- July 14, 2023
Tanya shares a personal story of growing up in an active gambling community and draws parallels to how that environment played a role in her development as a mental health professional. We discuss her childhood growing up in Chicago during a time when active gambling houses were common within the community and provided a social outlet for family and friends. Throughout our conversation we discuss how gambling as a group activity has evolved into a more individual (and potentially more easily hidden) model that is available to today’s gambler.
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WAGER DANGER EPISODE 17: TANYA BIBBS SMITH – GROWING UP GAMBLING
00;00;03;27 – 00;00;17;12
Speaker 1: Hey, it’s Shane Cook with Wager Danger. Welcome to another episode. Happy to have back on the show with us. Joining us today in the Riverside Studio, Tanya Smith. Welcome, Tanya.
00;00;18;03 – 00;00;20;01
Speaker 2: Thank you. Thank you. How are you Shane?
00;00;20;03 – 00;01;05;08
Speaker 1: I’m doing great. Couldn’t be better. It’s great to talk with you again. And we ran into each other last week and we’re reminiscing about our time in Bloomington and the time that we did a featurette on TASC, the organization that you work with. And one of the things that you mentioned while we were having that exchange was how you walked away from that and and really started to think back about your childhood and your relatives, your grandmother, your uncle, and you recognize that, Hey, I’ve been around gambling a long time, so I thought it would be interesting.
00;01;05;08 – 00;01;37;14
Speaker 1: Of course, just have a conversation about that and get some of the perspective that you take away from that and how it’s helping you. As someone who works in the field of problem gambling in general and helps you work with potential clients that may be experiencing a gambling addiction. So would you mind just kind of walking us through some of that and some of the history that you enjoyed growing up?
00;01;38;10 – 00;02;15;20
Speaker 2: Absolutely, Shane. I get an opportunity to talk with some aunts and uncles because from what I remember, I remember my grandmother running a a Keno house and is probably, you know, called a gambling house. But the big is game, you know, that was play was keno. And it’s kind of like, I guess bingo or whatever. So I remember as a little girl, you know, maybe about seven, eight, nine, I remember getting these little small glass bowls for everybody to put their coins in, you know, dimes, nickels, quarters.
00;02;15;27 – 00;02;44;12
Speaker 2: And they and I remember, you know, people coming in their pay, paying a house, which was my grandmother. So they would all give her five bucks to participate, you know, in playing these games. But as a young person, it never, never, ever dawned on me, you know, about the gambling that it was gambling, because in my community, I guess especially even back then, it was a way of survival, you know, it was a way to make extra money to pay your bills.
00;02;44;12 – 00;03;02;19
Speaker 2: So, you know, my grandmother would have people come in and pay the house. They would be able to come in a play spades and keno and beer with, you know, all the games that we played, you know, in the community. They will also, you know, be able to shoot dice in her backyard. She had a nice little area back there.
00;03;02;19 – 00;03;31;11
Speaker 2: You could go back there and shoot dice on this of me. And, you know, those people also had to pay a fee, but she would cook food. So on Fridays, it was fish fry Friday and gambling. On Saturday, it was spaghetti and chicken, you know, dinners and gambling. And then all Sunday it was church, Soulful Sunday and then it was gambling was like, you know, maybe the Lord understands.
00;03;31;11 – 00;03;58;25
Speaker 2: I don’t know what it was, but it, it was just so interesting, you know, as to when I was a younger person, it never dawned on me, you know, that my grandmother being and even my aunts had a gambling issue because they are soon after I turned 14. And so it was no she she stopped running the gambling houses because I also had health issues.
00;03;59;07 – 00;04;41;14
Speaker 2: But at that point, okay, I’m on my way to high school and a freshman in high school and I’m about to take driver’s ed Oh, by this time 15 years old. And I have a permit and I’m driving my grandmother to the casino with a permit. So it again, it just never dawned on me, hey, you know, my grandmother possibly has a problem, but it was also, you know, in my opinion, now that I do this kind of work, she was going through a loneliness, you know, one of those times in her life where she was lonely.
