Today I have 261 days of sobriety from gambling, and I credit this much to having barred myself from the casinos close to where I live. The self-ban is a procedure by which the compulsive gambler goes to various casinos to make it illegal for him or her to be on the campus so that they will not return to gambling and can lead a happy and fulfilling life. I had heard of people doing this during various twelve-step meetings, but I never wanted, nor did I believe that I needed to do 안전놀이터 until I went on a gambling binge that lasted so long that I missed dinner with my husband and my mother.
I had gone to Agua Caliente Casino with the intention of gambling for only a little while (an hour or two). Instead, I played for many hours, and I lost track of the time as I was so into my video poker. I remember looking at my watch between hands and thinking to myself that I could continue playing for twenty more minutes. What was supposed to be twenty more minutes soon became thirty more minutes and then forty more minutes and, before I knew what had happened, I had completely missed my dinner date with my family. I continued to gamble into the late evening and, once I was done, I knew that I had to bar myself from the casinos for my family’s sake as well as my own.
One morning my mother and I decided to make the rounds at different casinos so that I could ban myself. We first went to the Indian Reservation Office, so that I could ban myself from the Agua Caliente and the Spa casinos. I filled out a form that required me to write my full name, the length of time that I wished to be banned from the casino (I chose lifetime), and my driver’s license number. At the bottom of the form, I signed my name. Once I had completed the form, I submitted my driver’s license, so that they could copy it for their records. After the paperwork was completed and turned in, the representative from the reservation took my picture and warned me that I would be arrested for trespassing if I ever came back to those casinos. I acknowledged the warning, and then my mother and I left for Fantasy Springs so that I could ban myself from that casino.
When we entered the Fantasy Springs Casino, we went to the security desk, and I again filled out a form to ban myself. The security person took my license, made a copy of it, and then he took my picture before escorting me off the premises, warning me that I would be arrested for trespassing if I ever came back. I never felt more like a criminal in my life, and this experience truly humbled me.
After Fantasy Springs Casino, my mother and I went to the Spotlight 29 Casino, and, once again, we went to the security desk. After security had taken my driver’s license number and my picture, I was informed that I would be missed, and I was escorted off the property. Once again I was warned that I would be arrested if I appeared on the campus in the future. By this time, I wished that I didn’t have a gambling problem so that I didn’t have to go through all of this. I was feeling very embarrassed and humiliated, and I wouldn’t wish this process to anyone. I felt that I should warn any person to do whatever they needed to in order to stop gambling without having to bar themselves, because the procedure is far from pleasant, especially having to be escorted off the campus by a security officer.
Now that so much time has passed since I banned myself from the casinos, I can honestly say that whatever embarrassment and humiliation that I experienced is nothing compared to the peaceful and clean life that I am living in today. I am free to live a life in which I can pursue and enjoy my interests and my family, and I am now the secretary of one of my twelve-step meetings. The truth is that life CAN be fun without gambling and, even though I sometimes regret that I cannot go onto the casino campus to see shows, any sacrifice that I have to make is worth everything for a clean and serene life. I owe my serenity to my self-ban, and I would recommend it to anyone who has a problem with gambling, even though it is not a fun procedure by any means. The threat of arrest is a strong incentive to avoid the casinos at all costs.