Gambling addict makes mess in casino

 I was in the office when I got a phone call from one of the supervisors in the pit.

"It smells like s--t out here". At the time I did not take the call literally, so I asked her to clarify.

"What do you mean?" I said.

"I mean it really smells like s--t out here". Forced to investigate, I wandered out to the casino floor to find the caller and the smell feces. The culprit was  a normal looking lady who just could not leave her table for fear that her luck would change for the worse if she left for fifteen minutes to go to the washroom yards away.  Unfortunately, this was not the only time I encountered someone in this predicament.

Having spent over fifteen years in the casino industry, I've almost seen and heard it all. The glitz and glamour that is portrayed on the outside world is often different from the reality on the inside.   Las Vegas commercials portray  casinos in a fun and exciting atmosphere. While this is often the case, there is also an uglier side that shows how addictive gambling can be.

As a floor manager, I have had to kick out many people for being too intoxicated or even cheating. In the former case, I would inform the patron that they were barred for 24 hours from the casino. I would have security with me in case there was an altercation. But how do you tell a woman to go home because she's a mess? I told her as diplomatically as I could that while she was not being barred, it was kindly suggested that she go home to clean up. She was more than welcome to return the same day, I said. Thankfully, she took my suggestion.

Gambling addicts, like cigarette and drug addicts, have a psychological dependence on an activity. Compulsive gamblers lose their ability to control their betting patterns.

Gambling addiction often affects a person’s job, family and friends. In some cases, an addict may resort to crime in order to feed their habit. Recent research has shown that gambling addicts are not only addicted to winning, but to near-wins as well.

Compulsive gambling is considered an impulse control disorder. However, I know from my experience working in a casino how hard it is to determine when a person’s gambling should be considered compulsive. Professional poker players play for extended periods of time, yet their behaviour is not necessarily considered compulsive. Other gamblers may only play for an hour a day (or even a week) and show signs of compulsion.

Gamblers Anonymous offers a 20-question quiz to determine if someone has a gambling addiction. Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least a few of the question, such as, "did you ever gamble until your last dollar was gone?"

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