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Sally is in Debt Because of Slot Machines and Gambling

“Dear Steve,

My debt was caused by something totally different. I am 48 years old. Six years ago, the youngest of our three children moved out. My husband works swing shift and I found myself lonely and depressed. I didn’t know what to do with myself. But then I found the casino. A place I could go by myself. I made a lot of friends there. I felt happy and content, that is until the gambling addiction took over. I didn’t realize it at first. I had excellent credit and could get any card I wanted without my husband knowing about it. I have my own business, I make my own money. I was using the cards when I ran out of cash to gamble. Then when I could not make my payments I took from the cards to pay it. Everything snowballed.

I heard that if your debt was caused by gambling, there is help to get it payed off or half off or something. Have you heard of this? thank you

Sally”

Dear Sally,

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

Thank you for visiting the site and sharing your question.

Your situation is a classic example of how debt is often the symptom and not the problem itself. It’s a bit like a pain when your arm moves, the pain is the symptom but not what is causing it to hurt, that’s a different matter entirely.

The things that lead you to escape gambling are classic as well. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you told me that a lot of your money had been spent on slot machines as your venue of choice.

Slot machines attract people who are loners, depressed, older, want to “zone out” and those that are looking for action without having to interact. It is nice to hear that you did make some friends while you were at the casino as well. A positive maybe?

Your gambling seems to have grown into an addiction or addictive disorder. It won’t be until you seek specific treatment for your gambling addiction that we can even really begin to tackle the debt situation. Unless you seek help for the gambling problem the chances of you falling off the wagon and returning to gambling again are very high and that will just run up more debt for you.

I have never heard of a formal program that allows anyone to get their gambling debt paid but I have witnessed some people enter into debt settlement agreements with a casino to payoff money owed to the casino. If you’ve borrowed money from credit cards to fuel your gambling then that does not involve the casino at all. In that case probably bankruptcy or a debt management program would be a good solution, but only once the gambling is being addressed.

Please, you must go and seek professional counseling for your gambling addiction. Maybe a good first step would be to begin to attend local Gambler Anonymous meetings in your area. To find a local GA meeting, click here.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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