00;04;41;14 – 00;05;10;03
Speaker 2: My grandfather had passed away, so she only had us, you know, her children and her grandchildren. So we all drive and, you know, and of all the things in the world, I promise you, I always feel like my grandmother could do everything in a world except drive. She refused to get her driver’s license. She refused to drive, but she never refused to get on a bus and go to the currency exchange.
00;05;10;03 – 00;05;41;06
Speaker 2: He gave change so people could gamble on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. So was just, you know, amazing to me the thought process of a lot of things in the later years then was actually happened. And now, you know, we have more technology now, Right? I just never put the pieces together until now, you know, that I literally grew up in a gambling household as well as a gambling community.
00;05;41;12 – 00;05;51;14
Speaker 2: So, you know, it was just a lot of different energies, you know, that I didn’t recognize then, but I really put it together now.
00;05;52;01 – 00;06;27;12
Speaker 1: Well, it’s interesting here. If I could go back a little bit, there’s a couple of things about it that that come to mind. When your grandmother was running the Keno house. It almost sounds like to me that she was organizing a social club where dinner was served. You had multiple games available that people could participate in. And I’m wondering if that was just kind of an opportunity to create a social environment when after your grandfather had passed.
00;06;30;09 – 00;06;58;24
Speaker 2: During the time that my grandmother was running the Keno house, my grandfather actually had a now let me say this. My biological grandfather had actually gone to the which I also wanted to mention, you know, back then they had pool halls. Okay. And that was a huge, huge way of gambling as well, because you can go you could go to the pool hall, you can play pool for money.
00;06;58;24 – 00;07;31;19
Speaker 2: You could also play the numbers. Anyway, my grandfather, he ran with the gangs, you know, more or less. And so he’s at the pool hall up the street. Well, my grandmother’s run in his keno house, and he’s playing pool, you know, trying to be these guys for money. And basically he get murdered at the pool hall. So, you know, is again, again Shane, you know, I’m older now, so I’m putting these events and these different things together.
00;07;31;19 – 00;07;57;16
Speaker 2: Like, you know, back then, gambling was so much more and way more dangerous than it is now. I’m pretty sure it’s dangerous now. But back then it was just so more close enough for it, more personal. Who I guess because you could actually go to, you know, the gangster or to the individual who was running the numbers. The numbers runner.
00;07;57;16 – 00;08;20;19
Speaker 2: So more or less then you would give them their your money and your numbers and, you know, they would take care of the business. And you had to trust that if your numbers fell, you know that they would be honorable enough to pay you. Sometimes it worked out for people in the community and sometimes it didn’t. But now we have legal running of the numbers, which is the lottery.
00;08;20;24 – 00;08;28;13
Speaker 2: We go, they are numbers. And when we when we take their ticket in and the government pays us so, you know.
00;08;29;00 – 00;08;35;20
Speaker 1: The more regulation there is ostensibly then the safer it is. Right?
00;08;36;05 – 00;08;37;03
Speaker 2: So they say.
00;08;37;16 – 00;08;38;27
Speaker 1: So they say right.
00;08;39;24 – 00;08;59;19
Speaker 2: I would say is more safer on a and hey, I don’t have a bookie, so I don’t have to worry about somebody coming to break my legs or having me sleep with the fishes, you know, that kind of thing. But, you know, more or less now it is these individuals are the ones that need to come and speak with us.
00;08;59;19 – 00;09;21;06
Speaker 2: You know, people who help with problem gambling, who help people who can’t stop because they go to the casinos and, you know, they go to gambling establishments and they see the bells and whistles, whistles and the flashes and the lights and, you know, coins flashing all across the screen is an exciting thing. Sure. You know, for a lot of people.
00;09;21;06 – 00;09;43;01
Speaker 2: And just the fact of, you know, hey, I’m going to win some money is also so, you know, a drawing for a lot of people. And then you have some people who go and say, hey, I’m going to take my $500 rent and I’m going to double it so I can pay too month’s rent. And a lot of times it doesn’t work out that way.
