Hi everybody my name is Mark and i live in Las Vegas and i have resided here since 1995 i am from Dallas originally.
I follow mrlifeadvise since a Japanese supplier of mine recommended it as a good read for smaller and medium sized business owners.
I know the site is less than a year old, and i was impressed once i saw the references of the people running this site.
Really impressive that business people with a global presence takes the time to write some blog posts and also offer a very low cost business consulting service.
So it is so refreshing to see these kind of articles on a very important topic like gambling addiction suffering small and medium sized business owners.
My own story is that i started to going to Las Vegas in my early 20s with my 10 year older brother.
And i started to gamble more and more for each year that went by.
But because i never wanted to place illegal bets, i was able to control this until i made the decision to move to Las Vegas in 1995.
I come from money, and that has helped me not to be forced to commit crimes to support my addiction.
But i have lost 2 companies over the past 20 years time due to my gambling addiction.
I work as a general contractor and i also sell air cooling systems for offices and private homes.
I lost two business for going in to so much debt, that i had to sell them both to get debt free and start over again.
Probably i would have had a 20+ million dollar company by now if i could have kept i first business going.
Instead i do only close to a million dollars in turnover these days.
I spend a lot of my time at the sports-book at the casinos and i play so much that i eat for free every day, everywhere.
If i could go back 30 years in time, i would never ever have started to gamble.
And as a business owner this has been the biggest poison in my life, and it has affected me i every possible way negatively speaking.
I am 52 years old and after living in Las Vegas for 25 years time i am now moving back to my home town Dallas and i am starting over.
I never created a family or got married, because i have been working and gambling full time for over 25 years time!.
I still have time, but this is it for me i am trowing in the towel so to speak after 30+ years of hardcore gambling.
I have lost 8-10 million dollars over this period of 25 years time.
And on top of that two companies.
I wish that somebody would have come for me 20 years ago and dragged me to rehab and back to Texas.
I am 100% responsible for my own actions, but it is also a sickness/illness an addiction that i dont have any control over.
And i have meet so many sad people during my 25 years here in Las Vegas.
And i am seriously worried when i see the young people that are starting out now gambling and all the online gambling plattforms that are widely available for people to play at from the comforts of their own homes!.
I have seen people lose it all here in Las Vegas and i know of more than 100 people who have committed suicide because they have lost it all, and they can see no way forward.
As a gambler you really dont have friends you have regulars that you know at the different gambling spots and you can do and eat together and then you go back to the casino or the sports-book.
So i have had always two rescue cats at once, that has been my family here in Vegas because a family would have taken up to much time from my gambling.
I have had winning months but never winning years.
If you win 200.000 dollars as a gambler on the sports-book then you raise the stakes and you just need 5-6 bad bets in a row and the money you won is gone!.
And then the cycle starts over again!.
I can honestly say that i am one of the truly lucky ones that have a family with some means.
This means that i can go back to Texas and still live a good life,thanks to my family.
I have donated to animal shelters over the past 25 years time, and the one thing i am proud of in all this is that, every morning before work, if i had a winning day i went and donated money to different privately run animal shelters in the Vegas region.
And i stuck to always donating at least 20% of my winnings after taxes.
So i have donated quite a bit of money over the past 25 years.
So this is the only good thing i take away with me from Vegas after 25 years time together with my rescue cats back to Texas.
So let my story be a warning that please you young people and young business owners out there, never start to gamble period!.
It it does not matter if you play poker, it is still gambling and i can not tell you how many poker players i have meet in my life that has won a lot of money and then ended up broke and alone after a few years.
And you will never be able to beat the sport-book they will have the lines in the right place enough times to make there vig and also make money on you.
And the casinos and slot machines are just a dream that you can win big over time!.
One of the more sad things that i have seen here in Vegas over the past 25 years time , is how much the crimes have gone up and committed by gambling addicts, i could tell you horror stories here, but i wont.
I will spare you these stories, but i have seen such good hearth ed people turn ice cold because of there addiction to gambling , that it is just sad and demoralizing the whole ting.
So from the bottom of my hearth i wish that you young folks never have to experience what it is like being a gambling addict.
The cortisol levels are always true the roof in your body and you only crash after work and after a long evening at the casinos.
I have been fortunate enough that i have been able to hold down a job/ my own companies and be able to work 8 hours a day and then sleep 8 hours and then gamble pretty much the rest of my time.
I dont want this anymore and i already knew 15 years ago that i am not gonna be able to win back my losses, but still i kept trying and dag myself even deeper into debt and destruction.
Do yourself a favor if you have started to gamble, quit immediately and let the money you lost me a lesson and please understand that less than 0.1% will win their money back over time, and you are not one of those 1 in a 1000 that will win your losses back.
So even if my guest blog post here only saves one young business owner to walk down my path i am more that pleased to write my story here.
A big thank you to mrlifeadvise that allowed me to share my story and my deep knowledge of the gambling issue here.