So the house edge on this game is 9.9%. The payback percentage is what casino people look at when dealing with gambling machines, though. That’s just 100% less the house edge—in this case, 90.1%. It represents the amount of each bet that the casino gives back to the player, rather than the amount it gets to keep. Gambling addiction or gambling disorder is defined as persistent and recurring problematic gambling behavior that causes distress and impairs your overall livelihood. Gambling addiction affects roughly 0.2% to 0.3% of the general U.S. Population, and tends to affects males more than females, though this gender gap has narrowed in recent years.
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House Gambling Problem Meaning
Posting this here because I need to tell someone/people what’s happened. I’m struggling to accept it or cope with the loss. Some background:
I’m 25, worked hard at uni and have a good (mathematical!) job in finance. I don’t mean to boast but I’d generally consider myself intelligent and sensible. Ironically I’m good with money: organising my finances efficiently into long-term investments and shorter term savings. But I’ve just self destructed via online gambling. I cannot believe my stupidity or the utter waste of what I’ve done.
A few years ago I suffered from depression and partly as a coping mechanism I developed a problem with online gambling. However, after therapy for depression and anxiety, I managed to turn my life around and also cut the gambling. My family were aware.
Then at Christmas just there I was under a lot of pressure at work and slipped up, opening accounts online and losing around a £1000. I did see it as a warning sign but clearly didn’t pay enough attention. I told no-one as I did not want them to worry and I felt ashamed. I remember realising the value of money once again when opening presents and realising I’d just thrown away several times the amount. I stopped once again.
Over the last year I have been working hard to build a deposit for a house. Rather than contributing to my investments, this has been in the form of cash savings. I thought I was being smart by optimising these accounts for the best rates, but unfortunately I failed to see the inherent danger in having large amounts of accessible cash available to me.
Anyway, once again I have been under pressure at work and dealing with stress. Although I didn’t make the connection (why!!) this coincided with signing up for a gambling related cashback offer. It had about a value of £5 and I barely paid any attention to what was quite clearly (in hindsight) a terrible decision. Predictably, over the past month, I began to do more of these offers. Soon I was outright gambling again. It became all consuming.
Until yesterday I had been lucky. I was up about £6000. Also, I suddenly realised this would not end well. I decided to withdraw all my balances and start self-excluding. This is where it all goes wrong: on the last such site I decided to just play down my balance to the nearest round number…. a terrible rationalisation. Of course I lost control and after a couple of deposits lost £3500. Overall I would still have been ahead from my gambling binge but I didn’t stop here. I was consumed with the urge to “get that back and then stop” and so I deliberately sought out a new site I had not self-excluded from (there are always more, and I believe a truly centralised exclusion system is required or the option always remains) and started chasing.
I sit here now having not only lost the remainder of that £6000 “profit”, but having followed that with all the cash I had available to me. My house deposit is gone. Over half a year’s salary wasted. I didn’t go to work today because I could not have focused. I feel utterly sick, physically and mentally. I have worked so hard for that money and yet I threw it away in a matter of minutes on online roulette. I’m sure you all know the altered state of mind I was in during those minutes. Pleading the ball to land where I needed as I upped my bets. Desperate, utterly desperate.
In all honesty if I had quick access to my longer term investments they’d be gone now too. The urge to “rectify” the situation is unbearable. It’s only because that money is tied up that it’s still here. I am scared that it’s pointless to start saving again for a house because I can’t trust myself not to repeat this again in future. Sure, I’ve self excluded from everywhere again, but like I said before that really won’t help. Ultimately I need to control myself. It terrifies me that I don’t seem to have that ability.
Sorry for rambling on. I just needed to voice this. I haven’t told anyone and I don’t feel I can, even though I know it’s probably advisable. I am too deeply ashamed of myself. I would cause so much worry if they knew this has happened again. They wouldn’t and can’t understand. It’s inexplicable unless you’ve experienced this. I don’t know what to do. I’m dreading work tomorrow. I know I have to act normal. But how can I do that when I know I need to work at least half a year just to get back to where I was a few days ago? I haven’t accepted it yet. It’s too painful.