00;09;43;09 – 00;10;09;05
Speaker 2: You know, people need to always understand the house always wins and a lot of times they will give you a few peanuts in, you know, bags of chips and free drinks and things of that nature, you know, to keep you coming back, to keep you giving them more and more. So you as a I guess as an individual, don’t even recognize that you’re overspending at this point.
00;10;09;12 – 00;11;01;09
Speaker 2: It’s you’re over gambling at this point and that sometimes not all the time because some people have a I would say, a strong will to say no. But you have some who they don’t because they may be going through something, some type of mental health issue. You know, maybe they just lost a loved one. Maybe they just lost a very important job, you know, something that was going to take them over the top as far as income and longevity, you know, or maybe we have an individual who just doesn’t have any friends or, you know, or we might have a person who’s a professional gambler who thinks that, you know, they they just know blackjack
00;11;01;09 – 00;11;39;28
Speaker 2: so well that they’re always going to come out on top. So, you know, some people feel as though, hey, I do not have a problem, you know, but they do because they’re spending their rent, their car note and in utilities, in medicine, money on gambling, instead of the important things that they need to sustain life. So, you know, I even even though I recognize that my grandmother was trying to supplement her income, you know, her husband had been murdered and now she has five children, you know, my uncle and my four aunts.
00;11;40;00 – 00;12;03;11
Speaker 2: And so now, you know, I’m a single mother and I have never worked. Now I have to take care of this, you know. But now she’s working at a cleaners, cleaning clothes and ironing clothes, you know, for people in a community. And then that’s not enough. That’s not enough. Because now I’m only they’re not paying me a lot.
00;12;03;12 – 00;12;31;18
Speaker 2: They’re paying me. They were paying my grandmother under the table, so she was getting cash and they were only paying her $350 a week. So back then there was a decent amount of money, but it still wasn’t enough to pay a mortgage on a house. It still wasn’t enough, you know, to have food for five children. It still wasn’t enough to pay utilities as well as the other different household needs.
00;12;31;18 – 00;12;59;12
Speaker 2: You know, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, toothbrushes and things of that nature for six people. So, you know, I definitely understand why she did what she did. But then I feel like later on in life, it became not a way of sustaining life, but it actually became a problem there. She literally was a problem gambler, you know, That’s my my what I’m seeing in my head.
00;12;59;12 – 00;13;24;14
Speaker 2: And actually what I know, you know, from learning about problem gambling and and it’s this experience is more or less, you know, because after my second grandfather passed away, that’s when I became the person again, you know, to drive her to the casino to I would go to her house, you know, on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to spend time with her.
00;13;24;18 – 00;13;41;26
Speaker 2: And I’m at the lot. I’m in the lottery land on all three of those days, you know, And I met the off track betting all three of those days putting her bets here. And if you didn’t do it, you know, it was she was mad at you, you know, hey, you got to put my stuff in and blah, blah, blah.
00;13;41;27 – 00;14;10;20
Speaker 2: You know, she’s an older person now, so now she’s super set in her ways So you make these bets, you know, you know, play this lottery. So, you know, I definitely felt like I lived a fantastic childhood. But, you know, again, now that I think back, I definitely lived in an addiction community. I definitely lived in a problem gambling community.
00;14;10;28 – 00;14;36;07
Speaker 2: But I also feel like I lived in a loving, you know, community. It was just a different time, you know, and space. So but I definitely think about all the interest in I get a ton more stories, but I always feel like is so interesting to kind of pull in what happened then and what was going on now and you know just kind of relating to each other.
00;14;36;08 – 00;14;36;24
Speaker 2: Sure.
00;14;37;04 – 00;15;18;10
Speaker 1: Well, can you talk a little bit more broadly about what was the overall community like back then in terms of, you know, I know gambling wasn’t regulated back then and there have been some there been some powerful syndicates over the years in the Chicago area that were engaged in gambling activities. Did did you get a sense for that, the magnitude of that, or did you feel like this experience that you had seemed a little bit more sequestered than being part of a larger organization?
00;15;19;25 – 00;15;55;20
Speaker 2: You know that it definitely was. I felt like my grandmother was her own small organization, but out there felt like she even though maybe she didn’t know those individuals or what have you I often felt like she was still connected because, well, even though these individuals were gangsters and they still, you know, ran the numbers and this is their network, they would often be at my grandmother’s house, you know, enjoying playing keno and in paying as well.
