STOP gambling addicts by requiring credit score check in online casinos
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Please help me stop gambling addiction earlier.
I moved to New Jersey last year from DC for a great job, paying $100K+ per year. Shortly after moving, I was drawn by an advertisement for online casinos, offering a free $25 just for signing up. I didn't have many friends in my new state, so I had a lot of time to myself. I had always enjoyed playing casino games and free money sounded great. I later found out there were many casinos which offered these incentives to play games for money legally online. I won about $2000, and pretty quickly too! How thrilling... I ended up losing that $2000. I started depositing my own money little by little and lost that too. Over time it was a huge downward spiral. I was out of control (completely sober, also, which makes it even more scary). I took out loans that I probably could have repaid by now, if I had not gambled them away, I sold my car, I literally put in every penny I had in my checking account to try to win it back. No one was there to stop me because no one knew.
I cannot take the casinos to court because this was my "own" doing. The online casinos have a self-exclusion policy, but addiction is such that I never wanted to give up the chance to win. I know my story is not unique, but if I had been cut off when my credit score dropped below 500, I would have tens of thousands of dollars more than I do right now. How can it be that I do not qualify for a loan, but I can continue to throw money into the casinos?
I want to do the civil duty of trying to prevent this scenario for anyone else who is in a similar situation. I want to make a monumental change which will benefit not only the others with the horrible condition of gambling addiction, but also benefit the banks and loan issuers who will later be taken to court for a settlement because their client cannot repay, as their money was given to a casino. Gambling addiction is so real and is becoming more of an issue, especially in New Jersey, now that there is online access where you can hide behind a screen and play against computers that are programmed to take your money (the "house edge").
I want to require that a credit check be mandatory for online casino users. If no one will issue me a loan, I want to be sure it is impossible for me to give my money to a casino as well. It's easy to spot a problem gambler in person, and if someone were to be monitoring my deposits from the online server, it would be clear as day that I had a problem. But no one from any casino has ever contacted me directly and suggested I stop making deposits...why would they?
Just as we have background checks for people to purchase guns, we need to be sure people with financial problems cannot gamble online. Self exclusion options are not enough, especially when they are not pushed by casinos to those who have gone beyond their limit.
Gambling is meant to be fun, but something needs to be done to prevent the addicts from continuing to spiral like I did. I know by implementing this change in policy, our society will be so much better off. Banks and creditors and people suffering with gambling addiction.
Please help me push this issue and have credit checks be a requirement for the big casinos to operate online.
Thank you for your support, I hope you will provide your signature to have this change made.
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