No matter which way you look at debt, it is still debt. However, unlike the more conventional impression of debt being something that happened because of a home mortgage, car payment or credit card usage, gambling debt is unique. The number one difference here is the temptation to continue gambling, hoping to hit the big one and then pay off all that debt accumulated due to gambling in the first place. The fact is, the odds are definitely stacked against anyone accomplishing this goal.
In a similar manner, those who continually run up credit card debt buying clothes, furniture and other electronic gadgets will never find themselves out of debt. If there is any hope of them one day getting out of debt, the first thing they need to do is stop over-spending. In like manner, this is what the gambler must also do. They must stop gambling in order to truly solve their debt problem.
Unfortunately, unlike those who spend money in order to have things, the gambler looks at their gambling in a different light. If they have lost money betting on horses or at the casino, they often think that their luck is about to change. All they need is that one big jackpot and they will then be living on easy street. They often convince themselves that all their efforts to win are about to pay off, so they continue to go deeper into debt gambling.
As is often the case, the individual begins their gambling problem in a small way. It usually starts with buying lotto tickets, playing bingo or placing bets with co-workers on their favorite sports team. Even though they lose more often than they win, the euphoria that overtakes them whenever they do win compels them to up the stakes in their gambling adventure. They soon begin visiting the race track, betting on horses or dogs, or they make the trip to the local casino for a little slot machine fun. The bottom line here: they begin to lose more than they win back and the debt begins to grow.
Even though they fully recognize the debt they are getting themselves into, they still believe they will one day win the big payoff and will be able to get out of the debt mess they are currently in.
Another aspect of this dilemma is purely psychological. Because no one wants to feel stupid or made a fool of by others because of their propensity to waste money gambling, they often justify their actions by making themselves believe that they will beat the odds and sooner or later hitting the big win will have made it all worthwhile.
The gambling industry doesn’t make it any easier with mottos such as “Lotto does good things” and “If you’re not in it, you can’t win it”. It can make the perpetual gambler think that, even if they continue to lose, at least they are ‘contributing’ to a good cause that benefits the community.
Even though this all makes sense, in the heart of the gambler they know they have a problem. They know that the casinos and other forms of gambling wouldn’t be in business very long if they lost more money than they won. The odds are clearly in favor of the gambling industry and the gambler instinctively knows this.
However, one of the cruelest things to happen to any gambler is to see the occasional big winner. That is often enough to keep them playing the game, hoping that they will be the next big winner. In truth, the very small numbers of instant millionaire jackpot winners are simply being used by the gambling industry to keep the rest of the gamblers going for broke.
The reality is this: in order to get out of gambling debt, the gambler must forsake one dream for another dream. Instead of dreaming about hitting the big jackpot and ending up on easy street, the gambler needs to come to the conclusion that the odds are clearly stacked against him, and this will never happen.
Accept that you are not going to realize a profit from all of that gambling. Admit to yourself that, even if you did win something, you will always lose it back in an attempt to win even more. The bottom line is, as long as you believe you can see a profit from gambling, you will never stop.
Begin to educate yourself by reading books that reveal the true statistics of the game to understand that no one can truly beat the casinos in the long run. You could even research the lives of those that have hit the lotto and see how their lives have turned out. You will soon discover that most of them are miserable, often suffering from depression, divorce, drugs or alcohol, not able to properly manage their unexpected riches, soon to be found poorer than ever, their self esteem gone as well.
The next step is to cease gambling in all its forms. It may require you to request being banned from casinos and race tracks. You will also benefit by canceling any accounts with a bookie or other sources of gambling. It will also mean that you must stop betting with friends and co-workers on potential outcomes of sports matches. You will even need to stop purchasing that occasional lottery ticket, even when it is at a new record amount.
By doing so, you can now use that money you were spending on gambling to start getting out of debt. Instead of thinking that you can buck the system by winning the jackpot and then paying off your debts, take that mindset and apply it towards really winning the big one by paying off your debts the right way. When you are willing to get out of debt through hard work and discipline, only then will you truly be the winner!