00;15;55;20 – 00;16;19;08
Speaker 2: So it was more to me, it was more of a community thing in the beginning, you know, when she first started it, you know, definitely to help, you know, everybody knew everybody knew that Miss Chris would cook food. Everybody knew that, you know, she was going to have the big gambling house. Everybody knew that there was going to be music.
00;16;19;08 – 00;16;30;09
Speaker 2: And sometimes, you know, my uncle, because I only had the one uncle, he would put the the record player outside because back then it was a record player. We didn’t have CDs people, Right?
00;16;30;18 – 00;16;32;04
Speaker 1: Yeah, I remember and.
00;16;33;02 – 00;16;52;02
Speaker 2: I don’t want to remember, but yes, but you know, in the end he would put the the wooden speakers out so he would be back there deejaying and, you know, just playing the latest music of what everybody wanted or heard on the radio. It just seemed like an all in and now all out great time.
00;16;52;06 – 00;17;22;21
Speaker 1: That’s I was going to chime in because what you’re saying there is goes back to my earlier comment how you were talking about your grandmother having the Keno house. It seemed more like a social event to me and an opportunity, as you as you suggest, for people to interact with each other from the community, gossip, learn about what’s going on and that gambling happened to be a part of that, not necessarily the feature.
00;17;23;03 – 00;17;50;10
Speaker 1: And in today’s environment, it seems like the exact opposite. The idea is to get get people in to gamble, and it’s less of a social activity, especially when you’re sitting at the video gaming terminals that are available on every corner. It seems like at least in in Illinois. So there is I think there might be some truth in that.
00;17;51;17 – 00;18;18;24
Speaker 1: Yeah, probably would would take some people too, to really better understand it and lay it out there for us. But if I’m looking at it somewhat, trying to look at it objectively, I think having a social aspect to it where people are connected with each other has the potential to be somewhat self-policing in that, you know, to somebody who’s who’s losing more than they should.
00;18;19;04 – 00;18;47;19
Speaker 1: And because you’ve built a community around that, perhaps somebody feels a little bit more empowered to step in and say, hey, you know, maybe we should withdraw from this situation here and take a breather and just take a beat on gambling any more or spending any more money gambling. Whereas today it’s almost become such a solo event, which is very hidden in in many respects.
00;18;47;19 – 00;19;15;17
Speaker 1: And people don’t have that opportunity to kind of, you know, participate as a member of the community and with an individual because because we have withdrawn from each other so much, or at least I feel like we have and this is going much deeper than just gambling, by the way. But I think I think to a certain extent we have withdrawn from each other and and feel less connected than we maybe did in the past.
00;19;16;10 – 00;19;46;19
Speaker 2: Absolutely. You know, Tim, everything you’re talking about is all mental. Hill I mean, you pretty much know this. I feel like that, you know, even then and, and still now people have a lot of anxiety, you know, and they that’s another reason why they participate in gambling. Some have anxiety over gambling, some have anxiety, you know, because they want to gamble and they may have a fear or something of that nature.
00;19;47;23 – 00;20;17;12
Speaker 2: Now, I just feel like gambling is just so much more impersonal. You know, you made a a statement. Oh, just recent. And I just wanted to tap in on it in, you know, about it being so impersonal. And back then it was more personal Back then. I remember this. This young man used to come to my grandmother’s gambling house, and he he always liked to play dice.
00;20;17;24 – 00;20;39;15
Speaker 2: But back then, when they were run out of money, you could either ask the gangster at the party or grandmother was pulling you out. And it was always, you know, the community would always come together, Hey, you had no money, you got to go. So I always, you know, feel like, oh, that was so wrong. You know, we have having a community where, you know, let this person stay.
00;20;39;15 – 00;20;59;27
Speaker 2: Boy, if you want to continue, you can. She she didn’t have a problem with him staying. He wanted to continue to gamble. You can’t continue to gamble without money. Right. So, you know, at this point you have gotten free liquor. Well, not free liquor because you pay to get into the.
