredictable event in the hope of winning. For others, however, the simple act of placing a bet is a vastly different experience. What seems a moment of elation or excitement for some gamblers is in reality a moment of overwhelming compulsion- a moment in which these people have lost the ability to control their gambling behavior. These individuals cannot resist the impulse to gamble- they are compulsive gamblers.

The American Psychiatric Association (since 1980) has defined the disorder using the following criteria:

Diagnostic criteria for 312.31 Pathological Gambling

DSM-IV

Persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior as indicated by at least five of the following:

1. Is preoccupied with gambling (e.g., preoccupied with reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble)

2. Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement

3. Has repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling

4. Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling

5. Gambles as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, and depression.

6. After losing money gambling, often returns another day in order to get even (“chasing” one’s losses)

7. Lies to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling

8. Has committed illegal acts, such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement, in order to finance gambling

9. Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling

10. relies on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling

It is important to note that this is a treatable illness and a person can lead a productive life after finding help and recovery.

The American Medical Association adopted a resolution ( Resolution 430 in 1995) citing “the addictive potential of gambling”, suggesting that their member physicians “advise their patients of the addictive potential of gambling”.

When I was the Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ, 8% of our calls to the hot line, came from casino employees. Since 1994, we have trained over 35,000 casino workers, nationwide. Raising the awareness of employees through training on the subject of compulsive gambling is sometimes the catalyst for the employee to seek help. Every time we do training, some workers, who have a gambling problem, themselves, or have a family member with the problem, approach us for help. Often we receive phone calls from employees, several months after they hear our presentation. Many of these people find it difficult to come forward with the problem, fearing that exposure will affect their chances for advancement with the company. Supervisors who recognize an employee who has a serious gambling problem also often approach us.

The problem exists at all levels of employment. Workers have approached us from housekeepers to executives of casino companies. There was a housekeeper who revealed that she stole items from guest’s rooms in order to support her gambling addiction. A casino limousine driver called us and was planning to kill himself as the result of his gambling problem. There was a pit boss that let dead-beat gamblers sign markers and then got a pay off from the gambler. A racetrack announcer called me for help after trying to fix races in order to get money to gamble with. We received a call for help from an employee on the hotel side, who was using customers’ credit cards to access gambling money for his gambling. A legal counsel to a casino company, asked for our help in getting him excluded from gambling in casinos in his state. A woman who worked in credit came forward to ask for help as she was in jeopardy of losing her marriage and children.

As the problem or compulsive gambler becomes more and more pre-occupied with their gambling they will eventually effect their company and their job performance. Some areas include erratic work performance, inconsiderate treatment of customers, borrowing money from coworkers or customers, absenteeism, tardiness, theft, embezzlement, affecting the integrity of the game they are dealing or by being coerced to fix games by bookmakers or loan sharks whom they may owe money to, and increased health care costs for them and their affected families.

It would be beneficial and good prudent, business judgment, if gaming companies helped their employees who had a gambling problem, rather than terminating them. Employees are their most valuable asset as they are often, in the front line with their customers Employers and supervisors need to realize that compulsive gambling is an addiction, similar to alcoholism and drug addiction.

Many companies already have health benefits that include treatment for other addictions. These benefits should also include treatment for compulsive gambling for employees and their families, paid for by the employer. Employers can also make available a room for an in house Gamblers Anonymous meeting. Human Resource and EAP personnel should have training on the subject of compulsive gambling. Brochures and information regarding help for a gambling problem, should be made available to all employees.

Another area that employers may want to consider is the legal ramifications of not taking action if they recognize that their employee has a gambling problem. They may be held accountable by the regulatory body in their state, for continuing to employ someone who has a compulsive gambling problem and is currently gambling. On the other hand, employers should have documented information before approaching a worker who is suspected of having a gambling problem.

Early detection of this hidden illness may result in the employee getting help before he or she reaches the desperation phase of compulsive gambling. With recovery, both the employee and the employer will benefit.

We are encouraged to see that some gaming companies have come a long way, in the last few years, by addressing this issue. They have developed training programs and responsible gaming programs and policies that have helped their employees who have a gambling problem.

Written by:

Arnie and Sheila Wexler

Arnie and Sheila Wexler Associates

LAKE WORTH FL.

561 2490922 cell 954 5015270

www.aswexler.com

SPORTS BETTING AND POINT SPREADS IN THE MEDIA

Do point spreads in newspapers/ media cause a proliferation of gambling?

You would not expect to open your local newspaper and get a price list of illegal drugs for sale; But that’s just about what you can get today when you open your local newspaper to the sports pages all over the country. True, you don’t see drug prices but you do see lines and point spreads on sporting events. Illegal drugs can’t be bought, legally in any state. You can’t place a legal bet in America, except in Las Vegas. I know it’s in because it sells newspapers.

There are ads in newspapers for 800 and 900 numbers that sell information to gamblers. Some of these ads read : “Get the game of the month free”, “We pick 75% winners”, “Last week we went 11 for 12″, and ” Get our lock of the week”.

