Creating self change for the better

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.


73 thoughts on “Creating self change for the better

  1. I think this is a wonderful idea. It gives those who take the initiative in recovering from their addiction a real ultimatum that can set them back onto the right path. Its nice to see the government stepping in and helping those who are in need. But I don’t think they should stop there. This concept should be used in multiple area’s where an addiction has been taking hold over an individual. As you pointed out, a program such as this to help against drug addictions or alcohol addiction would make a substantial difference in addicts lives. For example, I’ve tried to separate myself from tobacco but somehow I always cave in. Implementing a system such as this that perhaps would not allow gas stations and convenience stores to sell you tobacco would really ease my desire for it. Another factor helping those with such an addiction is the recent tax hike on those products. Though I’m not a fan of the government stepping in our lives that deep, I believe that if we personally grant the government the power to help us, we would greatly benefit from it.

    1. I feel that for once I agree with what Illinois is deciding to do. I feel that it’s a very non-selfish way of actually helping those people whom are in need of help. It’s crazy that they would actually do this because I feel that if I weren’t a gambler and just walked in and seen that I would probably walk right out for the fear of turning into a gambler. It’s extremely shocking, and really shows how they are actually thinking of the people for once and not just about the mass profit that casinos are making off of all the money that is gambled each night. I guess that to a certain degree it can be used to their benefit being that it will give that ease to people who gamble. It basically provides them with that peace of mind that if they were to ever need help the help would be there. It gives gamblers self-assurance that things won’t get out of control and that if they do, there will be somebody there to help them guide through it all. Gambling is a problem that many Americans face and leads for them to end up in depression and there are a great amount of cases that have resulted in suicide. People just lose control of their lives and finances, and just feel overwhelmed and that their life is over. I’m just very glad that people can admit when they have a problem and actually seek the help that they need to help themselves.

    2. I personally think this is only a good idea if it is done WILLINGLY. If someone is willing to put their freedom on the line if it means removing their addiction is fine by me. However, this does seem a little extreme to me. Imagine someone is banned from drinking for the rest of their lives because they were caught drinking and driving? They go through AA, they believe they have the self control to handle a little alcohol…only to find that the state has made the decision for them. Seems sketchy to me.

  2. Addiction is addiction, and I truly believe we could use a couple more programs like this, just as you had proposed, for drinking and even prescription drugs. Coming from a long family history of addiction to multiple substances/activities I have seen, and can reiterate the effects that addictions have on family just like you said.

    But something should also be said about the companies that are profiting from these personal/family disparities. I know first hand how addictive the lottery can be, you see I won. Just last week I received my winnings of a check for one thousand dollars from the Illinois lottery on a one dollar scratch off card. I would be lying if I said that I did not want that “high of winning again” and this is where the problem lies for many people. I am grateful that I have a background in addiction and I know how addictive that these “games” can be.

    It is easier for someone like me who is knowledgeable about the threats of addiction to not spin into a world wind of addiction. But I also work at a gas station and see the people who spend hundreds of dollars a day on scratch off cards. Their is something to be said about educating to public on these issues, now more than ever.

    Overall I think that some type of movement should be made to lower the risks of gambling problems. Instead of simply saying please call
    1-800-GAMBLER, the companies that have created the destruction of lives should take charge and attempt to put an end to gambling addictions.

  3. I remember talking about this in class briefly and i was amazed that there was such a thing as a gambler’s registry! My uncle had a gambling addiction and still goes to Gambler’s Anonymous alot now to support his new lifestyle away from gambling. Unfortunately, he had lost most of what he had a handful of years ago. I’ve seen what it’s like for him to go through that and i think that this gambler’s registry could have been the tool to save him and his possessions. I strongly agree with you when you said that as soon as you recognize your problem, you have made a great step towards personal recovery. We’ve actually been talking about this sort of thing in my Addictions class, and how it could work for drugs. I find that something like this could help, and it could be worth a shot.

    1. I don’t know anyone in my immediate family who gambles but I do know people personally either distant family, or family friends. I know I have seen it take a toll on the families, marriages, and children. Situations like this and the effects that the gambling addiction can destroy the lives of everyone. One thing I have learned about people who have this addiction is; Gambling produces nothing, but it will take everything.