00;20;59;27 – 00;21;00;12
Speaker 1: The house fee.
00;21;00;12 – 00;21;31;12
Speaker 2: The house. Exactly. So the liquor is free. You know, you you you help yourself to a drink the food. So you help yourself to food. And you now have had a full experience and you can still stay and sit around and see, you know, the next big winner or whatever situation is coming around. Like, you know, if we if there’s going to be a tournament next week, you know, because these two people tied or what have you.
00;21;32;05 – 00;21;59;12
Speaker 2: So it, you know, is kind of just like the community came in to stop this person from having a super becoming a super problem gambler is what I’m getting at. And now you have it where they actually help you to become a super problem gambler. And what I mean by that is I was at the casino recent with my daughter.
00;21;59;12 – 00;22;23;13
Speaker 2: She just turned 21, wanted to go see the casino. Mom, Hey, let’s go to the casino. No problem. We go to the casino. I’m always on a budget, because I like clothes and shoes, so I like they’ll spend all their money, you know, at the casino. So, you know, my $50 when is gone, is gone. We go to the casino, I put my little $50 in the machine, and I win.
00;22;23;19 – 00;22;42;09
Speaker 2: So again, they give you peanuts to keep you, you know, coming back. So I take my few little peanuts to $300 and, you know, I’m just going around. Sticking 20s in the machine. Because when it’s gone. It is gone. I am not taking money out of the cash machine. Right. I dig it deep in my purse.
00;22;42;10 – 00;22;44;15
Speaker 2: None of that stuff. You know, you’re.
00;22;44;15 – 00;22;52;10
Speaker 1: Practicing the strategy right? Yeah. You set aside a certain budget for entertainment and.
00;22;52;10 – 00;23;19;28
Speaker 2: That’s right. And so as as we are done. So I actually did a pretty good I took my little 50 bucks and I left with $300. But in the same breath again, I’m cheap and I like to shop. So I wasn’t going to take my three hundred dollars and give it back to the casino. Who does that? Of course, there are people who do it, but it wasn’t going to be me.
00;23;19;28 – 00;23;39;07
Speaker 2: So as my my daughter said, well, you know, my let’s let’s you buy the lady’s room, you know, before we leave. No problem. Go to the ladies room. And next to the ladies room is like these desks set up like you’re at a bank. And then there’s a a a rope, You know, you go around the corner just like you at the bank.
00;23;39;27 – 00;24;00;10
Speaker 2: So the curiosity got the best of me, you know? And I go over and I ask, you know, what was going on over here after you have gambled away all of your rent money, your car note money, your medicine money, all that good stuff, you can actually go to the casino and get a loan. Oh, now they will.
00;24;00;10 – 00;24;24;12
Speaker 2: You can literally sit there and they will give you a loan. And do you ever. It was five deaths in and three of those deaths were senior citizens. And it just broke my heart. I’m just like, oh my God, this lady, they spent all her medication, money, probably her rent utilities or her her pension check. And now she’s over here taking out loans that she’d go back and gamble some more.
00;24;25;04 – 00;24;48;23
Speaker 2: You know, they said, I just feel like it’s a set up for failure, you know, to keep individuals coming back so they make it so convenient. You know, for you, that is is not is not a fun situation, I will say is not a fun situation. Back in the day. Those were funny situations. You know, you’re with the community.
00;24;48;23 – 00;25;10;11
Speaker 2: You have a fine cracking joke, you know, talking about your kids. They grew up together in the same neighborhood in blah, blah, blah. So now you’re on at the casino and you sitting at the machine, you’re not talking to anybody. You know, you are so focused on hitting a button. And then the two cherries in in the bell come up to you.
00;25;10;11 – 00;25;13;18
Speaker 2: Oh, I was so close. All I need one more cherry.
00;25;14;22 – 00;25;18;28
Speaker 1: And now you can go get a loan to continue.
00;25;19;08 – 00;25;19;23
Speaker 2: Well, get a loan.
00;25;19;25 – 00;25;29;28
Speaker 1: Because you were close, right? Yeah. The old gambler’s fallacy there. You’re. Yeah, Even. Even when you don’t win, it feels like you were close to winning.
