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Contents

6 Welcome An introduction to this guide 8 See the Signs How to recognize problematic gambling 10 Please Gamble Responsibly Tips to avoid issues and have fun 12 Doubling Down How gambling problems affect more than your wallet 14 How Can I Help? 5 ways to help a problem gambler

16 Information & Help Resources for those impacted by problem gambling 18 Confronting Problem Gambling Potawatomi Casino’s number one social mission 20 Gamblers Anonymous A fellowship of hope and recovery 22 Keeping Gaming Fun Wisconsin Council leads the fight against problem gambling 24 Custom Potowatomi Article Insert subline here

No matter where you go in the United States, gaming is part of the social fabric of our country. Today, experts estimate that nearly 80 percent of Americans participate in some form of gambling every year. Gaming can add excitement to our lives and provide a welcome break from our normal routine. But there are also many who struggle with gambling problems and even addiction, and it is the goal of this publication to make sure we do everything in our power to help those in need overcome their issues.

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A Smart Gambler’s Pocket Guide is designed to give you the tools and information you need to avoid problematic gambling and have fun during your playing experience. It is our sincere desire that you will learn from these articles and take the tips and suggestions with you into your gaming routine.

Inside this guide you’ll find information on how to spot a gambling problem in yourself or others, how problematic gambling can negatively affect your life, as well as how to gamble responsibly. The guide also offers information on resources for those seeking help with gambling issues. Through the information presented in this guide, we hope everyone can avoid problematic gambling and come away with the best possible gaming experience.

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See the SIGNS How to recognize problematic gambling Whether it’s slots, a weekly poker game with friends, or a friendly wager on the big game, gambling comes in many forms. But its defining trait is risk. No matter the stakes, the chance of losing is inherent in every form of gambling. The risk of losing money is obvious, but there is also the risk of developing problematic gambling habits, or even a gambling addiction. Problems may be hard to spot in friends or family, and may be even harder to acknowledge in ourselves. So here are 10 signs someone you know may be developing a gambling problem:

Lying to trusted friends or family about the amount of time spent gambling or the amount of money they’re wagering.

Expressing thoughts about money directly related to gambling (i.e. seeing all money as potential gambling money).

Gambling as an escape from the daily realities of work and family life.

Pawning personal items or looking for small loans from friends and family they wouldn’t normally need.

Gambling with increasingly larger amounts of money as they chase a bigger “thrill.”

Hiding overdue bills or other financial struggles directly related to their gambling activity.

Personality changes, particularly during times of significant winning or losing.

Neglecting important relationships or responsibilities to spend time gambling.

Resorting to stealing or other forms of crime to acquire gambling money.

Promising to cut back on their gambling and being unable to do so.

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PLEASE GAMBLE Responsibly Tips to avoid issues and have fun

It’s no wonder No Limit Texas Hold’em shot to the top of the gambling world. The high stakes make for great action. But when it comes to gambling responsibly, setting limits is just about the best thing you can do. Here are some tips to avoid running into problems:

It’s supposed to be fun!

Just like a show or a movie, try to think of gambling as entertainment, rather than a means of making money. Chances are you’re not a professional poker player, so don’t try to act like one. Just enjoy spending your time playing and don’t let the wins or losses affect you too much.

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Know Your Limits Before you step into the casino, set a dollar amount that you can afford to lose. Don’t go over that limit, regardless of how the chips may fall. Also, set a time limit for your playing as well. This will help keep your day and your spending on track.

Sober is Better Gambling does not require you to drink. By refraining from using alcohol or other substances, you have a better chance of sticking to your spending plans and coming out ahead.

Accept the Outcome If you’re going to the casino to try to win back what you lost during a previous visit, you’re setting yourself up for problems. Accept your losses, know the odds of the games you’re playing, and just have fun.

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How gambling problems aect more than your wallet

Casinos are busy places, but even with all the people coming and going, it’s easy to still feel alone when spending several hours at the tables or playing slots. So when things aren’t going your way, it’s easy to feel as if the losses are all

your own. But problematic gambling behavior affects everyone around you and can have serious consequences for your friends and family, as well as your finances.