I still can’t believe that newspapers carry ads from these so called handicappers, who are really scandicappers. It’s also interesting to note how often the information is incorrect.

I remember going to speak at Northwestern University a few years ago. That day I read in USA Today that Danny Sheridan wrote: “Northwestern was a million to one to win the Big 10″. Well, they did win the Big 10 and went to the Rose bowl. I also remember when the Dallas Morning News had a gorilla in the Dallas Zoo make football picks for them. The gorillas’ picks were doing better than the sports writers.

If you read the Sports Illustrated Story, written by Tim Layden in April of 1995 about gambling on the college campus, you now know what every youth on a college campus knows; gambling is running rampid on every college campus. Odds and point spreads have become a normal topic of conversation amongst these students. Gambling is as available as a can of beer or a pack of cigarettes and the student bookmakers get the lines they use straight out of their local newspapers.

In 1982 I was involved with trying to help a compulsive gambler who was an ex college star athlete. He owed $350,000 in gambling debts. It all started five years before when he played a football ticket for $5. No doubt the person providing the football ticket got the lines from their local newspaper

Picture the following scenario: A young man uses the lines and odds from his local newspaper and uses it to set up a bookmaking operation in the local town pub. A law officer comes in and arrests the bookmaker and players. The next day the headline in the paper says: ” John Doe Arrested For Bookmaking and Hank Smith Arrested For Illegally Betting”. Hypocrisy you say? The very newspaper that carried the lines, now is carrying this headline.

It seems to me that the message we are sending the youth of America is: Education is not necessary. You will be able to make your life fortune by pulling a slot machine , buying a lottery ticket or winning a bet on a game.

The NCAA understands this issue as they have discussed taking away press credentials at the Final Four, from newspapers that carry the lines.

Sports betting is a big problem for compulsive gamblers. I used to run a national hotline and 47% of the callers were sports bettors. Because compulsive gambling is an Impulse Control Disorder (as stated by the American Psychiatric Association), reading the lines in the newspaper can often trigger a gambling binge. Some recovering compulsive gamblers can’t buy a newspaper because of the anxiety it causes. I don’t see much difference between casinos serving free drinks to an alcoholic or newspapers putting lines out for compulsive gamblers to read.

Years ago only some newspapers carried the line. Now you can rarely pick up a newspaper that doesn’t. You also never heard electronic media discussing odds. Today it is common to hear such a discussion. Recently someone told me that they heard a commentator on a national TV football game say: “They covered the spread.”

• Years ago I was on a TV show with Howard Cossell (ABC Sports Beat). The topic was: Does the media encourage the public to gamble? Bobby Knight, Indiana basketball coach, said: “A newspaper who published point spreads should also publish names and addresses of services that render to prostitutes. They practically have the same legality in every one of our states, and I can’t see why one is any better than the other.” On the same show former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn said: “Anything that encourages gambling on team sports bothers me. We all look hypocritical but than why are we putting up the odds unless we are trying to encourage it.” David Stern, NBA commissioner said: “We don’t want the weeks’ grocery money to be bet on the outcome of a particular sporting event.”

I would like to pose a few questions:

• Do point spreads in newspapers cause a proliferation of gambling?

• Do people see point spreads in the newspaper and think it is legal to place a bet?

• Does the media entice people to gamble?

• Does the media have any responsibility for the increase in numbers of compulsive gamblers in America?

• Does the media give the appearance that it promotes and condones gambling?

I think the responsible thing to do would be for newspapers to carry a public service message (Need Help For A Gambling Problem? Call: 1-888 LAST BET).

If you want to talk to arnie see info below

www.ASWexler.com

Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates

Boynton Beach f FL

Arnie Wexler — aswexler@aol.com

Office: 561-2490922
Mobile: 954 501-5270

SPORTS GAMBLING –N.B.A + DAVID STERN

David Stern Told S.I. Legalized Gambling on the NBA May Be a Huge Opportunity Boynton Beach, FL
In May 1996, Horace Balmer, the NBA’s vice president for security, had two speakers flown to Norfolk, Va., whose messages were even very disturbing. Michael Franzese, a former mob boss who fixed professional and college games for organized crime, and Arnie Wexler, who for 23 years was a compulsive gambler. Franzere said, “I talked to the NBA rookies earlier this season . . . and it’s amazing how many confided to me that they have gambling habits. I’m not going to mention their names, but if I did, you would know them” “I personally got involved in compromising games with players, and it all came through their gambling habits.’ ( THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT -May 11, 1996 )

Ten years ago, as a compulsive-gamblers counselor, I was asked to fly to New York to the National Basketball Association office in Manhattan and met with league officials, players and union officials, concerned about players’ gambling. I was told, “We have a problem, and we’re trying to find out how bad the problem is” Officials asked me to keep my calendar open for the spring of the following year and said to me that they wanted me to address every team and player in the league. They then flew my wife in, and we had a second meeting they asked us develop questions that were going to be given to the players to answer. “We need to know how big the gambling problem is in the N.B.A,”

