A blog article by Bonniejean Alford (Educator, Activist, World Citizen)
Recently my husband and I were at a Casino in Illinois. I was amazed to see a sign for a gambler’s registry. This registry is one in which a person can self register or be forced to register due to a court order. When I asked the security person about the registry, I was told that it is a great tool and most on it choose to be on it because they need help overcoming their addiction.
Yes, their addiction to gambling.
Gambling can be fun, if you only bet to your limit and don’t need that next fix. But it can become addictive. If you have ever had that high of winning, then the sudden loss of it all, and the need to feel the high of winning again, you can see how it could become addictive. Thankfully, I don’t have the addiction, but have witnessed more than a few people turn their life upside down to find that last dollar that they are sure to turn into millions.
Realistically, that last dollar may temporarily go up, but more than likely, it too will go to the house, leaving a gambling addict in a position where they can, and often do, lose everything. Many don’t seek help and keep spiraling out of control.
But this registry gives me hope for so many with a really big problem. But this registry should not be taken lightly simply because a person who knows they have a problem has chosen to be put on said registry. On the contrary, it should be taken very seriously, as if one who is on the registry is found in a casino through various means (one of which involves cameras doing facial recognition) then that person goes to jail.
Yes, to jail.
They have chosen an extreme solution to their problem, yes, but it may just have merit. From what the security guy at the casino said, it seems to help those on the list take back control over their life. Personally, I like the idea. Recognizing a problem is the first step to solving it, ans while this registry is a high risk proposition, in that one could end up in jail, it would, and likely does, act to deter a person recovering from such an addiction as gambling. I wonder if such a registry would work for other addictions such as alcohol and drugs.
At the very least, Illinois lawmakers got this one very right.