    2. It’s unfortunate when it hits to close to home. It’s sad when people have made millions feeding off of an individuals weaknesses, and then decide to make a law so strong to punish them. They create these systems of chance for people who have a lack of control, and then create a safe haven within the very same building to assist with it. It’s a form of human mitigation. If you destroy a part you have mitigate to fix it.

      1. This is so true and I never thought of it in that light before. This seems to happen often in our society. It’s almost funny, on every casino commercial you see and hear; casinos advertise how great the place is and lure gamblers in. Directly after, they advertise help for gamblers with addictions. Although it is great that casinos have put such programs into place, the persecution is a bit extreme. Jail time for a gambling addict is unfair. Where is the punishment for the casinos? After all they created the problem and continuously reap from it.

  4. I have never heard of anything like this before. I am so amused by this blog and the info I just read. I actually have many distant family members who are sucked into the “gambling addiction.” Thankfully my immediate family does not have that problem. I myself am 25 years old and have never been to a Casino. I eventually would like to experience it but I do not want to get drawn into that type of lifestyle, although I know I am very strong willed and hate, hate to loose money. But on a serious note, I am glad some Casino’s are stepping up and helping people with this mental illness own up to their impulse-control problems a person may suffer from. Eventually people can start to slowly but surely control their urge.

  5. when problems are extreme they call for extreme solutions. I personally don’t allow myself to gamble. I knew that I had to stop myself before I got anymore out of hand then I was. (the night that I promised myself I would not gamble anymore was the same night I lost 300 bucks playing pool). i find the gambler registry to be a great idea. I feel that it could be a good way for people to quit smoking if they want to. It seems like it would be very applicable to it.

  6. I agree with Connor, the ‘high’ that you get while gambling is what keeps many people coming back to casinos. I believe that the more people that hear about this registration, the more that would take advantage of it to control their addictions. These games are constructed for people to keep trying and pressing their luck, and even after a long losing streak, people still have hope that they can win at least one more before they even decide to quit. The lottery, as Connor explained, is a great example of this.

    1. The lottery is a great example, another good example would be the “high” people get from drinking as well. People use drinking as a crutch to remove themselves from similar situations. An alcoholic has different habits and uses drinking regularly to cope with life problems and stress. People who have a drinking problem often find it difficult to manage their lives. This is also the same case as someone who gambles. They might find it hard to overcome this disease.

      1. I don’t agree with the actions of the registry. I don’t think any person should be subjected to going to jail just for being in a casino. Even though this person chose that for them self isn’t it possible that they’ve made a mistake? Winning is being mentioned as a ‘high’ like it’s some other state of consciousness where they lose control of their actions and keep betting. Well wouldn’t the low also be influential on their decisions? At any rate, I don’t believe any addiction should be punished with jail time.

    2. Brandon, I can see where your coming from this is a extreme measure, but with out repercussions for actions people can learn from mistakes and with out the low there is no high. As well with your mention to the high it is beyond the control physiologically it is the physical need like a runners high these feelings that are uncontrollable much like these games themselves.

  7. I agree with this article 100%. Many people are addicted to gambling and it can affect their lives dramatically. With a family and a household it is a challenge to recover from this addiction or any other addiction. In Islam, it is haram (forbidden) to gamble because of such acts that come after the process of gambling. God only wants to lead you to the right path and that’s why it is forbidden to practice this act. I think it’s a great idea for Illinois to help people with their gambling addiction. It can be very dangerous to many families. Yay for creating social change for the better!

    1. Mariam, you have a valid point. I have heard that it is haram, and agree 100% and although in Christianity the bible does not state that gambling or to gamble is a sin, we cannot assume that it isn’t sinful just because it is not mentioned. Just like illegal drugs and pornography are not mentioned as well but we can all assure ourselves that they violate the 10 commandments.

  8. I think that is a great idea. Knowing several people who gamble, and actually seeing them in the act of gambling is a scary thing. I noticed the fear yet excitment, the color on their face disappearing in anxiousness, kind of look on their face and it is very noticable that they have an addicition. Whene ever a friend gets his/her paycheck and plan on going out to gamble, knowing they have bills to pay and other responsibilites is a frightening thought. Although they don’t go to the casino often, the habit of gambling still takes an effect in the outside. Betting on sports teams, betting on card games, etc is also a form of gambling. Although they can’t put a registry when with a group of friends playing cards, I think it does help having it in places like a casino where tons of people money are being spent.

