Archive for the ‘Social Commentary’ Category

The Only Proven Cure for a Gambling Addiction

December 18, 2007

By Carl Senna

The only proven cure for a gambling addiction is for the addict to own the gambling business. When a gambling addict discovers that selling the addiction to others can give a more profitable kick than feeding his own, he soon loses interest in spending his profits for disappointing odds. In gambling it’s always the greater of satisfactions to receive than to give. Management is averse to consuming what it wishes to sell.

One practical treatment for problem gamblers is seldom tried, although we know that, but for the expense, but for the odds of overcoming the gambling industry’s lobby, and but for the conventional laws and politics fearful of it, it works.

The cure involves the option to own the gambling machine, or gambling hall that the gambler patronizes. Offer a financial interest in a Video Lottery Terminal or a Slot machine to the player or let the player buy it. As the player assumes part of the ownership of the machine, the player is then entitled to earn money from others playing the machine. And now, instead of the player throwing money away by losing it in playing the machine, the player can then profit from the losses of other players. He or she may stand idly by the machine watching his or her investment grow by the minute; some owners of gambling operations prefer to simply sit at the bar watching a player throw money into the machine.

Most cured gamblers begin to respond to treatment once they start to receive a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly dividend from the profits of the VLT or slot machine. The rapidity of the cure depends on the profit levels that the former gambler receives and how often he or she has it on a regular basis. Treatment, of course, is for life. Once ownership of the gambling establishment or operation ceases, the former gambler is subject to a severe relapse.

The choice to receive assured profits on a regular schedule of payments or to spend income by playing for unlikely payoffs is a stark choice for the gambler. We know that the odds of winning with assured profits from the business revenue from the gambling of other untreated gamblers acts to discourage cured patrons of gambling who were once afflicted with assured losses, when they were on the other side of the VLT coin box, feeding it money rather than harvesting the money, as devoted customers of the casino or lottery. Similar kinds of opportunities to own the gambling game or hall could be made in card, dice, roulette, horse and dog racing, sports, and other games of chance.

So the prescribed formula for gambling addiction is this: Own the game, don’t try to own the odds stacked against you. Only problem with this prescription is that it will not work in most jurisdictions. When, upon the compulsion overtaking you to bet all you own in hopes of winning back everything you’ve lost, you should dare take the prescribed action to assume ownership of a gambling machine or gambling operation, you’ll then be arrested for theft. You’ll go to jail, like news mogul Conrad Black, for a long time. Or worse.

You see, you can’t take the only known cure for your gambling addiction unless you’ve received permission from your government, paid a fortune in legal fees and political payoffs, and unless you do not threaten to reduce the take of a government partnership with a lottery, casino or racino already in operation.