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It’s important to recognize that money isn’t the only thing you can lose when you develop a gambling problem. By spending more time at the casino than you do at home, you can lose out on precious time with loved ones and strain critical relationships. How you spend your time is a statement on what’s important to you, and spending free time at the casino may make loved ones feel you don’t value them. Children especially

can experience abandonment issues that can cause serious emotional stress and potential behavioral problems down the road.

There are also potential physical and psychological effects from problematic gambling behavior. Experts at the Mayo Clinic say compulsive gambling can cause poor general health as well as depression, sometimes leading to suicidal thoughts or

actions. Someone with a gambling problem may not recognize these symptoms until they are fully enveloped in their addiction.

You may gamble alone, but the effects of

problematic gambling are felt by those closest to you, even if the signs are difficult to see. 13

If you think a family member or friend has a gambling problem, what can you do to help them? Gambling is similar to other forms of addiction, in that it can trigger the brain's reward systems, setting up a damaging cycle of behavior. The earlier the process is identified, the better the chances for a successful recovery. Here are five steps to help the gambler to admit a problem and seek help:

Educate Yourself. Learn as much as you can about problem gambling including its warning signs, negative impacts and options for help and recovery.

Diagnose the problem. Look for possible signs: spending more money on gambling than one can afford; difficulties in personal relationships or work caused by gambling; an inability to stop or cut back on gambling; or, stealing or committing fraud to support gambling.

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Make a plan. First, you want to choose the right moment to talk. If the person recently had a negative gambling experience and is regretful, that might be a good opportunity to start the discussion. If the person tries to rationalize their behavior, be prepared to offer evidence of their problem (credit card bills, lost job, etc.)

Focus on the problem. When confronting someone about problem gambling, stay calm and be supportive. Tell them how their gambling has affected you. Lecturing the gambler is typically not an effective approach; it may make them more defensive and unable to see their problem.

Seek expert help. Problem gambling doesn't just affect the gambler. It can have serious consequences for the people around them too. Enlist the help of professionals, not only for psychological support, but for financial advice and counseling.

Although compulsive gambling is not easy to overcome, many people are able to manage their illness with professional help, and ongoing support from those around them. 15

Resources for those impacted by problem gaming

The National Council on Problem Gaming (NCPG.org.) Disseminates information about problem and pathological (compulsive) gambling. NCPG also promotes the development of services for those with the disorder.

The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gaming (wis.-problemgamblers.org.) An affiliate of the National Council, the council provides information on resources in Wisconsin, including a list of addiction treatment providers, and locations of Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon (for the loved ones of addicted gamblers) meetings around the state. The National Center for

Responsible Gaming (NCRG.org) is the only national organization exclusively devoted to funding research that helps increase understanding of pathological and youth gambling and find effective methods of treatment for the disorder.

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The website DontBetYet.com provides educational resources to teach children about gambling. The website getgamingfacts.ca provides information on the psychology of gaming and responsible gaming tips. The Journal of Gambling Issues (jgi.camh.net) is an open-access, indexed journal that provides a scientific forum for developments in gambling-related research, policy issues, and treatment. The website Gamtalk.org provides online support for gambling issues and discussion forums for those who are concerned about their own gambling, and for family and friends of problem gamblers.

The Division on Addiction of the Cambridge Health Alliance (an affiliate of Harvard Medical School) has developed InSIGHT, the Independent Science-based Information on Gambling & Health Training. InSIGHT is an evidence-based multimedia training system for gambling industry employees.

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Confronting

PROBLEM GAMBLING Potawatomi Casino’s number one social mission Potawatomi Bingo Casino has devoted more resources than any other casino in Wisconsin to the issue of problem gambling, by:  Being a leading contributor to the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling. Providing helpline materials inside the casino. Supporting training for management and front-line team members to help develop an awareness of problem gambling. Including helpline information in the casino’s guest publication, Ante. Providing a self-restriction program.   