When I hadn’t heard from the N.B.A, I called and asked, “When do we start?” The talked were cancelled, and the response I got was this: “They said that the higher-ups didn’t want the media to find out”

Some years ago, I was on a TV show with Howard Cossell (ABC Sports Beat). The topic was: Does the media encourage the public to gamble? David Stern, NBA commissioner said: “We don’t want the week’s grocery money to be bet on the outcome of a particular sporting event”

Yet on Dec. 11, 2009, commissioner David Stern told SI.com (the website for Sports Illustrated) that legalized gambling on the NBA “May be a huge opportunity”

I wonder how many addicted gamblers placed the first bet they ever made on an NBA game.

The National Gambling Study Commission said that there are “5 million compulsive gamblers and 15 million at risk in the U.S” Forty-eight percent of the people who gamble bet on sports.

Get the real scoop: Talk to me, Arnie Wexler, one of the nation’s leading experts on the subject of compulsive gambling and a recovering compulsive gambler. I placed my last bet on April 10, 1968, and has been involved in helping compulsive gamblers for the last 44 years. Through the years, I have spoken to more compulsive gamblers than anyone else in America and has been fighting the injustice of how sports, society and the judicial system deal with compulsive gamblers.

Athletes may be more vulnerable than the general population when you look at the soft signs of compulsive gambling: high levels of energy; unreasonable expectations of winning; very competitive personalities; distorted optimism; and bright with high IQs.

It is time for college and professional sports to outline and execute a real program to help players who might have a gambling problem or gambling addiction problem. Yet college and professional sports still do not want to deal with this. They do not want the media and public to think there is a problem.

And over the years, I have spoken to many college and professional athletes who had a gambling problem. One NCAA study a few years ago reported: “There is a disturbing trend of gambling among athletes in college” You can’t think that these people will get into the pros and then just stop gambling.

Compulsive gambling is an addiction just like alcoholism and chemical dependency, and all three diseases are recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic and statistical manual. Nevertheless, we treat compulsive gambling differently than the other addictions. Society and professional sports treat people with chemical dependency and alcoholism as sick persons, send them to treatment and get them back to work. Sports looks at compulsive gamblers as bad people and gets barred them from playing in professional sports.

There are people in various sport’s halls of fame who are convicted drug addicts and alcoholics, yet compulsive gamblers are unable to get into these halls of fame. In fact, as far as professional sports goes, an alcoholic and chemical dependent person can get multiple chances, whereas a gambler cannot. I have been fighting the injustice of how sports, society and the judicial system deal with compulsive gamblers for many years.

If colleges and professional leagues wanted to help the players, they would run real programs that seriously address the issue of gambling and compulsive gambling. Education and early detection can make a difference between life and death for some people who have or will end up with a gambling addiction.

One sports insider said to me: “Teams need to have a real program for players, coaches and referees, and they need to let somebody else run it. When you do it in-house, it’s like the fox running the chicken coop. You must be kidding yourself if you think any player, coach or referee is going to call the league and say, ‘I’ve got a gambling problem, and I need help.’ ”

The Wexlers run a national help line for gamblers who want help 888 LAST BET

Arnie Wexler ( aswexler@aol.com)

Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates

Boynton Beach FL

Office #: 561-2490922
Cell#: 954-501-5270

What is Compulsive Gambling?

What is Compulsive Gambling?
WRITTEN BY ARNIE WEXLER CCGC
Compulsive gambling is a progressive disease, much like an addiction to alcohol or drugs. In many cases, the gambling addiction is hidden until the gambler becomes unable to function without gambling, and he or she begins to exclude all other activities from their lives. Inability to stop gambling often results in financial devastation, broken homes, employment problems, criminal acts and suicide attempts.

The gambler is eventually able to remove themselves from reality to the point of being totally obsessed with gambling. Eventually, they will do anything to get the money with which to stay in “action”. They will spend all their time and energy developing schemes in order to get the money to continue gambling. Lying becomes a way of life for the gambler.

They will try to convince others and themselves that their lies are actually truths and they will believe their own lies.

After they hit a real bottom they will have to do something if they want to try to recover. Most gamblers at that point will want to stop but can’t (they wont be able to).

Most, even at that point, will keep gambling. Some will end up in jail. Some will attempt suicide. Some will die from their addiction as they will not take care of their health or the stress will kill the .A small group of addicted gamblers will seek and find real help; but the real trick is to get into real recovery, not just abstinence.

By the time the gambler comes for help they have broken brains (meaning their brains don’t work like they used to when they were not in there addiction). To get real recovery the gambler needs to work on themselves one day at a time. They need to get someone to do their thinking for them; someone who has been in recovery some time and has there brains are working right (a sponsor) After some time in recovery their brains will start to work again. They will become productive on their job and become a good father and husband. Recovery is a process and does not happen without a lot of work on yourself .and by making a moral and financial inventory. People can recover and do.

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