  9. This is very good to know. Not only for casinos should this be placed but also for Illinois Lottery players. I currently manage a liquor store and we have the lottery machine in there, its sick to see many customers playing over three hundred dollars every day for midday and evening. I’m not judging anyone on how they spend their money but in reality when you play so much and lose everyday shouldn’t you get the point? Now there are numbers you can call on the back of the tickets but still many people don’t think they have a “gambling problem.” The first step is admitting you have a problem and recognizing that problem than you should go get the help needed.

    1. Having this sign up in all stores that sell the Lottery can be very beneficial. I worked at my dad’s grocery store in Chicago for many years. I saw the same faces daily. That would spend $20 on scratch offs and then ask for a discount when it came to groceries for their children. Also take cash advances from credit cards or Link card to play the numbers. This is also a sickness, that continues through many years of their life. Some people don’t acknowledge this as gambling or that is not out of control because it is not a large lump sum of money like someone in the casino would play with. But all these lead to the same problems eventually.

  10. Health care in the United States is in a time for change. Thousands of people in this country are without health care, so their lives could be at risk if they get sick or injured. In the documentary Sicko, a man without health care chopped his middle and ring finger off when sawing wood. The man then had to decide at the hospital which finger he wanted to keep because he could not afford to have both fingers reattached. This is not the way to work health care. Other countries, like England and France, have free health care for everyone. Even places like Cuba and Canada have free health care. The Capitalist country we live in does not care about a human’s life, but care a whole lot about the money in their pockets. Insurance companies would rather save money then save a life.

  11. I never knew there was a gambling addiction registry, that is a very clever way to help addicts. the casino sees everyone as walking dollar signs, not thinking that they could be addicts and that they could not knowingly perpetuate the addicts problem. adapting this to other things such as alcohol for example, if someone has too many D.U.I.s or is a registered alcoholic they can’t buy alcoholic products at stores. this could also be arranged in many different ways for many different addictions. I think this would be a great idea and it should be adapted for more uses.

  12. I believe this is a great program that every state should have to protect their people. People’s lives are greatly impacted if they have an addiction to gambling. Their families can even be negatively affected. For instance, my grandma had a gambling addiction. She would go practically every day to the casino for hours on end. Eventually, she was in a lot of debt. She ended up losing everything, even her house. A program to help people will avoid them ruining their life.

  13. Wow, is the first word that comes to my mind after reading this article. I understand there are many addictions in this world and I do understand that gambling is one that many don’t recognize as being a problem. I know someone personally who is addicted to gambling. He is an excellent mechanic and fixes everyone’s car that I know. At one point he had his own shop. After Many years of gambling he lost his shop and with the money he makes from fixing cars, he could have a big beautiful house but instead he and his wife live in a small shack type home. I know many may feel that going to jail may be extreme, but sometimes its what we need to help us get where we need to be. Also, just knowing that if you go into the casino you risk going to jail, may stop many from going. People loose their homes, cars, jobs and families over this addiction, and i think the registry can help solve some of the desire to go bet your all.

  14. I am not sure I agree that this is a good idea entirely. I do think that it could be very useful in helping some overcome their addiction. On the contrary, I think this might be a misuse of the police and their time. I would say that there might be a better use of this type of registry. If the person would be apprehended by Casino security and instead of being sent to jail, their addiction counselor or therapist was notified via email of each time they attempted to gamble. This way the counselor or therapist can hold them accountable for their actions. Addiction to gambling is not a legal offense but it is a mental health issue and providing appropriately trained professionals may be more affective than incarceration.

  15. So this registry is or you to register yourself as an addicted gambler and face a court order if you go to a gambling parlor? It seems hard to believe that people with gambling addictions would actually go through with this idea, however if it is used, then it could be a good idea. One thing that struck me as odd, is that it isn’t limited. What I mean is, they set up a limit to how much you spend or how often you go and if you exceed this limit, only then will you face a jail sentence or court order. To me it seems like quitting your addiction “cold turkey” which could work for some or lead to more destructive behaviors for others. In addition to the registry I feel they should offer a limited option in which you’re only allowed to spend a certain amount per week, month or year so that way its more like weening off an addiction rather than cold turkey. I suggest both options be available for increased effectiveness of the registry system.