Hello and thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy forums
Here at Gambling Therapy we pride ourselves on being a caring and diverse online community who can help and support you with the difficulties youre currently facing. We understand that this might be a tough time for you, particularly if youre new to recovery, so come here as often as you need to and participate in the forums, access online groups and connect to the live advice helpline if you need one to one support. Were in this together!
Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment. The beauty of writing it all down is that you can take your time and you will be creating a record of your progress that you can look back on if it ever feels like youre not moving forward. So, share as much or as little as you like but do try to stick to keeping just one thread in this forum so people know where to find you if they want to be updated on your progress or share something with you.
And on that note….
Im going to hand you over to our community because Im sure they will have some words of wisdom for you 🙂
The Gambling Therapy Team
PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our
Hi and well done on looking for help.
Addiction has little respect for intelligence. In fact I don’t think I have ever met a stupid compulsive gambler, we have to be pretty “smart” to have been able to maintain our addiction for so long.
You are not alone with this problem, read the other stories here in the forum. You will see a lot that you will relate to, you will also see the success stories, what ate they doing that you can apply to your own situation?
You would have gambled your longer term investments if you had access to them? Of course. Now use that knowledge, one of the things that you will see has helped others is to tie up the finances, to be accountable for money. You only lost what you did because you had unrestricted access to it. Your family could help with that if you could be honest with them.
With or without any stress or pressures gamblign is now a problem in it’s own right; there is no return to “normal” gamblign I am a fraid.
The good news is that you have a lot of support available to you here in the UK. Here and sites like this, Gamcare, Gamblers Anonymous, counselling and more. The important thing is to use that support.
Telling your family might be hard but to not tell them might be harder for you if it means this recorring and gettign worse. This time you wouldn’t just be telling them about the problem, by asking them to help, by continuing to post here, maybe get to GA meetings etc etc you will be showing them what you are going to do to tackle it.
Keep posting and let us know what positive steps you are taking.
Your post really resonated with me as I can see a lot of myself in you. I too work in the financial industry and am generally considered an intelligent and sensible individual with good money management skills. But we all know that gambling completely overrides who we are normally.
I could empathize with all of the emotions of your post, your thought patterns etc. You knew even from your 1k loss and when you were winning that it was just a matter of time. Yet we kid ourselves and just keep on playing. Wanting to win just that little bit more or “play up/down to a round figure”…I totally get it, it’s completely irrational but it’s just how the addiction will do anything to trick us into playing more. You were still up a few thousand after that last website but you got greedy and wanted to win back your winnings. Now you’d do anything to even just be a few thousand down or even. Perspective, perspective, perspective. Addiction blinds us from perspective.
Now with the latest binge there should be no doubt left in your mind that you can never ever touch gambling again, even as “entertainment”. If it helps know that it was only a matter of time. The bomb was always ticking. Even if you did withdraw your 6k winnings at some point the triggers will come back and you’ll most definitely gamble, especially as the addiction will remember those good times and wind you had in the past. It could have been in a few months or a year or 2 but the day of losing it all was inevitable. Your luck will run out at some stage and once the losing streak comes, martingale and escalating your bets to chase losses will see your balance hit $0.
Now grieve the loss, it will take you a long time to accept it but take it slow. A more urgent matter is to take action NOW. Self-exclude from all offline/online casinos you use and close those accounts. Install betfilter/gamblock on all of your electronic devices – anti-betting software helped me go 6 months clean immediately after the peak of my addiction. Call your bank to reduce your card limits.
It would also be wise to seek emotional support during this time. Posting on this forum is a great start but consider disclosing to someone close to you and definitely try going to GA. There’s nothing to be ashamed of many highly intelligent people get trapped in this addiction. It’s not about intelligence but rather your mindset as well as working out what underlying dissatisfaction in your life are you trying to escape from or “fix” with gambling?
