European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Jul 14 1968, Page 12

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European Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - July 14, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseV by Walter Hennessey is new York Bureau across the . There Are More than2,000 confirmed gamblers who absolutely refuse to bet on the world series the Kentucky Derby risk a Buckin the office Pool or even so much As match Nickels for Coffee. Some throw away the sports pages Assoon As they buy a paper avoiding the temptation to dope out tomorrow spaces. Others spend their Small change need Lessly so they Don t have phone Money to reach a Bookie should they suddenly get that old urge for some every one of them knows full Well that for him there is no such thing As a Small Wager. It would be Asim probable As an alcoholic stopping after one drink or a drug addict quitting aftera single shot of heroin. They Are losers real losers. Most have gambled away fortunes ruined the lives of parents and wives psycho logically crippled their children begged loan Sharks for High interest Cash turned to crime to cover Gam bling debts and even contemplated Sui cide. Al he Monkey on their Back compulsive gambling is an insatiable de sire to win big a daydream devoid fall reason yet so compelling hey will risk life itself in pursuing it. Strangely the victims of the progressive psychological hang up Seldom understand they Are in the grip of Cata strophic illness until they have wrecked their lives. Often they Don t realize that their behaviour is alarmingly Abnor Mal like going to the track afternoon the Monkey on their Back. W an insatiable desire to Viii big., 99 Page 12 and night betting heavily but never bothering to watch a race walking 15 Miles in a blizzard to place a bet witha Bookie on the other Side of town spending gambling winnings lavishly to impress bar friends but neglecting to buy food for the family. If these things seem improbable the have All happened. In the world of the compulsive Gambler such extremes Are commonplace. Take Larry h. That in t his name or even his initial but the Story is his and he s willing to Tell it because he feels letting other gamblers know about it is a Way perhaps the Only Way of helping both himself and them. Larry is a 42-year-old beverage distributor with 25 years of excessive Gam bling under his Belt. He also know what the inside of a prison looks like and he s got compulsive gambling to thank for it. Twenty one years ago 1 went a ayin Handcuffs and the worst thing about it was the shame it brought to my parents Larry recalled. Twice i had stolen from my folks House to get gambling Money. They knew it was me but they never accused me. My gambling got so bad that it Actu ally killed my father. I was mixed up with a Bunch of Guys fixing College basketball games by spreading Cash around to influence the Point spread. One Day i went to five cities to Layoff $250,000 i was carrying around in a big Satchel. They Money did t Meana thing it was nothing just a tool. We did t know it but the mafia was fixing the same game the opposite Way so we ended up losing the dough. X when i got out of jail i went to work for my father. Then he woke up one morning and discovered i had Gam bled a Quarter million Dollar business in to bankruptcy. That s when he got his first heart attack. The fourth one put him in his grave. And later when my Mother was by the stars and stripes ing of terminal cancel1, 1 As up at the Hospital begging her to Ive me the Bonds she had left so 1 could get Bac Kinto these weren t things Larry whispering in a confessional or Tell ing a trusted Friend Over a fourth mar Tini. He was standing up in the base ment of a Baptist Church in the Jamaica Section of Queens and spilling his guts before an audience of 20 other compulsive gamblers who spend at least one evening a week talking frankly about their gambling about How it has Poi soned their lives and How they intend to spend the rest of their Days subduing their unnatural urge to bet. The scene is reenacted 21 times week in other new York City ing Halls and in almost a Hundred Sim Ilar gatherings across the county As Well As in several cities in Canada Scotland Ireland England in austra a and new zealand. These Are the weekly meetings gamblers Anonymous a remarkable organization formed by compulsive gamblers to help themselves and o Henin similar Straits control thei habit a there is still something left Woitun Jujj ing. It s a seven Daya week no dues no nonsense outfit formed 11 pc air gems a ss�2?w5 Ssofi Stion stemming from their obsession Gamble. Y As they have estimated at a fcw6 million americans May