00;25;30;09 – 00;25;59;17
Speaker 2: So if you don’t take that machine saying a little old people ready to beat you up, you know, it’s this is making its day, this machine. And they spend up all this money, then they lean the chair. The one on the machine have the neighbor, they sit next to their hey, You don’t let nobody take my machine. And then they go and they walk off and they’ve gone on for 30 minutes to an hour because they’re sitting at the casino’s loan tables getting another loan so they can go back.
00;25;59;17 – 00;26;18;07
Speaker 2: Because guess what? I had two cherries in a bill. All I need you to stick another 20 here and it’s going to be the I’m going to hit the jackpot. I really am. So my thought process is you’re going get this loan for $1,000. You come back, slap $500 in. They of course they’re going to let you hit the jackpot.
00;26;18;11 – 00;26;43;29
Speaker 2: What do you think is going to be the major, the minor, the medium or the major grand jackpot? What is a minor, major grand? Yeah. So nine times out of ten, If if you’re lucky, you might get a major. I have yet to see anybody hit the grand jackpot. And that would be the biggest one. Like, you know, a $21,000.
00;26;43;29 – 00;27;11;23
Speaker 2: $50,000. I was on machine. It had a grand up to $108,000. And I’m just like, Who wins that? You know, is it ever possible for a win that you have people sitting there and that’s their goal to win the jackpot? So they’re betting the max. The max is $3 on these were $3 on this machine. So if they do allow you to get a jackpot, nine times out of ten in all will be the major.
00;27;11;23 – 00;27;29;24
Speaker 2: I got an opportunity to actually talk to the eyes in the sky at some of the casino. Okay. And what was interesting to me is, is that they know they know where their if you go and get their card and put your name on it at your sticker, they that they know you’re there. They know how much you’re betting.
00;27;29;28 – 00;27;52;22
Speaker 2: They know which machine is your favorite because you sit there for hours and hours and hours every time you come back to the casino on different days and stick your card in that same machine, they begin to know that is your favorite machine. So at some point they allow you to win a few pennies here and there. But for the most part, they’re going to win your money.
00;27;53;01 – 00;28;17;14
Speaker 2: And every hundred dollars you come in there with that’s theirs and you come here with $500. It belongs to the casino. So, you know, either keep your money at home or give it to the casino. Take your pick. You’re not going to win every time. So you always have to remember and I tell a lot of clients this a lot of people that I run into when I’m outreaching in a community.
00;28;17;23 – 00;28;24;03
Speaker 2: The house always is wins. Sure, you can tell they give you a few pennies. They still winning?
00;28;24;11 – 00;28;32;05
Speaker 1: Yeah, in the long run. And they’re always coming out ahead. There’s a there’s a reason why all the buildings in Vegas are as big as.
00;28;33;03 – 00;28;34;05
Speaker 2: Vegas is the worst.
00;28;36;00 – 00;29;01;03
Speaker 1: Hey, I did want to I did want to kind of pop out a little bit here and talk a little bit about how you got involved in with not only TASC but other organizations where you have focused in on on gambling addiction as a means of service and giving back to the community.
00;29;01;21 – 00;29;29;12
Speaker 2: It it actually all started with me going to the military, joined in the Army National Guard and becoming a humanitarian that way. You know we would the National Guard is was made up, you know, by the government in order to help out with national disasters. Well, what they consider to be the real military, you know, the Army, Marines and the Navy individuals, they would go out to fight the wars.
00;29;30;07 – 00;30;02;02
Speaker 2: But now, you know, of course, that has changed. We go out as well to fight the wars as well, but we still help with national disasters. And so my very first national disaster was down in Quincy, Illinois, and we were down there helping a levee here broke and we were sandbagging and, you know, helping people who had been stranded, taking a boat down the river so that we can get people off the top of houses and everything.
00;30;02;09 – 00;30;27;23
Speaker 2: So it just put me in a different mindset where I always knew I wanted to help people. But at a certain point I felt like I really, really wanted to help people. And so when I came back from the military, I was actually on active duty tours and I see I was like, you know, I really want to work.
