“My first and foremost thoughts before I write this are to send love, prayers, and condolences to all of those victims and the families suffering a loss of loved ones by another senseless shooting. I wish a speedy recovery for all those who were injured. To those wounded? I want to say, PLEASE, if you begin to experience any delayed trauma or symptoms of PTSD, do not hesitate to reach out for help. There is NO SHAME in doing so. Know you are loved and not alone.
The world and I have you in our prayers,"
~Author, Catherine Lyon
"I will only use the word "shooter" as I write this article as I can not bring myself to write or say the shooters name in respect to all who got caught in this senseless mass shooting. I was sent a link to an article by a friend written courtesy of 'The New York Times.' I also read a couple more about the shooters gambling patterns, habits, and behaviors and had been risking money for years. As I have shared through social media, the more I read and heard coming from news reports, my gut feeling was telling me that this disgusting man may have had a gambling problem.
For the regular person who is not educated or informed about gambling addiction may not see the same warning signs and red flags I did or others who have or recovering from this deadly habit. While detectives and FBI profilers grapple with finding the motive or the "WHY" the shooter had killed, I think his gambling played a role in some way. Even CNN and MSNBC happen to make a few remarks ‘off the cuff’ about the shooters gambling, but not in a way that would link it to be a factor in what this disturbed man carried out.
Oh, they mentioned he was a multimillionaire and a "high stakes" recognized in the casinos in Nevada. A gambler who made many trips to gambling destinations like Reno, Vegas, and gamble on cruise lines. He liked playing $100 dollar a hand on video poker machines. But even millionaires can run out of money when addicted. Millionaires also carry out crimes and murder. One particular article recalled one time in 2007 the shooter stayed at the Mandalay Bay and entered a video poker machine contest.
The man that was sitting next to him back then was interviewed and told the Los Angeles Times about that day. “The shooter wanted to win and, like any savvy video poker player, he knew which machine to lock down at Mandalay Bay. There was only one in the casino — a Jacks-or-better 9-6 video machine, meaning it paid 9-to-1 credits on the full house and 6-1 on the flush and offered the casino only a slim advantage. Mandalay Bay was having a contest for a $100,000 drawing and players, based on the amount of their play the next day, would get tickets to enter. He got ready to work."
The shooter looked as his gambling habit as work?
"There sat the shooter. Not playing it the machine, just sitting there. Waiting. The man interviewed settled into the poker machine next to him — not one with as generous a payout schedule — and waited for midnight. When it struck, the shooter hit the machine lightning quick, going at a rate of $120,000 per hour. He barely spoke said the guy, and they both played 24 hours straight that day in 2007."(courtesy LA Times)
WOW, playing 24 hours to gain tickets for just a $100,000.00 drawing and spending $120,000.00 per hour? Do the math, and the shooter takes a big HIT of loss. So, was it really fun and games for the shooter when he played? Was it just numbers for him? Was it he just had to WIN? Or was he chasing some loss? Many of the reported actions of his behaviors stood out to me about gambling addiction as he acted in an "isolated mood" often around others, not socializing with others around him, his gambling was like "his job."
See, compulsive gambling begins as a slow progressive disease, much like an addiction to alcohol or drugs. In many cases, the gambling becomes hidden and only "brag" about winnings only, not the losses until the gambler becomes unable to function without gambling, and the player begins to exclude all other activities from their lives. Inability to stop and is eventually able to remove themselves from reality to the point of being totally obsessed with gambling.
Now some experts are saying there is no known bond between the shooters losses and violence. Oh, but the shooter did Commit Suicide! And gambling addiction is The #1 Addiction Claiming Lives by Suicide than any other addiction!! Another red flag. In the wake of the atrocity, WHY does the gambling industry KEEP SWEEPING EVENTS from gambling SWEPT UNDER THE RUG? Why do the media, news, and papers not write about the many downsides to a problem or habitual gambling? While the Las Vegas shooting unfolding in headlines, far away in the Philippines in June, another casino tragedy unfolded. So this problem is not just in the US. It happens around the world.
Casino gaming history is riddled with stories of "wealthy high-rollers" who eventually hit bottom, and the gambling kings haven’t always been willing to acknowledge the devastating impacts their product’s use has on a small percentage of compulsive and addicted players. And desperate casino bust-outs, mired in debt, dysfunction and untreated illness, commonly attempt suicide, which most succeed. Sadly, I know this from my experience as I had two failed attempts myself due to my gambling addiction before being treated.
The shooters brother told reporters last week, “he gambled for more than 20 years. "He gambled successfully …. He did it because it was a way to have a fun life, and he didn’t go poor or broke doing it.”
Well, sorry, I would have to disagree. If gambling brought so much fun into the shooters life, why did he feel he needed to KILL and then cowardly KILL himself? Had he finally hit his”rock bottom?" I guess we won’t know for many weeks to come. Now that investigators have sent and served many search warrants on the shooters financial holdings and assets, I am sure we will get those answers. Had he blew through all his millions?
As a recovering addicted gambler, I know just how fast it happens. The shooter is not immune to the dangers of gambling addiction. The killer was just as human as anyone else. Because you think you can afford a gambling habit does not make you immune to becoming an addict. If he wasn’t having money problems from his gambling? Then maybe his long-term gambling took a mental and emotional toll on him and had begun to take over. Gambling addiction is a 24/7 addiction. Even after you walk away from the slot machine or video poker machine, a card or craps table.
I know, I'd experienced it first hand. It is exhausting. And it is why many coming into treatment do have some mental health issues as I did. I had to be on Wellbutrin for over a year from all the obsessive gambling had depleted my brain chemical that triggers your “pleasure and reward” area of the brain. I was put on anti-anxiety medication as I was in “high mania” mode when first coming to the crisis center and after my hospital stay from my first suicide attempt which was not my last. That is how bad I had spiraled down into “blackness.” Of course, I was severely depressed as well.
So as I close, let us remember that many families and loved ones are holding funerals and memorials for their loved one who were taken to soon and in a senseless way. This article is NOT about the shooter. It is about the disease, a deadly problem going on called Gambling Addiction and why the news, media, and publications won't acknowledge it or even talk about this issue? It's about why the FBI or investigators are not looking into this angle?
The time is now to have a conversation about something that is no "All Fun & Games" for many... Again, our condolences to those families who have lost loved ones.