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To Play One's Life's Away: Addictive Gamblers

2670 words - 11 pages

In 1976, 0.77% of Americans were addictive gamblers, about 1,100,000 people; however today the situation is more serious (Horn). About 4-6 millions of Americans are gamblers, everything in a casino is designed to lure a person in and make them stay("FAQs - Problem Gamblers"). There's alcohol, a comfortable enviroment, and deep in the casino, there are buzzers that sounded like someone had won. Also the slot machines still flash as if you've won and there's no clock to remind you how much time you've spent, none (Robb 3). It's just you and the game, without the worries of the outside world. Gambling is an addictive drug turning people into alcoholics, homeless, criminals, etc, while the casino owners happily reap all of their life savings or retirement plan (Edwards 3; Horn).
Many people gamble because it's legal in their state and the casinos are easy to access. Addiction could happen to anyone, from teens to 50 year olds or any other ages (Reuter). Teens rates of getting addicted has increased up to twice as much as adults. Usually men get addicted faster, especially at younger ages. However women numbers have also increased to one quarter of the addicted gamblers population. and the negative side effects of gambling develop faster in women (Edwards 2; Horn). Gambling for fun once in a while is fine, but for some people, once they started they can't stop. People who are stressed go gamble to escape their life, they are so focused on the game that everything has melted away, so gambling is like their own private world to hide in. Some people think they are winning and they don't care how many timesthey've lost, they keep thinking they have a sure system to win; but in reality only rarely would a person ever win (Nordqvist).In addition, people think they can gamble and win back their losses (“Gambling”). Slot machines are easy to play, it's safe and reliable because you can predict what can happen next and people like the sense of control due their own life being unpredictable. Even though gamblers have lost money, the machine's lights dance around and you can get the same sound effects and visuals as if you've won (Robb 2-3). Gambling is like a drug, the more they gamble, the more they get “high.” Like any drug, the body tolerates it, so the person has to gamble more and more to get the same level of “high” they enjoyed (Nordqvist 3; “How the Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling”). People can gamble all of their money away and when they become homeless, they do not care and still keep gambling and drinking. Some are driven to prostitution to fund gambling (Davies).
According to Mr. Horn, “When pathological gambling strikes, it rarely affects just one person,” is very true. It never affects one person because their family, friends, employers, and coworkers will immediately notice the negative changes in their behavior, habits, and health. These problem gamblers won't even go to work or if they do, they wouldn't put much effort into anything (Horn)....

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