Help available for gamblers

Help available for gamblers »Play Video
Bakersfield, Ca.-- Jim H is a recovering compulsive gambler who made his last bet in 1977. In that time he says, there's been an explosion of gambling with casinos, the lottery, satellite wagering, Bingo and just about anything else.

"For me it became an escape," said Jim H who did not want to use his last name.

But for others it can be much more severe such as leading to doing things they might not normally do. A Los Angeles man, John Thomas Bell was recently arrested as a suspect in a bank robbery.

During a jail house interview, Bell admitted to robbing the Bank of America at the Marketplace and said he did it because of his gambling addiction.

"I feel horrible...I caused a lot of damage to a lot of people because of this addiction," said Bell.

Most gamblers are not thieves or robbers said Jim H. Even so, he admits the gambler is always thinking of ways to get money to keep gambling.

"You try to figure out how can I get this money? Who can I borrow from? Who can I con?" said Jim H. "I pulled a few scams like most gamblers and got away with it," he said.

Still, Jim H says a gambler has to take personal responsibility if he or she truly wants to quit.

"You can't say 'Well I'm a compulsive gambler, I can't help it'. You can help it. You can quit," said Jim H.

He recommends calling Gamblers Anonymous hotline at 1-888-424-3577
to find out meeting times for local meetings in any area.

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