The Casinos and the Gamblers in Trouble
The Addiction with Slot Machines
Surviving by a Thread
I arrived in Saint Louis Missouri in 2006, from Texas and no matter where I have lived since I've been here or who I have met somewhere along the conversation the casinos seems to come up. I'm forever getting an invitation to go to the boat, so one day I decided oh what the heck, I'm going to except the invitation of a friend to go to the boat, I just had to see what all the fuss was about.
Now me not being a gambler, I had no intention of putting my money into some machine that I knew wasn't going to give it back. So I decided to simply watch the friends that I went there with play. One elderly lady who is a really great friend of mine had recently received a settlement of $80,000.00 due to the loss of her husband to mesothelioma.
I watched her give each one of her four children $5,000 dollars each to do with what ever they pleased, and then she invited me to go to the boat with her and her daughters, so I excepted the invitation. I watch this lady put hundred after hundred after hundred into the machine until it started to make me feel nausiated.
She lost so much money that night, if I had to guesstimate it would be right around $10,000, dollars do you know what some of us could do with $10,000 dollars? After we all separated and went on our way to our own homes I couldn't help for thinking, boy is she gonna feel that one tomorrow, sort of like a bad hangover.
But the thing that strikes me the most is, in that same family of 3 girls and one son who are all grown up mind you, there is another daughter the second to the oldest who really has a serious problem with gambling and those slot machines. She has gotten to the point where she now has to lie to family members so that they won't get upset at her for loosing her rent money, and her car payments and anything else that she can borrow to play at the casino.
I suggested that the family do an intervention and air it on television, giving her an ultimatum of either getting help with her addiction, or else they would no longer help and support her, but when they told me that they had already tried that, then I suggested that they seek the help of their family church and the paster, and they then informed me that they had been down that route too, and that the only thing she had done was lie to the paster and say that she wouldn't return to the boat, and the very next day she went straight to the boat after work.
So then I suggested that the family get together and find one family member that she looks up to and have them talk to her but they told me that she will listen to no-one. Now mind you I had not seen this behavior up close before she kept this side of herself very well hidden from me.
One day, she came to me and said that the reason that she spends so much time on the boat is because she has no friends, and me being the friendly bob that I 'am decided well okay, I will be your friend and I figured that if her and I could do fun things together and spend some girl time together that maybe that would take her mind off of being on the boat, but that didn't last long and the reality set in that she only wanted one more person that she could borrow money from.
Now it has come to my attention that she is several months behind on her rent and just the other day she asked me if I could lend her $150.00 to pay her car note, and this was one day after her payday, and she also received a settlement of $3,000.00 dollars from an accident that she had on the job that same day but two days later she was flat broke, I told her I'm broke and don't have any money.
This lady has threatened to commit suicide and kill herself to anyone who will listen, her family is so use to it, but what scares me is what if one of these times she's serious about committing suicide and actually goes through with it? I sure don't want that on my head.
Since I have been in Saint Louis, Missouri they have placed four more casinos around the perimeters of Missouri one on every corner of the Saint Louis map, and the majority of the casinos are filled with elderly people with nothing but boredom to keep them company.
My friend tells me that the elderly citizens use to go to the bingo halls here, but when the boats opened up, most of the bingo halls closed down leaving the elderly with nothing to occupy their time but the boats.
I have watched at least 30 elderly citizens and then some not so elderly spend a great deal of time and money on these boats, and you really can't blame the boats because they have simply found a gold mine in slot machines, but my heart goes out to those who are to weak to refuse the impulse and addiction of the slot machines which seem to keep calling them back for the chance at winning the big one.
What would you tell someone you knew with an gambling addiction so great that it is threatening even their well being and also threatening to put them out on the streets?
Any advice you can offer would greatly be appreciated as I'm completely out of options and advice for my friends family.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and if you find it interesting, or what ever please give it a thumbs up.
Sincerely, Viv Darling