Now most importantly…tie up your long term financial investments and DO NOT take out any debt to further fund your spiral into rock bottom!!! I know you have probably already bargained with yourself regarding this…be very careful. Your addiction will tell you 100 different things why you should access those funds or take out loans/credit cards.but you know deep down you’re addiction is not ready to give in without a fight. There’s a part of you that wants to win it all back and take your revenge. You must not fall into your trap. True rock bottom is a lot deeper than where you are now.
Right now the urge to gamble will virtually be unstoppable and every salary you get will go straight into the casino’s pockets if you do not have blocks in place. If you really cannot control yourself consider handing over your finances to someone else or even just cutting up the cards you use to deposit online.
Good luck and most importantly, be patient. Impatience and a need for immediate rewards got you here however such a mind frame will not get you out of this mess. Only discipline, self-control, hard work, patience and a true desire to stop gambling can. Good luck.
I am the mom of a 27 year old compulsive gambler (in recovery now). I make no pretence about knowing how you feel. However, what I can tell you about my experience is that my son won large amounts of money twice (that I know) and both times declared he was done with gambling and both times was NOT done with gambling. I think it would be rare for a CG to be able to quit on the heels of a win…Just my opinion.
I know you don’t feel able to tell anybody about this due to your shame but in the end it’s not sharing and exposing that shame that will keep drawing you back to the escape gambling provides. A GA group is anonymous and at least sharing with them you can start to heal?? It is a big burden to carry on your own.
Sorry to hear about your loss. Everyone here will relate to you posts on many levels. The shock you are experiencing right now will fade in time. The loss will become a memory but the “Compulsive Gambler” in you will never go away.
I struggled with your last question for a long, long time.
“IF I had walked away with my last ‘win’ would everything be different?”
The answer lies in the realisation that a CG N E V E R wins. Every ‘win’is a new ‘high interest loan’ to allow us to prolong the agony as we watch this progressive disease pull us down . It may take months. It may take years . The outcome for a CG is inevitable. After years of battling/hoping/praying/defying all the odds, gambling got me in the end.
The first step in Recovery is to “admit I am powerless over gambling”. As soon as we accept this fact , we will surrender.
It’s all about surrender.
I can give you a 100%guarantee that if you chase your loss, the money you have invested will vanish.
My advice to you (and to me)is to have NO access to cash.
Like you, I was wiped out. I checked and rechecked my bank account in disbelief last March after a huge loss and to this day I can’t figure how that hard earned money disappeared into cyber space so fast. It nearly killed me! After 15 years of losing all my salary and all I could borrow on the strength of my earnings, this was my greatest loss.
It is not stupidity. It is the reality of gambling. Due to the nature of the disorder we will keep gambling until we lose everything.
Money is the very least of what gambling takes. I would say to you now , draw a line under your losses today and walk away. There is no point in continuing this futile chase. It will end in bitter tears.
“Compulsive gamblers never win”.
Let that be your mantra.
Hey man, I totally get it. For me that first “successful chase back” of 3.6k was also the most dangerous. It conditioned my brain to think that I can simply use my additional savings to win back any loss incurred. By the time I’d won back a 5k loss 3 times in a row…I became desensitized to the whole process. The amounts escalated to 10k, 15k, 20k, 43k…
Your brain knows that there is a chance you can win it all back. It knows it may be a smallish chance (although previous wins will skew this in our minds to become a much more likelier event), but the main problem is even if we do win it back, there’s a high chance of just losing it straight back or a bit later on, making you feel even worse (especially if you’re an “if only” type of thinker). So let’s say the initial house edge may have been 55-45 but against a CG it’s more like 95:5. You will be defeated in the long run.
You need to block yourself now otherwise I guarantee you you will chase it at some point.
