When it comes to destroying your finances, few things can beat gambling. Gambling gives the illusion that you are “making money” but you aren’t. Gambling is a tradecraft designed to produce income for the casino or house. The casino would not exist if the game didn’t give it an advantage. So the house uses its modest edge to remove some cash from everyone’s pocket. This money goes to support all the employees, the owners and shareholders. You get to have some fun and then return to your normal life. For most visitors to casinos, this is true. People come in, lose a little money and then leave. But what happens when gambling becomes an obsession?
There are few things other than drugs that can harm your personal finances as much as gambling. Of the addictive behaviors, this one can make you bankrupt in less time than any other obsession. Gamblers have problems functioning financially and many don’t know they have a problem. They struggle to pay bills, keep up with basic financial needs and simply make ends meet. Some gamblers can’t go to work or return home to the family because of their obsession.
This can be seen all the more in the past decade as the casinos have become a second home for all the expert gamblers where they engage in regular bouts of Slot Indonesia, blackjack and poker with little respite.
I went through this addiction with a relative who struggled to pay his mortgage. His gambling landed him in $20,000 worth of debt in under a month and he had drained his credit cards and home equity to pay debts he had previously. He had nothing left. We spoke briefly about what to do since he hadn’t paid his mortgage in 6 months. He was losing his home and his wife had no idea. He was going home that night to tell her that they were being forced to move the next day. In attempting to counsel him, I realized that he had no hope of getting his life on track until he left the casinos alone. He was consistently losing his whole paycheck there and charging living expenses on credit cards. This scenario continued until he couldn’t meet his minimum payments and the house of cards fell. Never being one to see children on the street, we worked hard to place his family some place safe. We found a newer, cheaper home for his family and encouraged his wife to return to work. It was clear he was unable to support his family with his addiction. They moved to new location, were given some seed money to get the household going and started over. No treatment for his gambling followed this move and within 6 months the same scenario played out again. This time we paid his rent and admonished him to stop this behavior. This cycle went on for another six years until his marriage ended in divorce.
This unfortunate story is the perfect conversation starter with your gambler. If you have a gambler in your home, your finances can’t say intact. Financial preservation and gambling do not mix. Get your gambler some help, I wish did. His children would have grown up with their father had I done so.