NOT a gambling addict

“Raja, you’re a pathetic gambling addict who spends way too much money on slots.” I hear it all the time. “You’re blowing all your money on slot machines with your crazy bets.” The critics don’t stop. “You have a serious problem if you can lose $100,000 in just 10 minutes.

No, no, and no. Maybe these people should learn what exactly addiction is before they start slinging accusations like that.

The Mayo Clinic lists these 10 telltale symptoms for gambling addiction. As you’ll see, none of them apply to me, but you might find this helpful to diagnose yourself or a loved one with gambling addiction:

(1) Being preoccupied with gambling, such as constantly planning how to get more gambling money…

I guess, in many ways, I am preoccupied with gambling, but it’s more to provide content for my channel, and less about ‘getting my fix.’ Are the people at NBC ‘addicts’ because they feel compelled to produce a new episode of Law & Order: SVU every week? Hardly, and neither am I. As for planning how to get more gambling money, I literally never have to do this: Because my businesses have done – and continue to do – well, I never have to plan how to get more gambling money. I always bet within my means; it’s just that my means are quite vast.

(2) Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill…

Also on account of my wealth, I definitely need to bet large amounts to get any kind of thrill. (Playing a penny slot only puts 0.000000000000000000001% of my net worth at risk, and no risk is no fun.) But my bet amounts have NOT been increasing over the years. I’ve always bet massive amounts of money. You can watch videos of me playing for $200 per spin four years ago, and you can watch videos of me playing for $200 per spin 14 months ago, too.

(3) Trying to control, cut back or stop gambling, without success…

This is a tricky one that I can’t actually put to the test, since I can’t really intentionally cut back, or else I’ve got no videos for you guys to watch on my YouTube channel. However, with the recent COVID–19 pandemic, I had no choice but to cut back (and do scratch-off tickets instead; not nearly as fun). Well, it was certainly successful in terms of my mental health – I personally had no issues. But I did feel bad that I couldn’t give you guys as many videos as I used to. With re–openings happening, though, that’s now starting to change.

(4) Feeling restless or irritable when you try to cut down on gambling…

Similarly, for the last two months, I’ve had no choice but to cut down on gambling significantly (more scratch-offs, if you’re interested!). No restlessness or irritability, though. I feel just as good now as I always did, back when I was doing several in–casino live streams per week. Luckily, that’s also starting to happen again now, but I had no issues during the two–month gap.

(5) Gambling to escape problems or relieve feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression…

I mean, I haven’t done a deep dive into this with a psychologist, but I can pretty confidently say that this doesn’t apply to me. During my recent gambling cut–down, I haven’t been feeling any more guilt, anxiety, or depression than normal, and I certainly haven’t been craving gambling to escape it – and before you naysayers jump in, scratch-offs – while fun – just aren’t the same.

(6) Trying to get back lost money by gambling more (chasing losses)…

Look, I have over 2,000 videos up on my YouTube channel. Have you ever heard me say, “let’s try to win that money back?” Of course not. I fully understand that money lost on slots is money lost on slots. If I put more money into machines, it’s because I want to play more fun games, not because I’m “trying to get back lost money” – I know quite well that this is impossible.

(7) Lying to family members or others to hide the extent of your gambling…

Come on, now, Do I really need to debunk this one? I proudly proclaim that my gambling is extravagant and frequent. Instead of lying about it, I broadcast it on a YouTube channel.

(8) Jeopardizing or losing important relationships, a job, or school or work opportunities because of gambling…

My relationship with my kids has never been better. Also, I still have business partners that I’ve worked with for 20+ years, and my companies continue to thrive. Non-issue. Sure, I’ve lost relationships with people through the years – I’m only human. But never because of gambling.

(9) Resorting to theft or fraud to get gambling money…

I’m lucky that my wealth means I never even have to think about this, but even if I was poor, I would never go that route. Playing with my own money is one thing, but taking money from someone else without their permission? As much as I like risk, that’s just way too risky, and I’d never want someone to do that to me, so I would never do that either. If anyone is stealing here, it’s that damn Lock It Link; crafty machine, hahaha.

(10)Asking others to bail you out of financial trouble because you gambled money away…

Again, this is a non-issue because of my wealth. But still, I’m always aware of what I can afford to lose, and I never bet beyond that. I don’t ever want to have to go to somebody for money because of gambling, or for any other reason, while we’re on the subject. I’ve tried very hard to be self-reliant, and I think I’m doing okay with it.

Still, if you’re finding that many people are saying that you might be an addict, it’s probably worth your time to spend a few minutes going through this list, and checking if any of the symptoms apply to you. As for me, I’ve just done that here, and thankfully, none of them do.

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