Just reread your latest post and I’ll answer your final question. No technically you don’t have to end on a loss to truly stop forever. Most ppl do though. I was actually down 40k+ not once, or twice but three times (not including countless smaller “chases”)… I promised I’d never do it again over and over yet I did it every time. But I finally stopped (I was actually up 5k at once stage, lost about 3-4k and then stopped for 6 months). In my recent relapse I “only” lost about $250-300 in total. My final binge resulted in a slight net win of about $75. Whilst I have only stopped for a week I have decided enough is enough. Every time I play I put myself at risk of losing it all again.
But I have to say I was lucky…very lucky, to “only” be down about 5-7k overall from all my gambling. Realistically I should be about 50k in the red given how absolutely irrational I was at the peak of my addiction. I basically rolled 3 doubles in a row to get out of jail in Monopoly terms. I do fear that it may happen again in the future (it’s inside me just like it is in you)…so I will do whatever it takes to stop forever.
We simply can never gamble ever, in any situation or on any form of gambling. The compulsion to chase losses is just too strong and uncontrollable. Good work on handing over your finances and the self-exclusion. You say there are too many to self-exclude from…I literally spent many hours (more than 10) actively creating accounts on every single online gambling site I could find and self-excluding proactively. This is the length we need to go to stop ourselves. Sure new sites will always pop up but it would take me literally hours to find a new one that I could actually trust (I dont play on small websites with no pre-existing good reputation). This is enough to stop me from gambling. I have accepted that I cannot control it, I’ve let go of my ego/pride and simply empowered myself to take control and take action…no action is too drastic in terms of preventing a relapase. You gotta do whatever it takes to defeat this addiction.
So please consider full self-exclusion and gambling blocking software. Tie up your long term investments while you still have a clear head.
Hi there I just joined this site last night after I lost another £8k I’m 44 and have been gambling since about 16 and I’ve never came close to chasing my losses u always chase your last loss like mine now 8k but I’m hundreds of thousands in the hole. I did go to therapy and gave up for 8 months but when things don’t go right for me my heads goes and I’m back talking about another loss, it’s a horrible life we lead I mean I got a great family who got to put up with my bad bad lows and I’m in one now, as for getting money back it’s a joke u win and we want more and lose and just want r money back there’s only one way to have a happy life and I hope I get it some day
First of all very well done for sharing as it takes courage to share and also be honest.
Worriedmama comes up with a great quote and too me so very true, In my honest opinion no compulsive gambler could embrace recovery totally on the back of a winning “last bet” it is impossible because that last “buzz” that last “win” (I know we never win) will always be the last thing in our mind, I have always said to my wife if I am actively gambling (i.e not in recovery) If I had 1 million pounds I would lose it all, I know to many people this will sound stupid but me being an addictive compulsive gambler means if I choose to gamble I honestly cannot stop no matter what, the only time I can is if I am not gambling and in recovery, I know and understand myself and how my mind works but even knowing that I still struggle (at the moment) to stay in recovery, although I am a very knowledgeable and clever person (not trying to sound like a bighead lol) I am very weak willed and seem to give in to many things far to quickly.
I spoke to a person today who hasn’t got much time left in this world and believe me they would give up everything they have just to have another few days on earth, this is where we can understand and let go off our financial losses because in truth they mean absolutely nothing (as I am sure we both well know).
Stay strong my friend and I hope you can work at getting your life back on track, well done for sharing how you feel and life can get better, this addiction will take everything if we let it…………but there is always hope.
Take care and wish you all the very best in the world, keep sharing.
Hey man, everything you posted I can relate to. You are absolutely correct that it is grief. You need to grief the loss…but not only of the money but the person you were prior to becoming a CG. And as with grief, only time and seeing the positive benefits of not gambling (perhaps use it as a chance to start something new in your life…whether it be a hobby, gym, a new business idea etc) will help to ease the mental torment.
The thoughts and replaying of those nightmarish sessions will plague your mind in the initial weeks…however over time they will became less frequent and less as if you’re reliving it over and over, but rather just a memory of what you must avoid going back to moving forwards in your life.