New on-line legal poker site advertised on television
If you’re like most people, then perhaps you turn on your television before going to work in the morning or after dinner, maybe to catch the news or watch a favorite show. Sometimes we consider our time spent enjoying television as down time…a time to unwind and relax. Did you ever find yourself drawn in to a television ad that makes you stop and wonder about the real message of a television ad?
During the past week a new ad has been playing that talks about how you can “play unlimited risk-free poker online at ClubWPT where the ultimate legal poker experience lives.” Apparently, you can play for free, not risk any money or you can join for $19.95 and with this VIP membership have an opportunity to win $100,000 in cash or prizes every month. This new site is not a gambling website. According to one article: “In order for a website to be a gambling website, players will need to place money on a game like poker, blackjack, slots or other casino games and risk this money in order to gain prizes or cash. This does not happen in ClubWPT as players will not buy chips or place real money wagers in order to get cash prizes.” One can only join if they live in a country or state that allows such sweepstakes, as offered with the VIP membership (36 of our 50 states do allow such sweepstakes).
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG): “2 million (1%) of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for pathological gambling in a given year. Another 4-6 million (2-3%) would be considered problem gamblers; that is, they do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling, but meet one of more of the criteria and are experiencing problems due to their gambling behavior.” If only 500,000 of the 2 million U.S. adults who meet the criteria of pathological gambling signed-up for a VIP membership at $19.95 per month, then ClubWPT would take in $9,975,000 each month! Startling!
Former San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor now getting help with gambling addiction
This past week the news headlines have carried numerous reports about Maureen O’Connor’s gambling addiction and her resulting legal situation. On February 14, 2013, The New York Times reported:
“A former mayor of San Diego spent the last decade wagering more than a billion dollars at casinos across the country, eventually liquidating her savings, auctioning her belongings, selling off real estate, borrowing from friends and taking more than $2 million from a charity set up by her late husband, a fast-food tycoon. The former mayor, Maureen O’Connor, 66, blamed an addiction to gambling aggravated by a brain tumor for the gargantuan spree. Her lawyers said that while she had made well over a billion dollars in bets at casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and San Diego, her actual net losses were around $13 million.”
Federal prosecutors have agreed to allow O’Connor two years to repay the funds to the non-profit foundation and taxes owed to the government and she must receive treatment for her gambling addiction.
Medical facts behind gambling addiction
When we see reports about a person’s gambling addiction we often ask “how does this happen?” O’Connor has indicated that some of her gambling addiction was aggravated by a brain tumor. On February 18, 2013, KPBS, a public broadcasting network located at San Diego State University, aired an interview with David Peters, a San Diego family therapist. You can see the interview here where Peters discusses gambling addiction, the affect it has on families and the medical facts behind gambling addiction.
If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.
Hopefully there will be good that comes from people learning about Maureen O’Connor’s gambling addiction. Perhaps a conversation will start anew about problem gambling and its affect on the individual, families, children and even the workplace.
Last week the NCPG announced: “March 3 – 9, 2013 marks the nation’s 11th Annual National Problem Gambling Awareness Week. The theme this year is Problem Gambling: A New Understanding of a Community Concern. The annual campaign is a collaborative project initiated by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and carried out through a grass-roots effort by communities nationwide, including the 35 state affiliate Councils on Problem Gambling. The goal of the week is to raise awareness about the warning signs of problem gambling and the resources for help. It is also a celebration of the men and women who have successfully recovered from a gambling problem.”
Remember…recovery is possible.
Sure, everyone loves to gamble . . . if they win. But, the person sitting next to you in church, the man in line at the grocery store, or one of your co-workers; any one of these could be involved with a gambling problem. Imagine your grandmother committing a crime to support her gambling addiction. I am a recovering alcoholic, gambler, and have recovered from other addictive behaviors. I published a book, Gripped by Gambling, where the readers can follow the destructive path of the compulsive gambler, a prison sentence, and then on to the recovery road.
I recently published a second book, Switching Addictions, describing additional issues that confront the recovering addict. If a person who has an addictive personality, doesn’t admit to at least two addictions, he’s not being honest. Until the underlying issues have been resolved, the person will continue to switch addictions. These are two books you might consider adding to your library. I also publish a free online newsletter, Women Helping Women, which has been on-line for more than twelve years and is read by hundreds of women (and men) from around the world. (www.femalegamblers.info). I have been interviewed many times, and appeared on the 60 Minutes show in January 2011, which was moderated by Leslie Stahl.