Responsible Gaming is Potawatomi Hotel & Casino’s number one social priority and we are committed to making people aware of the risks and providing resources for those who need it.

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If you or someone you know answers “yes” to any of these questions, it might be time to seek advice or help:

Have you often gambled longer than you had planned? Have you often gambled until your last dollar was gone? Have thoughts of gambling caused you to lose sleep? Have you used your income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid? Have you made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling? Have you broken the law or considered breaking the law to finance your gambling? Have you borrowed money to finance your gambling? Have you felt depressed or suicidal because of your gambling losses? Have you been remorseful after gambling? Have you gambled to get money to meet your financial obligations? Source: National Council on Problem Gambling, Inc. Potawatomi Hotel & Casino          

also offers a gambling self-restriction program, available to any guest. For some who gamble, self-restriction can provide a needed break or safeguard against a potential problem. For more information on self-restriction, contact the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Ban Inquiry Line at 414-847-7608 . Or, ask to speak with someone from Security or Guest Relations while visiting the Casino.

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GAMBLERS Anonymous A fellowship of hope & recovery

One of the most effective tools for dealing with a gambling addiction is the self-help organization Gamblers Anonymous.

Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop gambling. Like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step program based on principles designed to promote personal growth and recovery. This can be accomplished by having faith in, and following, the basic concepts of the Gamblers Anonymous Recovery Program. We believe that recovering from gambling or other compulsive addictions requires diligent effort, an open mind, and a willingness to change.

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As in AA and NA, newcomers to the fellowship are guaranteed the right to remain anonymous, if they so choose. Anonymity serves as a useful reminder to always place GA principles above individual personalities. While Gamblers Anonymous is based on spiritual principles, it is not a religious group, and does not require any particular religious affiliation. Membership includes people from many religious faiths, along with agnostics and atheists. The Gamblers Anonymous recov- ery program is based on acceptance of certain spiritual values, but each member is allowed to interpret these principles as he or she sees fit. There is no financial obligation required to be a Gamblers Anony- mous member. Since Gamblers Anonymous has traditionally been fully self-supporting and declines outside contributions, expenses are met through voluntary financial support by the members.

A list of weekly Gamblers Anonymous meetings by county is available on the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling’s website: wi-problemgamblers.org/resources/gamblers-anonymous-meetings

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Keep GAMING Fun The state of Wisconsin has a unique resource to help those who may be addicted to gambling: the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling. A nonprofit organization affiliated with the National Council on Problem Gaming, the council offers a number of programs and services to help problem gamblers, and those who would like to help them.

Wisconsin Council leads the fight against problem gambling

The primary mission of the WCPG is to educate and promote public understanding of problem gambling and the disorder of compulsive gambling. Its efforts are focused on: Promoting public education and awareness of problem and compulsive gambling.

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Advocating quality assistance for all individuals who may be adversely affected by gambling problems.

Identifying “high risk” groups for problem and compulsive gambling and promoting prevention activities.

Providing training to professional counselors in the treatment of compulsive and problem gamblers.

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WCPG was formed in 1993 by a group of counselors, recovering compulsive gamblers, educators, and concerned citizens. Based in Green Bay, it has a statewide membership, a statewide board of directors and a statewide mission.

Since beginning its public awareness campaign in September, 1998, the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling has provided the following to Wisconsin residents: High school educational curriculum Mini-grants for community-based activities A 24-hour help line An annual, statewide Compulsive Gambling Awareness Conference An ongoing, public relations/media awareness campaign Training of human service professionals A need-assessment survey A strategic plan Research          The Council also offers free information on a number of gambling-related topics, including “What Is Compulsive Gambling?” self-evaluation, family issues, the technique of “carefrontation,” internet gambling, how to talk about problem gambling, kids gambling, women and gambling, judicial issues and providing hope for recovery.

A list of weekly Gamblers Anonymous meetings by county is available on the Council’s website: wi-problemgamblers.org/resources/gamblers-anonymous-meetings.

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If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLE-5 (1-800-426-2535), 24 hours a day.

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