Las Vegas Sun

July 1, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Addicts have only selves to blame

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Regarding the recent article in the Las Vegas Sun, “Committee wants more money to help problem gamblers”:

As a gambler, I understand the pitfalls of gambling addiction — thanks to the Las Vegas Sun and the public library, I have read it all.

Just like every other business, casino operators promote their business and offer many rewards to gamblers to entice them into the casino. Slot machines and gambling tables do not create gambling problems — people create gambling problems for themselves.

As adults, we have many decisions to make in this world — if we gamblers choose to spend our money at the casino and live like “tobacco road hillbillies,” that is our decision to make and we should not whine and cry about it.

It’s time for problem gamblers to face reality — if they can’t handle losing money, they should stay out of the casino. It is a well-known fact that casinos are the place where almost everyone loses money.

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  1. Yes they may lose money in the casinos but the high rollers get comped big time.


  2. Sorry Ms. Mataga, as a gambler you don't understand gambling addiction or addiction of any kind unless you are also an addict. Addicts of anything release various chemicals into neural pathways when introduced to certain substances or behaviors......cocaine, booze, sex, gambling, jumping out of airplanes, driving fast with the smell of nitro-methane, etc.....some manageable, some not. The worst are those which also have physical degradation involved like booze and some drugs. Addicts can exercise control but not without professional help from both medical and mental/emotional health practitioners. While there are a few people who can quit addictions cold, they are few and far between. Worse still, the underlying aspects of their addiction is still present. Lord save me from drunks who quit cold. Your advice to problem gamblers to stay out of casinos is about as useful as telling teen-age boys to keep it in their pants.

  3. Hayes,

    Your addition to this subject is factual. However, it changes not Mataga's premise - we are responsible for our own actions, problems/addictions/issues or not. No one else can fix another. I am certain you will agree.


  4. "It's time for problem gamblers to face reality -- if they can't handle losing money, they should stay out of the casino."

    Mataga -- good point in a good letter

    "Sorry Ms. Mataga, as a gambler you don't understand gambling addiction or addiction of any kind unless you are also an addict."

    wharfrat -- what's to understand? Unless one gets addicted because there's a gun to one's head, I have zero sympathy. Addiction is completely a matter of personal choice, and all choices have consequences. Giving people who want to blame someone or something else for their bad choices is not a problem worthy of public funding.

    "...we are responsible for our own actions, problems/addictions/issues or not. No one else can fix another."

    Purgatory -- I'm with you on that point

    "I am for a government rigorously frugal & simple, applying all the possible savings of the public revenue to the discharge of the national debt; and not for a multiplication of officers & salaries merely to make partisans, & for increasing, by every device, the public debt, on the principle of it's being a public blessing." -- from Thomas Jefferson's letter to Elbridge Gerry, Jan 26, 1799

  5. @Purgatory....this is one of those splitting hairs discussions. Yes, I agree that ultimately we are each responsible for our actions. There is, however, always a "but". Folks who are addicts cannot control their brain chemistry any more than I can control my faulty blood chemistry. Both can be mitigated or controlled with medication, the former sometimes with ECT or psychoanalysis combined with medication. With our culture based along the Protestant ethic line along with responsibility we invariably add fault, blame and guilt. I don't necessarily impute blame with responsibility which is why I'm willing to provide services to addicts to mitigate harm to both the addict and society at large.

  6. There you go again! Making excuses for people with little or no self-control. "The Devil made me do it," is their sorry excuse. That does not cut it. Many of us know someone who beat an "addiction." They finally quit whining and their self-destructive ways and took control of their own lives. No one can do it for them and to make excuses for their behavior is of no help. Alcohol, drug or gambling abuse are all self-inflicted and bleeding-heart, touchy-feely BS is merely a sop. No one can help those who refuse to help themselves. Ask the modern era "Witch Doctors," psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors.