Addiction is serious, and should be taken seriously. But just as it’s dangerous to make light of real addiction, so too is it awful to attempt to attribute addiction to things that aren’t connected to it. I’m talking here of people accusing slot channels of “encouraging addiction” or “turning people into addicts.” We ought to be clear about this: Big win videos on YouTube do NOT create addicts. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of comments on my YouTube and Facebook channels that accuse me of turning other people into addicts – but the key words here are “other people.” I have literally never seen any actual addicts blame me for turning them into addicts, just haters referring to the nebulous “other people” without any specifics, making things up in an attempt to wrongly classify the videos as “dangerous.” On the contrary, if you browse through a lot of my comments, what you’ll see is something that might actually surprise you – it surprised me at first: You’ll see some former and/or recovering and/or borderline addicts tell me that my videos actually help them stay away from casinos because they get their “fix” from watching me play instead.
So, let’s run through a few of these comments, positive and negative, shall we? And I’ll refrain from naming the individuals to protect their anonymity (but if you dig deep enough into the YouTube and Facebook comments, which would probably take you many, many hours, you’ll probably find some of these): One person wrote, “how the f*** do you live with yourself? youre making people become addicts.” Notice how he didn’t say that he is an addict, or I’ve turned his brother into an addict, or his dad? Just that I turn “people” into addicts. Or what about this one? “gambling is pure evil. You’re terrible and lots of people lose a lot of money because of your videos.” Here, we see a bit more of the truth coming out… This fine person just thinks gambling is “evil” outright, so he makes up fake news that my videos have caused people to lose money, without naming any of those people, or giving any examples. I guess it’s much easier to call something evil if you can justify it by connecting it to human suffering, and if no verifiable connection exists, just make it up? And then, this type of comment might be my favorite... She wrote, “thats not a massive jackpot like u said. It’s less than $5000. Your a total degnerate. Cant believe people support you. YOU are the reason so many people have gambling problems.” This one is hilarious because she clearly watches enough slot videos to establish in her own mind what constitutes a “massive” jackpot and what doesn’t. I wonder, would she still be accusing me of these things if that jackpot had been $10K instead of $4.8K? She too names no addicts nor references anyone specifically, not even anyone she knows – just “people” in general.
But you know who does get specific about themselves? ACTUAL ADDICTS. And do you want to see what they have to say? Here’s one: “oh man love watching buffalo. I dont go to the casino anymore because I lost my house years ago from gambling. I miss it so much so thanx for playing all these buffalo slots. Makes me feel better to watch.” Happy to do it. I can afford losses that other people can’t. And then, listen to what this woman had to say: “every time I drive by a casino and get the urge I just watch your channel instead.” Lucky we live in this age of technology, where people can just watch my channel from their phones, no matter where they are. Perhaps most telling, though, is this very simple comment. This guy gets straight to the core of the issue: “Thanks Raja. You lose a lot of money so I don’t have to lol.” So true. Problem gamblers should stay far away from casinos. I’ll lose that money on your behalf!
And look, for any gambler, I say it all the time: Only bet what you can afford to lose. That’s what I do, and you should do the same. Gambling is supposed to be a source of fun, not a source of profit. Nobody makes money from slots long-term. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re a problem gambler, you should talk to a professional immediately to find out. I have this blog post from a while back, which can point you in the right direction, but it’s not meant to be a replacement for a specialist in the field, which I am not.
One thing’s for sure, though: There’s no epidemic of gambling addicts created specifically from watching YouTube videos. Is it possible that someone watched my videos, tried gambling, and then became addicted? Sure, it’s possible. I’ve just never seen an example of it. Literally everyone who’s accused me of this online has some other problem with my videos, so they make up a fake connection between my videos and addiction, while the real addicts tell a very different story in the comments, as you’ve seen. Through the ages, there have always been haters who blame entertainment for negative actions of individuals: People blamed video games for violent children, people blamed rap music for gang violence. But time and again, these wild accusations have been debunked repeatedly. Certainly, videos of me playing slot – where I constantly remind people to only bet what they can afford to lose – are the same thing. Individuals ought to start taking responsibility for their own irresponsible actions, and in fact, as you’ve seen above, most of them do. It’s just the haters who try to pin negative effects on unrelated causes. So, to those haters: Either come with the goods, or go home. Nobody has time for your antics.