    1. I agree with most of what you say. I also feel like the only reason why the concept of weening off an addiction isn’t being used because its hard for someone to set boundaries for themselves. Would the registry have set options or would the person punch in the numbers for themselves? Wouldn’t it make a possibility to set an amount that wouldn’t really consider quitting. I say that a lot of variables should be taken into account before this idea is set into action.

  16. This article was very true when talking about our society as a whole. There are many addictions among the world population and research is constantly being done as to what type of treatment is effective. Most of the treatment programs for these addictions tend to have very harsh and rigid guidelines that, if broken, have rough punishments. Although those may work at times, a lot of the time they do not. I believe that one of the main causes for addictions is the process in which we are socialized as we develop. The controversy of nature versus nurture ties in with the socialization process. Do you believe it is environmental influences that cause addictions to form? Or do you think that it is in your genes, that are passed on from generation to generation?

  17. I do not entirely agree with this registry. While on the surface it might seem like a great solution to this serious problem, I think that it is a bit invasive. I think that people who choose to be on the registry have that right. If they made the decision while they were trying to overcome their addiction, then they are making a positive change. Hopefully that extra threat will help deter them from gambling. However I think that with gambling, as with other addictions, being sent to jail is not always the answer. Using drugs such as heroine, cocaine and even prescription is illegal but there are still many people who are addicts. They know that if they are caught using they will be subjected to fines, jail time, and social judgment but still they use. I think that if this registry was used to identify people with a recurrent gambling problem and then offer them real help it would be more effective. Instead of jail time they should be offered counseling guidance and information about gambling anonymous. They should actually be given tools to help them instead of a short stint in jail and then they are right back in their old environment where they will probably go back to their old ways. They would also now have an arrest record due to addiction. If they do manage to turn their situation around, finding a job or housing will be more difficult because of this criminal record.

  18. I have heard of this registry to gambling addiction before, but never got the full scoop on it. Upon reading this I was surprised to stumble upon the fact that if a person is on the registry and walks in the casino to gamble, they go to jail. Yea I think that’s taking it to extremes for ya, but if it helps then hey it helps get people back on their feet. Sometimes precautions like that need to be taken in order to curb an addiction. Sadly enough there are too many addictions and reading the last sentence I wonder too if that strategy could work for other people struggling with something different. Interesting blog.

  19. This solution to deter gambling addicts from gambling does seem a bit extreme. Yes, jail may straighten someone out, but that might be a bit too much. A better solution would be to simply not allow them to come into the casino and possibly fine them. Facial recognition however, is a brilliant solution to monitor the gamblers and make sure everything is in order. A gambling addiction can truly turn someone’s life upside down, but that’s what gambling rehab is for.

  20. As it is becoming more prevalent in our society, issues involving gambling can hold serious consequences over many peoples lives. It is even something I have seen happen, as friends of my family have wasted away entire life savings on the thrill of being up some money one minute to losing almost all their fortune the next. Because I have experienced such devastation in their lives, I am one of those people who believes these registries are a great idea. In this sense, I know that our friend would not have stopped gambling unless they were forced to in such a situation or they were completely broke. Because of this and since we didn’t want to see them forced out into living on the street, I feel this is the kind of solution which would help them, or give them the extra push of encouragement (or in this case discouragement) that they need. It shows much strength over weakness to be able to seek help and confront such an issue rather than to give into your old habits. Counter-wise, the solution of jail time seems a little extreme. However, if someone is able to acknowledge their problems in such a significant way, and then to revert back to their reckless behavior is unhealthy. After that, perhaps the extra rehabilitation is what that person needs in order to get their old life back.

  21. Addiction is addiction no matter what. I have never heard of anything like this registry. Gambling can be a lot of fun if you give yourself a limit and know when to stop, but some people do not know when to stop. I think that the registry gives gamblers the chance to get help with major repercussions for their actions. I personally think that if I had a gambling issue and I could be serving jail time for going into a casino I would most definitely stay out. I do wonder if this would help people with other addictions as well. I think it would be a great idea to try and stop struggling addicts.

  22. This seems like a very strict way to deal with your addiction, but if it works then who cares if it is a bit strange. I have not heard of anything like this, but it does not seem like a bad idea. It’s too bad a system like this has not been created for other types of addiction, like alcoholism or everything on the tv show My Strange Addiction. However these would both be much harder to moderate because gambling is so well maintained. Whether it was court mandated or these people sign up for the registry on their own, this is a new step in self created tough on crime punishments. Which is not be a bad thing in our society.