00;30;27;23 – 00;31;03;08
Speaker 2: I don’t have to, but I really want to work. And so she was like, Well, you know, you come work for me at this non for profit agency. And I’m like, I don’t you know, I’m not sure about this, but she actually gave me and so it kind of heavy. I started doing free HIV and AIDS testing as I start going around the city of Chicago, facilitating safe sex, talking about safe sex and different sex acts that, you know, I had actually went in taking some classes so that I could speak to not just heterosexuals, but to our LGBT.
00;31;03;08 – 00;31;32;05
Speaker 2: Q Plus community. Well, I. A you know, I know they get different ones for it, but, you know, and it just gave me I felt like a a sense of purpose, you know, to start working in a not for profit sector. But what led me over to the problem gambling was it was a pilot program. You know, they didn’t have it.
00;31;32;05 – 00;31;55;19
Speaker 2: And I had never worked under that before. Everything was mostly medical that I had worked under. So now I’m going into mental health, you know, where I was Definitely what I did before was part of mental health as well, you know, because different traumas that could have happened during sexual acts. However, this was something a little bit different.
00;31;55;19 – 00;32;26;19
Speaker 2: So I definitely wanted to dive into it and get a better understanding. And I’m glad I did because I actually get an opportunity to learn about my past, you know, history and you know, what is actually happening now in the present, You know, with me, my family are individuals who I think back who had gambling issues, you know, and just seeing where these individuals are now, who are my family members or friends.
00;32;26;26 – 00;32;34;00
Speaker 2: Right. Know and seeing where they are with this, with their problem gambling or, you know, how did they come out of it?
00;32;35;10 – 00;33;25;29
Speaker 1: Yeah, fascinating story, by the way. And I think what’s interesting is all through this work out, Adam coming back to this this idea of how is it being a social event early on and the evolution of of gambling has has there’s a divergence from a social activity into something that’s, um, that’s very independent. Um, and I’m not sure that’s a healthy environment for people to engage in gambling.
00;33;25;29 – 00;33;52;25
Speaker 1: I, I can see it on one hand in a social environment where it’s, it’s being a very social activity that the people are around you, you’ve got a support network around you as opposed to if I pick up my phone and I’m participating in gambling at 3:00 in the morning, that’s alone activity which nobody really knows about, or I can keep that well hidden.
00;33;53;28 – 00;34;27;05
Speaker 1: Whereas what you talk about early in in your childhood is an activity that was out in the open. People knew about it, people knew who was involved in it. So it provided some sort of a community policing activity. And I mean policing from the standpoint of people just taking notice and if if it was a family member or somebody that you cared about, you have that opportunity to step in because you see it happening right?
00;34;28;00 – 00;34;50;26
Speaker 1: Whereas today it’s become such an independent activity or the capability exists, I should say, for it to be such an independent activity that while we’re dealing with what could be what is often considered a hidden addiction, uh, an individual can hide that for a very long time if they choose to hide it.
00;34;51;23 – 00;35;18;13
Speaker 2: Absolutely. Which. Which kind of brings me to you know, back then I feel like and you hit it right on the head, we were able to police a person’s situation a little bit more back then. Now a days I totally agree with you is more of a first of all, gaming, for me. You know, this is just my opinion is more mechanical is more a blah, blah, blah, blah.
00;35;18;14 – 00;35;47;13
Speaker 2: Shane, you know, make your bet. Back then, I don’t feel like it was more mechanical. I felt like it was more, you know, just a lot of fun and, you know, just a lot of talking in smack talking, you know, And we are days a lot of people are going out in their game alone. And like you said, you know, we have the the caregiver type individual who cares for individuals, but, you know, is not caring for themselves.
00;35;47;13 – 00;36;09;28
Speaker 2: So how they care for themselves is they go out in a game or we have that the loner type who doesn’t have any friends, doesn’t have anybody, you know, or the widow or type the person who just lost a spouse or a significant other. And you know, they don’t know what else to do. So gaming is a outlet for them, right?
