I learned to play cards at the age of 5 or 6. I came from a large Italian family and my Dad taught us to play cards. I loved it and none of the adults let us kids win. We had to know how to play or had to leave the table. From that point on I loved to take chances. In 1951, at age 14, our family moved from Ohio to CA. I was always betting on things: whether or not I would get a good grade in class, dollar bill numbers…whatever. It was all fun. My mother and father were divorced and my father lived in CA and my mother lived in Las Vegas, NV. In 1976, at the age of 39 I moved to Las Vegas. I was used to playing the lottery tickets in CA, so NV seemed to be a good place to move. I gambled on everything and every game in the casinos. I got in fights in the casinos over certain machines that I thought were “MY” machines! I lied, cheated, borrowed money, conned people out of money and still never got rich. I had big dreams, but they never came true. I gambled everyday for 13 years and never had anything. I lived paycheck to paycheck. In 1982 I got help for my addiction, but was not ready to quit. I stayed out there another 5 years until I couldn’t take it any more. I thought I was losing my mind. I absolutely could NOT control my gambling and I knew it would lead to prison, insanity or death if I didn’t stop. I went back to get help for my addiction 1988 and decided I better beg for help or I would die.
Each day I didn’t gamble, I felt good. I swore I would not let this disease take over my life again. I worked hard and gave a lot of service to others who were struggling. Since that time I paid my house off, bought a new car and paid it off. I was able to retire at the age of 58. I have the love of my family back. I am happy and lead a balanced life. I have many ups and downs, my brother died for ALS in 2004 and my mother passed 2009. These deaths both broke my heart terribly, but because I have a loving God in my life today, I did not have to go out and gamble. I would say if you are a gambler in action, please seek help. This disease is so strong, it plays with your mind, you do not have to smoke anything, drink anything, or snort anything; you just have to think. Many have committed suicide over this disease. Please get help. I haven’t gambled for a little over 23 years and this is the best life anyone could ask for. I have gambling all around me and so far I am not tempted. Please seek help, it is out there and it does work.
Las Vegas, NV