January 27, 2022

The Editor Speaks: Gambling is a fever

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Colin WilsonwebGambling is a fever and millions are hooked on it. Many suffer grievously from the habit.

When the trial of Cayman’s ex-Premier McKeeva Bush is over, whatever the outcome, I hope he gets counseling on what would seem to be a gambling fever he is inflicted with.

It was revealed last Wednesday that Bush had taken cash advances on his own and his government credit cards totalling over $465,000 in 45 days of gambling on slot machines between July 2009 and April 2010 while he was on overseas government business trips.

His net loss, according to Casino records, amounted to $260,000!

One can only ask has he recognised he needs help?

We are so intent on drug and alcoholism awareness and prevention; gambling addiction seems to be forgotten here. And it shouldn’t.

I publish this message from Paul W. a Member of Gamblers Anonymous:

“My name is Paul W. I am an arrested compulsive gambler. When I was actively gambling there was nothing more important in my life than being able to continue in the gambling action regardless of the consequences that resulted. In my life, those consequences included divorce, bankruptcy, loss of my family home, loss of many good jobs, hospitalization, physical ailments of the heart and lungs, nervous breakdowns, and thoughts of suicide. There even was an attempt on my life for monies I borrowed but could not repay! To further my gambling action I became a compulsive liar, a thief, a writer of bad checks, an abuser of my wife and children, and a person who was slowly entering the gates of prison, insanity, and death.

“The events I describe did not happen overnight. They took many years of pain, misery, and suffering. To continue gambling, compulsive gamblers endure many disastrous experiences, always thinking that the “big win” is just around the corner. The excuse we invent about having to continue gambling to get our lost money back is known as the “BIG LIE”. The thought of not being able to continue gambling is our greatest fear. Unlike addictions to drugs and alcohol, compulsive gambling is referred to as the “hidden disease”. It is estimated that there are 20 million compulsive gamblers in this country today. Most compulsive gamblers will never seek help for their problem and will die in regret, remorse, and pity for their wasted lives.

“As a member of Gamblers Anonymous, I have abstained from gambling for over five years! My last bet was July 7th, 2000. To continue my recovery I faithfully attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings on a weekly basis. That commitment to recovery is essential to maintaining recovery by remembering my past gambling insanity and not repeating that insane behavior. That means not making the next bet, or the thousands of bets that would surely follow. My life and my thinking have changed dramatically for the better since I have stopped betting. I don’t gamble on anything. I live life to the best of my ability “one day at a time”. I don’t wallow in the past or project myself into an unknown future. I focus on today which is the only day I can do something about. The credit for this new freedom and hope I have discovered is given to the life-saving program of Gambler’s Anonymous. Gamblers Anonymous teaches me that honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are the key words and principles in my ongoing recovery.

“There are Gamblers Anonymous groups in our area. If you suspect you too may have a gambling problem you can call for help and guidance. You can stop gambling if you desire to, and therefore stop destroying your life and the lives of your loved ones. But you will need help! We must seek and ask for help! You can call 1-877-543-7580 for referrals to the gambling treatment programs and meetings in our area. That phone call could be the most important phone call you have made in your life, and best of all, you will have “nothing to lose”.


Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there is no Gambler’s Anonymous here in the Cayman Islands.

If gambling gets the go-ahead here that is being crusaded by many individuals including Cayman’s Tourism Industry, Bush might be its first candidate.

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