00;36;10;11 – 00;36;31;14
Speaker 2: Is a lonelier situation is is more of a mechanical situation. So people are more or less now just in for the win. They are no longer, you know, gaming for fun. You have a few select people that come out and gay for fun, but most literally are gaming because they see a different light at the end of the tunnel.
00;36;31;14 – 00;36;52;25
Speaker 2: They see, Oh, you know, I’m going to be a part of the rich and famous or I’m going to win $50,000. I can put down on this house. I’m going to win $100,000. I can go buy this trip. I’m going to win, you know, $1,000,000 on a car last will, you know, spin machine, because nobody has ever done it is going to be me and I’m going to be a millionaire.
00;36;52;25 – 00;37;01;03
Speaker 2: And they generally just does not happen. If there is, you are a very, very, very lucky individual.
00;37;01;11 – 00;37;08;15
Speaker 1: Right? Yeah. The odds really don’t favor the individual.
00;37;08;18 – 00;37;21;21
Speaker 2: A lot of times a win win situation. But more says is a win lose situation when you are dealing with casinos because their objective is the same objective that we have we want to win.
00;37;22;00 – 00;37;50;21
Speaker 1: Yeah it’s just some very interesting stories that you’ve had over the years. We like that you’re out in our community and you’re actually talking about problem gambling, especially with the experience, life experience that you bring to the table along with that certainly gives you a unique perch, a unique perspective on problem gambling. And I know you’re doing great work.
00;37;50;21 – 00;38;11;13
Speaker 1: That TASC and working with our younger, our younger, younger population. So I appreciate that. And I as as an individual, I feel very fortunate that we’ve had the opportunity to cross paths as often as we have, and I hope that we have many more ahead of us.
00;38;12;07 – 00;38;14;03
Speaker 2: Absolutely. Me also.
00;38;15;07 – 00;38;23;09
Speaker 1: All right. Well, thanks again, Tanya Bibb Smith with Task Organization here with us today on Wage Wager Danger.
00;38;24;14 – 00;38;45;09
Speaker 2: Well, thank you for having me. It’s always a great time, Shane, and it’s always a pleasure seeing you and meeting up with you. And I just love having an opportunity to share my stories because sometimes just telling a small story, you never know who you might affect. So just really appreciate that.
00;38;45;18 – 00;39;17;23
Speaker 1: Yeah. And I think the more we talk about it, the more we’re out in the in the community doing these podcasts where people may be picking it up for the first time and listening to it, If we’re striking a chord with somebody and it encourages them to take action, if they recognize some of these warning signs about problem gambling, then they’re taking some action with we’ve just provided at least another avenue to reach somebody.
00;39;17;23 – 00;39;23;22
Speaker 1: So that’s why I am so I’m so eager to get more stories out there.
00;39;25;09 – 00;39;49;19
Speaker 2: Well, they always can go to one 800 gambler or they have an opportunity to go to are really winning talk. And you know, there’s a small test there if they want to take a test to see if maybe they have a problem with gambling or do the test for someone else to see if they have a problem with gambling.
00;39;49;19 – 00;40;13;00
Speaker 2: And they’re able to also find the help that’s needed on the website. Are you really winning, You know, get all or you know, a lot of people don’t I as online savvy as others. So please, you know, definitely give us a call at one 800 gambler there’s always somebody there waiting, you know, to assist you to help you or give you any information that’s needed.
00;40;15;02 – 00;40;16;14
Speaker 2: Yes, for having me.
00;40;16;14 – 00;40;53;20
Speaker 1: Absolutely. Any time. We love hearing from you. So please take a moment to, like, share and comment on our podcast. You can reach out to us directly via email at Wager Danger at Gateway Foundation dot org. Look for us on Facebook and Twitter at Recovery Gateway on LinkedIn, at Gateway Dash Foundation, or through our website at Gateway Foundation. Dot org Wager Danger is supported through funding in whole or in part through a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Division of Substance to Use Prevention and Recovery.
00;40;54;01 – 00;41;10;02
Speaker 1: And remember, recovery is a lifelong process. If you are a family member struggling with a gambling problem, call Gateway at 8449753663 and speak with one of our counselors for a confidential assessment.