  23. I think this registry is a good idea for the most part, I have seen it before. Having been to a few casino’s myself I have found it hard to leave a few times. It is pretty addictive and I have seen people spend there whole paychecks at the casino and go home pockets on E. But I think that the whole go to jail thing is little bit too far. I mean you get sent to jail its not like you are causing harm or breaking the law. But if that is the extremes people have to go to overcome there addiction then that is on them. I do think that is a good thing that casinos offer help I seen a bunch of different pamphlets at the casino before offering help or counseling which is a good alternative if you think you might slip up to avoid going to jail.

  24. Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say
    that this write-up very compelled me to check out
    and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me.

    Thank you, quite great article.

  25. This registry should not only be implemented in Illinois but too all of the states in America. I can relate to this article because I fall into that category of being addicted to gambling. I dont gamble in a casino because I am not old enough to get in but, a year ago I would spend hundred or 2 hundred dollars a month in lottery tickets. I always had high hopes of winning the big ticket and that is what got me gambling. It becomes very addictive and my parents noticed it and knew it was trouble. I had to be told by my parents and uncles who faced the same thing I did to stop this addiction because it will only lead to losing a lot of money and nothing in return. I have a 30 year old cousin who I hear a lot of stories about him gambling a lot and having financial problems. Gambling will lead people to lose everything and it will devastate the economy.

  26. I don’t know if i agree with the whole go to jail part but i do think that this registry is a good idea. I have a relative that had a bad gambling problem but he beat it by having his wife control all of their money so he wouldn’t be tempted to gamble. I think however there could be different ways to go about this registry instead of putting people in jail cause that’s just going to end up costing the person more money. i think that instead of sending the person to jail just don’t let them in the casino or if they do let them in the casino give them a limit so that after they lose a certain amount of money they get kicked out for the day or just aren’t allowed to gamble anymore.

    1. I am in agreement with you. I mean sending a person to jail for gambling. When there is plenty of gambling going on behind bars is not the way to handle the situation. There are alternatives as you said with your relative. Also I think sending the person to a rehabilitation rehab would be better suited instead of jail.

  27. i dont agree with the whole regestry in terms of alchohl and drugs. i say this because those are addictions, and unlike a casino there are many other ways to get around to those items that they use to get their fix. you couldnt complety cancel out the access to drugs and alchohl especially when drugs arnt governed they are sold by normal people who blend in to the public. the closest you can come to a casino registry is AA and 12 Step programs. you cant stop an addiction by simply one day saying im done a addiction becomes an addiction when it becomes an everyday problem that interfers with you life. plus throwing them in jail might and i say might provide a steping stone to soberity, but jail isnt the answer. we want to re educate and provide tools in order to help them kick their addiction.

    1. I agree with you Tyler, Jail is not the answer to the problem with addiction. Registry is the most appropriate way to handle the situation with people having gambling problems. It wouldnt be appropriate for having murderers and gambling addicts in the same room. Gambling shouldnt be penalized harshly but to be coped with a program that will make sure that gambling will end.

  28. What people conceive when they here about addictions usually revolves around the use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. The reality is that there are many other countless addictions out there that people have and one that is barely bleeping on the radar is gambling. Gambling has become a popular addiction that has swept through America from right under the table, and those who suffer from this addiction is bringing financial debt upon themselves and their families. Treatment for this should be immediate, and in regards to the comment of Rigoberto, the addiction will not be solved by any means if the addict is sent to jail.

  29. The registry is a good idea because gambling addiction is so bad and different from other type of addiction like smoking because in smoking, you already know the end result as negative but in gambling the addicted person always have hope and belief that is not actually there.
    My only concern is if a person that is registered in one casino cannot go and continue in another casino as there are a lot of casinos in Illinois. And I also hope there is counseling for these addicts that are registered.

  30. This is indeed a great idea. There are various ways to force a person to go “cold turkey”. For example, I know of a website addon that blocks the installer from going to certain websites for a specific amount of time. Only when the time is up can you uninstall the addon and choose to go back to the area of the internet you were previously addicted to.
    However, I as with the addon, I worry about a time being up where the gambler is allowed back in, just to start the cycle over.

    1. Pardon me. What about the group that is NOT on the internet? What if there are those that do not follow or participate in the site. We cannot limit resources to a time frame on a site. There are people that refrain from addiction but relapse after significant time. It serves its purpose I’m sure, just too limiting.

