Balance of a game addict

“I would not have won.” This thought circled over and over again by Nils’ head, for years. If he would have lost for the first Time, he is now sure, would his life be different. Nils, 34, short, light brown hair, broad shoulders, boyish face, had lied to his friends, the family will not be stolen from. He hadn’t spent 15 hours of the day in the casino. And he would have often eaten something other than fried onions, because he will not have to spend any cents for the Gamble would have.

Nils is one of an estimated 180,000 people in Germany suffer from pathological gambling addiction. More and 326,000 people are acutely at risk. Most of them are like Nils, men around 30 years.

“It can happen to anyone”

A long time, researchers believed that certain psychological and genetic characteristics make people prone to addictions. “Today, we know that there is such a thing as addiction personalities,” says Thomas hill makers, Medical Director of the clinic for psychiatry and psychotherapy, Nuremberg, Germany, and has treated a lot of game addicts. Hill, the bookmaker is certain: It can affect anyone. And it all usually starts quite harmless.

When Nils started with cheap beer, that lured him and his buddy in 2014, Berlin will be Playable. They had only just started to study mechanical engineering, and very little money. Ten Euro Nils shoved in a vending machine that swallowed the greedy for money. Indiscriminately, the then 30-Year-old pressed the buttons of the machine – and suddenly, without that he would have understood how, the ten Euro 100.

The bulk of the money, the friends numbered in the same night. The next Morning Nile was still 40 euros in his pocket. The Student remembered the feeling of winning: It tingled in his belly, as if he was in love. “Maybe,” he thought, “I can do it again.” On the same day, he returned to the game hall. The trap was sprung.

In the end the Bank always wins

Instead of the cheap slot hall, it moved to Nils soon in the Berlin casino, in Roulette, he sensed big money. First he put only a few euros at a time, but he soon raised the stakes, sometimes on 500 Euro per round, played at several tables at the same time. He made ingenious, a sure-fire computer system, so he believed, at least. “When the ball lands in the first round at a certain number, you slide the next Time, about eight places”, he was convinced.

The System seemed to work. In just one night, Nils won 78.000 Euro. However, two days later, he had sunk everything in the game the boiler. Stats can’t outsmart – in the end the Bank always wins.

Nevertheless, Nils waited every day to the fact that it was eleven o’clock – then the casino opened . Only when at three in the morning, the last ball had fallen, he went back home. The staff welcomed him by name, encouraged him, if he had lost again. Help, no one offered him, he says.

“Reality escape”

Game, banks are required “to encourage players to responsible gaming and the development of gambling addiction and to prevent”, – stated in clause 6 of the gambling Treaty. However, even though Nils spent 15 hours a day in the casino, nobody wants to have a little idea he had a gambling addiction. Also, how do the hundreds of euros, which the Student is playful every day, no one wanted to know.

As long as Nils stood at the Roulette, it was good for him. This is typical of addicts for the game, says psychiatrist hill-maker: “In the game hall, you can escape from reality.” Many would have to enter a Casino, and the happiness hormone, dopamine will be distributed in the reward centers of the brain. If you win, is beside the point. Many of them were only much too late for help, if you are in debt already high, or penalties have become due and payable.

According to hill bookmakers there are several warning signs of a possible gambling addiction:

  • The Play serves as an emotion-regulation. In the case of Stress or Anger, the path automatically leads to the arcade.
  • Two or three days at a stretch without playing is not possible.
  • Loss of control: Pathological gamblers do not keep to self-imposed Limits, but immediately go back to the Bank, if you have gambled away all the money.
  • Addicts often play on multiple machines at the same time.

To came home Nils every night panic. He stared at the ceiling of his shared room and pondered how he could the money come from. His television he had sold for a long time, the phone was added. For his Addiction, he stole money from Relatives and friends, paid no rent, sold things he did not even. If he had won, he thought, he could pay it all back.

But the Plan didn’t work.

With time, his desperation grew. By now, he was emaciated, together scooped up food in the shared kitchen was lying around or ate peanuts, which it was for two euros per pack in the casino. Too often it was only enough for fried onions. Family and friends were worried about him, asked him where he stayed the nights over. And Nils always found new explanations, and spun all in a web of lies that he has believed in at some point even.

“Members can only do little”

His roommate threw him out of the apartment. “At the time, it didn’t matter to me,” says Nils. He was only thinking of how he is coming back to the casino. He moved back to his parents to Central Germany, claimed to have Stress with his roommates had. After Berlin, he continued several times per week, supposed to go to University, he studied a long time ago. A train ticket he never had. “I’m always 1. Class dangers,” he recalls. “I wanted to have as little audience as possible, in case I get caught.” A good 40-time, he was caught in the black-and-ride. The letters are not piled up, he opened one.

“In such a Situation, members can do so little,” says hill bookmakers. You could encourage people to get help.

However, Nils’ family knew nothing of his true Problem. Even as he went because of thoughts of suicide in a clinic, and told no one of the gambling addiction. “I have forever played on,” Nils assured. “Homelessness, death – everything would have been possible.”

Relief when lying collapsed scaffolding

The exit came at him suddenly and accidentally: a day on the other hand, the casino wouldn’t let him. He had been locked, told him the employees. Later, Nils learned that a friend had finally come behind his secret. Meticulously they had gathered evidence and the revocation is sought. As Nils notion that his lie was a scaffolding collapsed a Bang, and he felt one thing above all: relief. He knew it couldn’t go on like this.

Nils began outpatient therapy and met regularly with other addicts in a self-help group (the web site gambling therapy provides an Overview of self-help groups, counselling centres and clinics). Nils and the friend who had revealed his gambling addiction, became a Couple, they got engaged. Shortly before Christmas, she told him what gifts she wants to make her family. He was ashamed because he could offer her nothing Expensive.

To get money, went to Nils, of all things, in a game hall. “Only a couple of Times,” he says. He had also lost only a little money. But the breach of trust was enough, his fiancée cut him off. Nils was desperate, repented of the back of the case, vowed never to play again. The forth is about one and a half years, a relapse, he has since become. He hopes that it stays that way.

Balance sheet: is a mountain of debt, ruined friendships, lost time

Today, Nils know that his Addiction is a lack of impulse control is. Spontaneous buying decisions, he got out of the habit therefore. Even if he wants to buy only a sweater, he sleeps a night. His current girlfriend and his mother have at any time access to his account.

His example shows the importance of player Block to protect gambling addicts from themselves. But so far, they only apply to state game banks, not for commercial vending machines warehouses. Plans for a nationally valid, personalized playing card failed, not least the opposition of the FDP. The liberals maintain a close relationship to the happiness game industry.

It is a profitable business. Alone in the year 2017, the German gambling market had a turnover of 46.3 billion euros – quite legally.

Also Nils, driving the business. Through the game he has accumulated a good 80,000 Euro debt. He stutters the sum gradually, about 400 euros a month, more at his current salary in it. Many of his creditors, including former well-Known, will have to wait years to get your money. The gnawing at Nils. He considered, therefore, to sue the casino and the 80,000 Euro to recover. Whether he would succeed is questionable.

The balance of his gambling addiction, debt, broken friendships, a broken engagement, a lot of lost time. “So bad was the time she belongs to me”, says Nils anyway. His family and many close friends have forgiven him by now. Soon he moves in with his girlfriend in another city. If there’s a casino? “I don’t know,” says Nils, and laughs.

In the Video: If gambling is destroying life – the game with the Addiction