a c sufferers in Dver much of their program was j let y. Batik from a a a 011" with Only the my r in the Appie Jiga soon social agencies were 1k1 , highest compliment bling some of their most pathetic a cases to a chapters. Lulf hundreds of wives Nave in on errant Husu Unruh sunda1 join a or else. Judge sin known to make a member condition of a Gambler so. Psychiatrists admitting com gambling is perhaps one of the aberrations to treat have often de patients to attend a meet conjunction with their private from those members who have had extensive psychiatric treatment a has Learned that ferreting out the reason behind an individual s compulsive Gam bling is of Little value in controlling the habit. Causes Are usually rooted in child there is an inability and unwillingness to accept reality plus a Lack of emotional Security. The combination of fers escape into the dream world of the Gambler a place where win or lose there is the emotional Comfort of being where the action the problem Gambler is Likely Tobe an immature person seeking to avoid responsibility by shifting his Fate to the Are you a loser Are you a compulsive Gambler the answer is probably yes if you answer yes to seven of these questions 1. Do you lose time from work due to gambling?2. Is gambling making your Home life unhappy 3. Is gambling affecting your reputation i pc you Ever Fet remorse after gambling i a. Do you Ever Gamble to get Money with which to pay debts or i to otherwise solve financial difficulties i Oes gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency i 7. After losing do you feel you must return As soon As possible land win Back your losses i after a win do you have a Strong urge to return and Wini More in in you often Kamble until your last Dollar is gone n a you Ever borrow to finance your gambling Lov be you Ever Sld any real or personal property to finance gambling in Are you reluctant to use gambling Money for Normal sex Lull tires Anvil oct gamblll8 make you careless of the welfare of your 14. Do you Ever Gamble longer than you had planned i in i j a Ever Gamble to escape worry or trouble Iii i pc you ver committed or considered committing an l Gal act to finance gambling i it gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping Vou � Aru ends disappointments or frustrations create within joiu�"r8e to Gamble in. A v � have an urge to celebrate any Good Fortune by a few i n Bamburg Lambli Vou Ever considered self destruction As a result of your turn of a card or the spin of a dislikes working for the things he wants yet has a Strong inner urge Tobe thought of As a big shot dresses loudly to Call attention to himself am polishes his image As a generous soul by grabbing bar tabs buying drink for the House and doing elaborate favors even for Chance acquaintances. Many compulsive gamblers Are the products too of broken Homes where divorce or incompatible parents particularly Strong willed domineering Moth ers have discouraged affection an intensified feelings of insecurity in the children. There is the theory too that the compulsive Gambler has a subconscious de sire to punish himself by losing. So regardless of the Odds against him or How disastrous the consequences he plunges headlong toward self the problem knows no social economic or educational boundaries those who turn up at a meetings Are lawyers and longshoremen teacher Sand labourers architects and traffic cops. We be got All kinds in a said Ben.\v., a Stocky red faced Man in his mid fifties whose proudest boast is that he has t placed a bet now for six years. There Are teachers by the dozen cabdriver by the Gross we have lawyers some practising some disbarred and even a Ben bared his soul at the meeting he did t mention his occupation he is obviously a Man of som learning even quoting Nathaniel Haw Thorne during his discourse on the evils of gambling. In fact he concluded that the 19th Century author must have been one hell of a Gambler because he said Hawthorne seemed to understand gambling men and their tribulations. I can remember 33 years of constant gambling Ben told his fellow compulsive gamblers men who listened attentively yet seemed to be relating Ben s Story to their own nodding in agree ment As he made his Points looking off into nothingness and telling themselves yeah that s the Way it i never read the morning Telegraph or the scratch sheets said Ben. And i Haven t been to the track More than10 times in my life. With me it was the bookies. I d never Check to see whereby horses came in. At the end of the week the bookies would come around and Tell me How i did. If 1 won big i d continued on Page 1, the stars and stripes Pago 13

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