  31. Gambling addiction is near to my heart due to someone in my family who has struggled with this. In terms of the registration, I feel this is a necessary evil. It labels those who may have found this to be a recreational outlet into a stigma. On the upside, those who battle this addiction, who registered themselves by force or self will, may need this additional crutch for support to make better choices. Even after one has chosen to show up to a place that is notorious for breakdown.

  32. The idea is a good idea as it relates to having such a tough program for a gambling addiction. However, I find it strange after you feed the pig you find a way to kill it. That would be as confusing as a liquor store providing alcohol anonymous in the store. That says something about our society. We are able to place a person in a position of harm, and then punish them for it when they are addicted to a service you offer. We see this with drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, etc. Corporations profit off of pain, and then offer an attempt to patch you up. I suggest that they recognize a person in the facility that seems as if they are having a gambling problem, remove them from th facility, and send them with the information to deal with their addiction.

    1. Addictions of any kind are very tricky to deal with. Receiving a punishment is not enough, gamblers need help or some sort of program to draw them away from their addiction. It’s not as if a person will just suddenly stop gambling because they put their names on the registry. This only shows a person is serious about wanting help to overcome the problem. However it does not just erase the problem. I think the registry should at least have some form of second chance to it such as a three strike policy as well as introducing programs that offer help.

      1. Lindsey that is a good idea. It takes some people a couple of tumbles to get it right. When you are dealing with such a heavy addiction, thats someghing that is embedded in you. It does not resolve over night. What will keep them from the lotto, or any private gambling activity. I am curioius to see how the program is modified overtime and if it is proven helpful.

  33. I think that this is a very good thing. This way people who gamble can face the consequences and learn from their mistakes. They would learn that maybe gambling is a bad thing and they should stop what they’re doing. I feel like everyone who goes to casinos to gamble should sign the registry. This way if they have a problem but don’t want to get help or admit it, they can realize what is going on with them and possibly get help. I don’t think they should get in trouble the first time though because I feel like they should get a warning. They might not be addicted but just like doing it because it is fun. Going to jail isn’t going to help solve anyone’s addiction problem, it’s only going to make the go crazy because they can’t do what they want to do.

  34. People with addictions can be very hard to help, and it is hard for them to deal with. I like the idea of people being able to put themselves on a registry in order stop their addiction. The fact that these people already know they have a problem is a step in the right direction, but for them to put themselves on a registry that will keep them away from gambling all together almost assures them of stopping. I do think that this should not being taken lightly by people who see it, and if they consider doing this then they should know what they are signing up for. I think this is a good way for people who have a serious addiction problem to put it to a stop and learn from their mistakes.

    1. I agree. Individuals with addictive personalities are really difficult to help. Most of their issues go deeper than the addiction themselves. It can be lack of coping skills, abuse, or many underlying issues attributing as to why a person may rely on their addiction. The program will assist with them staying out of the casinos. However, will it aide with the issues that lead an individual into the casinos.

  35. I did not know that some casinos have this. I think it is for a good because i had no idea people are losing everything they have. I did not know it was a big. Using this machine might help them. I think they have to be willing to be helped in order for the helping to occur. they cannot just put their name in a machine and be helped magically, they have to be wiling. The thing that helps is that there is a serious punishment. they could end up in jail. Lots of people do not want to spend any of their time in jail. So that punishment could help people because they will see the worst possible situation and try to avoid that at all costs.

      1. This is amazing. I totally had no idea whatsoever this was an actual addiction and my mother is actually a drug and alcohol counselor. I went to school with her and they never spoke of this addiction. It would make sense. However, yet again playing devil’s advocate, just a thought. There are many additions, that only affect the abuser and does not infringe on others rights, if the state will step in for this what else might the state step in on? Then why are so many opposed to regulating the fast food industry? soda intake? or other additions that don’t affect anyone but that single individual. Although, I do not oppose this idea or law, it is truly great, but I am fearful that the state government is actually over stepping its boundaries. Just a different perspective of this law.

