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Gambling in the News

How to Quit Gambling: Step One

Taking Step One of the 12 steps of Gamblers Anonymous (GA) will help you learn How to Quit Gambling.  The first step states that “we admitted we were powerless over gambling”.  In addition, that “our lives had become unmanageable.”  The first part of this step for a gambling addict indicates that he or she acknowledges that making the first bet means that sooner or later they cannot control or limit the amount of betting.  The second half of step one demonstrates that as a result of this betting there is so much going on in their lives that they just cannot handle it.  Everything now seems too overwhelming to cope with.  Life is unmanageable.

Admitting being powerless over gambling and accepting this idea is key to living a gamble free life.  One must be willing to change and not entertain the idea that they can one day control their gambling.  An honest look at one’s gambling history will prove that controlled gambling just hasn’t been the case.  The thought that one’s gambling habits will change is not truly accepting the first part of step one.

How to Quit Gambling Can Be a Challenge but if You Work the Steps It will be Easier!

Admitting and accepting that our lives have become unmanageable really is a step in the right direction.  Let’s think about it for a moment.  If one admits and accepts this idea then one becomes willing to learn new ways of “dealing” with life’s challenges. For instance, gambling is often the cause for not performing simple tasks such as showing up for work or returning a phone call.  It prevents the individual from managing life as it happens.  An article shows the effects of gambling and the impact on others.  In a 12 step program one becomes teachable and is willing to try new things to improve basic coping skills.

How to quit Gambling,stop, take step one

A Gambling Addict’s life is often described as a Tornado, destroying everyone and anything in its’ path.

The reason GA emphasizes this step is that because it is the one step that every addict must take every day.  It’s often said in Gamblers Anonymous, “no matter what…just don’t make that first bet!”  If an individual can do this on a daily basis then he or she might be intrigued to work on the remaining 11 steps of GA.  If one can work towards these steps they are surely on their way to learning How to Quit Gambling for good!

New Generation Of Youth Gamblers On The Rise

Counter Strike Gambling

You won’t find the new generation of compulsive gamblers in casinos or race tracks.  You have to be over eighteen or to enter those places…

These new gamblers are young adults and teens gambling away their savings and allowances online from the comfort of home, many going into serious debt.  The name of the game is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.  Counter-Strike is a popular competitive First Person Shooter for PC (a game where players shoot each other).  All the gambling stems from the virtual items that can be acquired in the game known as skins.  Skins are purely cosmetic paint designs for the weapons you can use in the game.  At first glance, the concept of acquiring weapon skins in a video game seems harmless enough until you realize they can be bought and sold for real cash with most only costing a few cents while others are valued at thousands of dollars depending on the rarity.

Acquiring skins in Counter-Strike is basically gambling in itself.  A player must spend $2.50 to open a box (a case) for a random chance of winning a rare and expensive skin.  A roulette style animation appears when the case is opened and selects the new virtual item.  It’s not much different from buying scratch lotto tickets, however scratch lotto tickets actually have much better odds at winning anything worthwhile.  There are hundreds of YouTube videos showing people opening cases and “Winning Big!” with views in the millions.  Here’s one of a young man opening cases for almost two hours.  The guy in that video almost exclusively posts gambling videos, like this one, and has over three million subscribers.  Most of his viewers are teens and preteens.  He was recently exposed to be the owner of the gambling website he was using in his videos, tricking teens into thinking they could win big money using his site.

Counter-Strike gambling websites have been popping up on the internet for the past couple years.  Gamblers use their skins to place bets on these websites.  It is estimated that over 2.3 billion dollars in bets were placed on these websites in 2015 alone.  Since skins technically aren’t real money these websites are operating in a “legal grey area” and are completely unregulated.  A twelve-year old can get on and start gambling instantly and many do.  The industry and craze continues to grow.

VA to become first state to regulate Fantasy Sports

Bob Cabaniss, founder & executive director of Williamsville Wellness, was recently interviewed by ABC Channel 8 about a law in Virginia that has passed the house and senate. It now goes to the Governor, and would impose registration and auditing on Fantasy Sports sites if they wanted to sell their services to Virginia consumers.

ABC Channel 8 Legislation Fantasy Sports

ABC Channel 8 reviews Legislation on Fantasy Sports


Williamsville Wellness has long been of the opinion that Fantasy Sports are not inherently dangerous, but can lead to dangerous behavior. This is one of many such activities recovering gambling patients really must stay away from; to re-engage can cause a relapse. To be fair, depending on the patient, other legal activities are also discouraged, such as excessive buying and selling on EBay.

The key to all of this is moderation. Excessive or obsessive behavior can quickly lead to real issues, such as problem gambling. To really guage healthy behaviour, is to look at the total picture of one’s life, not just the one area that has lead to a problem.

“Health is the natural condition. When sickness occurs, it is a sign that Nature has gone off course because of a physical or mental imbalance. The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a ‘sound mind in a sound body’.”

Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World



Travel Mindfully: Tips from Andrea

Our resident mindfulness coach, Andrea, just got an article accepted in the Elephant Journal. The question at hand is, what makes travel a better experience, both in terms of quality and extended benefit instead of a temporary escape?

Escape with a purpose; good self therapy

Sometimes, especially with addictive gambling, the focus is on a temporary rush. Even though vacations are the opposite of that inherently (being more likely to relax), the same temptation is to just get a little bit out of them. However, the easy zoning out, or temporary disconnection with the day-to-day responsibility, can be achieved without leaving town; so the question becomes: what else can I get out of visiting a new place?

Andrea points out a pretty critical thought: “Many of us view these getaways or retreats as splurges rather than investments in our happiness and emotional well-being.”

Investing in yourself is one core belief at Williamsville Wellness, and teaching it is one of Andrea’s functions. She does an excellent job of pointing out ways to continuously do that with this article.

The key suggestions:


  • Be Curious
  • Be Present
  • Suspend Judgment
  • Be aware travel is one way to show self-compassion


Click over to the article to get the full thoughts on each point.

Feeding the Cardio

Williamsville has a total health picture in mind for patients. One thing we’re noticing is a lot of people have trouble meeting the recommended 30 min of actual cardio a day.

This is different from a 30 min workout designed to get the heart rate up, and you can only really figure out if you’re doing it with a heart-rate tracker of some kind. Oddly enough, a diet tweak can make it easier to hit the time your heart stays at the cardio rate.

Food for Cardio

Williamsville Wellness focuses on a total health picture, which includes working out and diet. We’ve found a lot of people have trouble meeting the recommended 30 min of actual cardio a day.

This is different from a 30 min workout designed to get the heart rate up, and you can only really figure out if you’re doing it with a heart-rate tracker of some kind. One thing you can do to make it easier is a diet tweak – although I personally don’t need anymore fiber. 😉

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