Gambling can be a fun and rewarding hobby, yet people addicted to the game can make a mess out of their lives and clothes.
A manager of a large well know Las Vegas casino described an unfortunate incident which best illustrates the differences between people who enjoy gambling and those unfortunates who’ve lost control, and in the words of Gamblers Anonymous are – ‘allergic to gambling.’
The manager was called to the blackjack sub-section of the casino floor to resolve an unusual situation, caused by an offensive odor which permeated the area. To his surprise he found a well dressed middle ages woman, playing blackjack card games, who was the source of the odor.
A short investigation revealed that the player has been at the table without getting up for close to 15 hours, and as she put it ‘was on a lucky steak’. She revealed that she was superstitious and afraid to leave her place at the table for a bathroom break, loose her ‘luck’ and ‘miss out on the lucky cards.’
Unfortunately for herself and those around her, she lost something besides her luck. She lost the ability to control her behavior and violated all casino table manners.
This clearly illustrates when an activity becomes compulsive, unmanageable and self-destructive. Whether it’s compulsive smoking, drinking, eating, sex, or gambling, there are those unfortunates who should not participate in certain activities due to either an inability to moderate, self-control or due to genetic causes.
It is not important what the root cause is, but important to understand that this activity should not be indulged-in for that particular individual. The inability to leave a blackjack table for a five minute break in 10 hours can’t be understood by many, yet for a gambling addict in the grip of the game it’s a perfectly normal thing to do.
Las Vegas is an exciting, glamorous city where millions of people come to unwind, be entertained and forget the mundane stresses of everyday life. Yet behind the gilts and glamour (to use a cliché), casino management is forced to deal with dozens of daily incidents that are both shocking and disturbing to outsiders.
As the manager recalls, this was not his first or his fiftieth time dealing with a similar problem. With decades of experience working as a casino floor manager, he was forces to eject, detain and ban hundreds of people from the casino for being drunk or high, violent, and for stealing and cheating.
In this case, he found a diplomatic solution and the woman was driven home by casino security. She was assured that she would be allowed to return the same day and was not banned from the premises. She must have learned some new blackjack tricks while away on her two day long ‘bathroom break.’ Upon her return, her luck was better than ever and she took home a considerable amount of casino’s money.
Gambling addiction could affect a player’s life, job, family and friends. History shows many cases when an addict will turn to crime to finance their habit. According to recent research, gambling addicts are not only addicted to winning, but to near-winning as well. Recent research indicates that blackjack is now being used to treat cocaine addiction in Switzerland.