  36. When it comes to this registry it is a strange thing to think about. Yes, it is a step forward for improving those with a gambling problem but what is it doing for the image of casinos themselves. It is quite funny, I think, that at the steps of the building causing the problem there is this extreme measure to prevent the problem it may cause. There are those who oppose expansion of casinos saying that it attracts wrong immoral behavior in society. Things such as this may be a way of casinos making themselves look good. The problems that may be caused are negated. It is completely possible that very little people use such a program and thus this system is more of a charade than anything else. This brings up a whole new argument of what is the proper way to handle problems with addiction and the responsibilities of casinos to the people they affect.

  37. Casino registry: that is a terrible idea. This is another case of freedom being taken from a person who is to say that a person can’t live the way they want no matter the consequences to themselves. All these baby laws that have been made in the past 20 years are just ways of not taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Now does this promote self-change, no, this is a forced change, for survival. By removing the temptation from the people’s lives it will only cause them to seek other forms of excitement or extreme forms of solutions. Perhaps turn to drugs, violence, and a life of crime. I revert to my first point, that choice is personal, if that’s what they want they can only blame themselves.

    1. The registry is a CHOICE that people make for their own personal change. It can be a requirement of legal outcomes, just like forced AA or NA meetings. But this registry is not a requirement set up and forced on people (unless a condition of a criminal case). Rather, it is a case of an individual recognizing that they have a gambling problem and self selecting to put their name (and picture) on the registry so they cannot enter legal establishments to feed their habit.

  38. Being aware of your own problems is definitely a step forward in to finding a solution to fixing it. Even though the time being spent in jail as being a consequence is a bit much, sometimes people need that extreme to really make them snap out of it to let them know this is their reality. Gambling, like any other addictive activity can take you to a place of sudden euphoria or straight to a spiraling black hole. With an individual’s awareness can also stimulate awareness of other underlying problems they may have and address them with caution as well.

  39. I completely agree with everything that you have written here. I think the registry was a great idea. It’s nice to see the government stepping in and doing something about the addiction. Also the going to prison part, I believe that is the best solution for someone with an addiction. Yes it’s extreme, but let’s be realistic that is the best place for a recovering addict. Your completely shut off from gambling. I think that’s also a good idea for drugs and alcohol. it’s cheaper than rehab and I believe it would have a better chance for patients to actually recover. Because from my personal experiences rehab doesn’t always work. And then sometimes they end up in jail anyways for something stupid.

  40. Imagine walking into a building, rolling some dice, then be given a few thousand dollars. That seems like something I’d want to get addicted to wouldn’t you? Well not if you’re losing more times than you win, but you want the feeling to hit it big so you keep going back for more just to keep falling into a even deeper hole. You tell yourself just one more time then I’ll break even and I won’t have to worry then you don’t. Signing a gambling registry seems like a very good idea because it could save you from yourself. I imagine most of the time it’s court ordered and if casinos are actually good enough at picking up these people because of a registry then that is an excellent way to control gambling addiction. Realistically that is the possibly the only and best way to stop it.

  41. I agree with the above comment. It’s also brave. It takes a lot to admit fault especially of that size. Addiction is something that takes over the mind and the body. In the essence of gambling it takes the body to roll the dice. There are similar situations when a drug addict goes to a doctor and is prescribed a medication in which will make the body sick when this medication and the drug of choice are mixed. That is also a brave and hard decision. Most addicts push themselves into such extreme situations for their high. But just like addiction is extreme so then needs to be what helps to cure it. I would like to know on what small scale things like this resemble. Is it similar to a rubber band snap on the wrist for nail biting or bad thoughts? And how to take it to a simple level. Something to think about.

  42. I had no idea such a system existed. I too have seen other gamble away more than they should. It’s sad how even when told by someone they know to walk away while they’re up and they don’t. They keep going and lose all their winnings and then some. I feel bad when I lose $100 just because it could have been used for something useful like a phone bill in the future. But to see people lose cars and homes is hard to watch when they refuse anyone’s help, including friends and family. I guess that’s what it takes for some people to see how bad their addiction really is. It’s good to know that programs like this exist for the ones who have no other options that work. There just may be hope for those extreme cases.

  43. Addiction is addiction. Any type of addiction is hard to get rid of it. People need to go in for so many programs and then it will help themselves to come out of it. For example, smoking and drinking becomes an addiction for some people. They can’t go a day without it. It is hard for them too. Addiction is something harmful for every human being. Sometimes people lose everything in gambling and they don’t even know anything until they realize it.

