This is the title and cover of the book about Arnie and Sheila Wexler written by them, along with Steve Jacobson. Arnie and Sheila have helped so many compulsive gamblers and their families to recover from the devastation of compulsive gambling, as well as written training manuals to train casino workers on recognizing a problem gambler. Arnie and Sheila have been in their respective recovery programs for over 47 years and reading their story is just amazing.
Going back to the beginning of Arnie’s gambling, the reader can see how his love of sports quickly evolved into enjoying the sport because of the rush he felt while “in action.” He loved horse racing and spent countless hours at the track. When he wasn’t at the actual track, his mind was still on the upcoming action and how to get more money. He had the ability to charm people into loaning him money, he was collecting kickbacks from vendors through his job, and lying to everybody- all to keep him going. His first date with Sheila (when he was 21 and she was 16) was to a drive-in to see Damn Yankees and the second was to a racetrack. However, as Sheila writes “I never had another date with him unless it was a sports event, a racetrack, or a casino night- except for an occasional Broadway show.” There were many naysayers that tried to convince Sheila NOT to marry Arnie, knowing that he was a compulsive gambler and her life would be hell. However, she loved him and believed that after they married, everything would be different and Arnie’s gambling would come to a halt because he had promised to quit when they were married. Read more →
Lanie’s Hope Supports the 7th Annual “Walk in Memory – Walk for Hope”
The 7th Annual “Walk in Memory – Walk for Hope” community suicide prevention awareness walk will be taking place on Saturday, September 14, 2013, in ten different communities across the State of Nevada. Walk participants are asked to donate $20 per individual. To participate on a team, go to https://www.nvsuicideprevention.org and select “Lanie’s Hope” on the drop down box. Each person walking will need to complete a registration form. All donations will be used to help fund various NCSP programs in communities throughout the state.
Compulsive Gamblers have the highest suicide rate of any social segment. Participation in Walk in Memory, Walk for Hope supports a valuable community resource while raising awareness of Lanie’s Hope’s mission. Team apparel will be available for purchase on our website in August 2013.
PLEASE JOIN OUR TEAM TODAY!
Bea Aikens, Founder
RECOGNIZING PROBLEM GAMBLING
In recognition of National Mental Health Month, Boulder City Hospital’s Mental Health: Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) staff will participate in a one-hour introductory course to understanding and recognizing Problem Gambling.
Lanie’s Hope Founder and Advocate for the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, Bea Aikens will present a one hour presentation, providing a basic explanation of what happens when gambling becomes an addiction and review screening methods and resources available to identify and treat problem gamblers and their families.
As has been the case for many others I have spoken with, my own gambling story begins at a young age (10). Family vacations with my father would involve trips to the Ruidoso Downs race track, where I was given $20 for the day to bet on horses. Later, he would teach me how to play poker, and by the time I was a teenager I was playing occasionally, and later regularly, with a group of his colleagues. By the time I was in college, I became involved in a high-stakes pot-limit game, and won enough money over time to move out of the house and get my own apartment while I was in school. There were two men in that game that I (and others) won money from fairly consistently, and looking back I now realize that it was not just because (as I thought) they were “bad” player, but because they were compulsive (pathological) gamblers who would stay in the game until the last card on almost every hand.
When I finished my graduate degree in 1991, I received a job offer from the Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas to supervise archaeological work out at the infamous Yucca Mountain Project. I was thrilled to get a job in archaeology, and was excited about the prospects of moving to Las Vegas. For many years after moving to Las Vegas I continued to play live poker. While I never considered myself a professional player, I did well enough to win a little money over the long run, and saw it as an entertaining pastime. I didn’t understand the appeal of the video poker machines…it seemed like a complete waste of time to play a machine, where you had no control over the outcome. Occasionally, I would put $20 into a machine, but never won anything substantial until I hit my first royal flush for $1,000 in the mid-1990s. It was a few years later that I hit a 2nd one, and then very soon after, a third. “Aha! This is why people play the machines!” I thought. Gradually, I played less and less live poker and more and more video poker until soon I was playing video poker almost exclusively. It didn’t seem to matter that intellectually I knew I was never going to beat a computer chip. Read more →
The Nevada Council on Problem Gambling has been doing more with less for several years. Recent budget cuts have impacted the Council’s ability to serve our community, and yet through the remarkable work of a small, focused and impassioned staff, this community service organization continues to provide exceptional resources on problem gambling, supports those impacted by problem gambling, and NEVER let’s the phone go unanswered! They need the support of our community! It is unfathomable to me that, as of this writing, only two individuals have contributed to this drive to keep the phone lines going. I can only guess that this is because the generous Las Vegas community does not know the need exists. Please consider a contribution to keep the phone line (a life line to many) alive!
Read more →