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Lanie's Hope

I thought I was lucky………

My name is Nancy and I am a 46-year-old woman who has the most wonderful man in her life and two terrific boys who are 10 and 4. Rewind two years ago and I had never gambled a day in my life and thought that anyone who gambled was wasting their time and money. My boyfriend invited me to go to Laughlin for the weekend and I said, “Lets go!” We had a blast and as we enjoyed our Bloody Marys at the bar, my boyfriend would hand me twenty dollars for me to put in the keno machine while he played video poker. As I yawned and played a game that was so simple yet bored me to tears. I sat there and played until I would lose and couldn’t wait to get some food or hang out by the pool.

We went back there quite a bit our first year together due to my boyfriend’s uncle dying of cancer with months to live. And then it happened……while sitting at the bar while the bar was going crazy because we had just won the Stanley cup, I was jumping up and down and looked down to hear this faint bell ringing that seemed nonstop and I had just gotten 6 out of 6 on keno……. I hit my boyfriend’s arm and said, “Look, I won!” Wow, I just won $440 and couldn’t believe it and I said “Now what?” He said “Cash out and go turn your ticket into the machine to get your money.” That’s it? I felt like I was up to no good but I had money and that was it for me, I wanted to save it and go shop or something, but he says “OK, but let’s play $100 of it……ok?” Well the next morning I won the same amount again. It still wasn’t hitting me yet but he said, “You are so lucky!” I felt special because every time I won it made him very proud of me and it felt good.

Well, back in California I decided to go by myself to a local casino to play keno, and the very first time I had bet two and walked out with 880…… But then I went back about 5 times to lose my money and I remembered how bad I felt.

A few months later my boyfriend’s dad passed away and left him a quarter of a million dollars. He asked me to move to Arizona with my two boys, who adore him and he loves them both so much and has done everything for them; so we moved to start a new life. All was fine until I realized we were two minutes from Laughlin and the casinos. On our way to moving stuff from California, I decided to stop at the casino and I within a 24-hour period I won $2,000 on keno….. It seemed like about once every two weeks I would go on winning streaks winning up to $10,000 each time.

Then with winning also comes losing…….I have had to pawn off my jewelry to pay for my habit and then I started stealing money from my boyfriend’s bank account. When it happened the first time, he broke up with me and sent me on a bus to my ex’s in Riverside because both boys were also there on vacation from school. That was my wake up call. I found a way back home and even managed to get back one of the three rings I had pawned off for him and he welcomed us back with open arms. I did it again but I landed in the hospital due to female issues and he whispered in my ear “Don’t do it again.”

Well, I was so out of control that I blew $17,000 and that was it. I either pay him back in full by the end of the month or we are all out on the street. It isn’t the end of the month yet. I have lost it all and my kids will suffer the most here. I want to die. This man was the best high to ever happen to me and my boys. I don’t know what to do at this point. I want help but we live in a town where there isn’t much help close by and how could I be so stupid to ruin my good life like this?

And to think I was so lucky…..


  1. Bea AikensJanuary 26, 2015 at 12:35 pmReplyAuthor

    Dear Nancy,
    I too have experienced the “I want to die” feeling that comes with the shame and pain of a gambling addiction. You are not alone. Hope and help is available. None of us can do it alone. Thank you for your courage in sharing your story with us. Please let us know how you’re doing. Whether you’re in Arizona or California, Mutual Aid and 12-step programs are available throughout the country! And help is a phone call away at 1-800-522-4700.
    God Bless you Nancy,

  2. Debbie HMarch 18, 2015 at 12:36 pmReply

    Dear Nancy,
    Our Gambling Addiction is relentless. You will never be able to control your gambling. The only way to arrest the “gambling disease” is to Stop it completely. You can do this in the 12 step program – Gamblers Anonymous. I am a compulsive gambler for more than 35 years. I contemplated suicide!! I am 51 years old and I am happy to say I have “arrested” my uncontrollable urge to gamble. I did this by attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings. I attend anywhere from two to five meetings a week. This program saved my life!!! Things you should know: Compulsive Gambling will continue to get worse. With out help – the end result will be Prison, Death or Insanity. YOU CAN GET HELP!!! Go to Gamblers Anonymous meetings. This is the only place that I felt completely comfortable with a room full of people just like me.
    I am a miracle – I placed my last bet January 14th, 2014. You can contact me at my email: [email protected] Good Luck!!!

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A Compelling and Passionate Speaker
Bea Aikens couples her personal experience with extensive knowledge of the disease of compulsive gambling to build a compelling platform for civic, community and national organizations seeking knowledge and understanding of the disease of disordered gambling. To engage Bea for your upcoming event, contact her at
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Lanie's Hope
P.O. Box 60214
Boulder City, NV 89006
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