  44. First off, alcohol is a drug. Secondly, those types of registries do exist in the form of DUI cases at the very least. Once on file, any offender who repeats yet again would have any suspended sentence or current sentence compounded. These systems are less of a case of deterrence and rather cases of retribution because the action would have to take place in order for the punishment to take place. It would be considered a deterrence if the practice of jailing repeat offenders was more advertised as to deter any offense.

  45. I think this is an extremely good idea from the casinos. The punishment may be extreme but this is a good idea in the right direction. At some point I would like to see this in maybe liquor stores and smoke stores as well. For and idea if liquor stores will agree to this maybe have a list for people to sign if they are addicted to alcohol. As for a punishment for trying to buy alcohol maybe just fine them money and not give them the product. Same with cigarettes people who are addicted can maybe sign a list and if they try buying products other than the ones that help you quit smoking, then fine them. I honestly don’t think getting sent to jail because you showed up to a casino is the right form to teach someone. Maybe just a slap on the wrist once in a while would work. For extreme addicts maybe up the fine or instead of costing people money how about their time? Give them community service hours for trying to buy the product they are addicted to or the activity they are addicted to. This is a very great article and I hope to see this in more casinos or other gaming places.

  46. Just like with the registry something does exist for drugs and alcohol. It’s a shot called Vivitrol. It is a shot that is an extended release blocker. What it does is block of the receptors in the brain for opioids and alcohol. One can get the shot and never feel the effects from alcohol and opioids during the shots lifespan. This too can be an extreme solution like going to jail, for while this is used for alcoholics or drug addicts the down side is they don’t know when to stop. If they fall off the wagon they won’t feel the effects and keep trying to take more but never get drunk or high until they just overdose or get alcohol poisoning. Having been a casino goer nothing beats the lights and thrill of winning. This also might be due to the fact most people believe it’s all luck that there’s no skill to it. But overall how would a registry work for drugs? I understand alcohol make it so the cashiers have to scan your ID and if you’re registered then they can’t sell to you.

  47. I too like this idea. While I do think jail is a little bit of an extreme, I do feel it can be appropriate for someone who is under court order. The idea of it being voluntary also makes it a good idea. If someone has a gambling problem, the idea of going to jail could be enough to scare them into taking back their life. I also think the chance of them repeating their habits and making the same mistakes would be greatly reduced. They should expand this to apply to things like the lottery. Gambling problems aren’t limited to just casinos. If the government did more things like this to try and help people, we could end up becoming better as a society.

  48. One of the single hardest things for any one person to do, is change the way they act. I believe that any and all means that people can use voluntarily to help them with their addictions or shortcomings is a good thing, as breaking habits, especially ones that destroy your life, can be one of the most difficult things you will ever do in your life. Psychological bonds in your mind can be near impossible to break, and if it takes extreme measures to help you with those demons, I say all for it. No matter how bad the repercussions may be, I think in the long run people will be glad they were finally able to break free from their chains.

  49. I’m very fond of this article and the registry. It’s hard to people to accept the fact that they have a problem in the first place, and for someone with a problem to seek help? That’s pretty great! I love that there’s a way to help out individual’s who want to be helped! Although the consequences are a little… scary, but necessary in order for the program to work. Once addiction begins to take over your life you loose yourself every day more and more, which is why I support and i am so glad to see that programs like this exist

  50. At first while reading this I thought it was a bit extreme to go to jail if you step foot in a casino but the more I started to think about it this program probably really helps people! You need to think about it this way, if they didn’t stop the problem they could do the same things a heroine addict would do – steal from family and friends to continue the addiction they are taking part in. I think that this is a very useful tool not only for gamblers but it relates to something similar they have for alcoholics there is this pill you take everyday and when you take it you cant drink any alcohol or you will violently vomit and reject it. But in the end of all of this if that person doesn’t want to seek help there isn’t a thing anyone can do about it they live there life you cant do it for them no matter how much you want to.

  51. I think the registry is a crude solution to gambling addiction that truly has a greater underlying problem. Personally, I would classify gambling addiction is a mental illness, and I personally think that I exhibit a mild case of it. Rather than force those to abide by the law, we should be helping them get cured, because its not just about the casinos. Gamblers can find other ways to get their “high,” like playing these new genres of video games where real money spent will give you random rewards in the game, which can be good or bad. Gamblers have many ways to satisfy their need, and this registry only affects casinos, which aren’t the root cause, but a single outlet.

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