Sign the list

Being unemployed has some advantages. A lot of free time to do whatever. A sense of total freedom. Almost, I suppose like being retired. Since I’m 50 years old, I know it’s a temporary stay from the main stream, as bills need to get paid.

So why not go for it? With a small amount of money I saved, I “acted” retired. I hopped off to the Casino, Mohegan Sun. Ah, lots of action bells, lights, food, entertainment, and sudden outbursts of winning slot machine and poker game players.

At first I was lucky, leaving with more than I started. There was a sense that it was too food to be true. This was too easy. I created two rules for myself. leave when I was ahead $200 and leave before dark as there were many carcasses of rotting deer to and from Mohegan Sun.

After about a week, I lost too much money and was driving Interstate 81 at night preparing to dodge any deer trying to use my headlights to see just to get to the other side.

At a closer, more focused view, there was a lot of heartache and pain. A woman sitting next to me at a blackjack table said we were in “Devil’s Playground.”

She whispered in my ear that her husband, who was sitting to my left, lost $60,000 of their life savings. Another woman at the same table was betting $500 a hand. In a short amount of time, she left the table without a single poker chip.

A dealer from another table took notice and could only shake her head.

For people who have lost control of their gambling at a casino, they can put themselves on the “self-exclusion list.”

A person can ban themselves from any casino in Pennsylvania for 1 to 5 years and even lifetime. If a person signs this list and is caught in a casino, they will be arrested for criminal trespass, fired and forfeit all money in their possession.

Angela Briest