“It spun out of control quickly,” stated the former B.C. Lions player, Angus Reid, who came forward with his gambling addiction and recovery story, hoping he would help other people going through similar problems.
Reckless gambling can become troublesome even for the best of us. Our recommendation for you is to view casinos as a form of entertainment and research the best strategies and promotions before spending your hard-earned dollars.
Angus Reid was an offensive lineman in the CFL for 13 years before he retired in 2014. He declared that his addiction started as a habit of going to the casino with his teammates just for fun. Things got more complicated around 2007 when this social activity became an outlet for him to go on his own, hoping to escape from his other issues and problems.
The former professional athlete blames his competitive personality and lifestyle for fueling his gambling addiction. He believes that many sports professionals tend to have similar impulsive behaviors because they have a delusional belief that they can always win.
“As soon as the losses amounted, you chase harder, and it added up pretty quick,” said Angus Reid in an interview at a Surrey Board of Trade lunch.
Reid said that for an entire year, he went to the casino after finishing his practice at around 1:30 p.m. and staying there until 7:00 a.m, when it was the time to go for the next day’s training session, without sleeping or doing anything. Blackjack was his game of choice, as he thought that it fits his personality.
He explains his irrational behavior by saying that you can’t reason with a gambler who is in a similar “addictive time frame.”
“Nothing makes sense except finding a way to get out of this problem by staying in the problem for longer,” he declared. This behavior is often the cause of why people fall into the trap of gambling addiction. They aren’t visiting the casino to have fun anymore. They think of it as a source of income and spend their life-savings, hoping that they will eventually win a significant amount and retire for good, which rarely happens.
At one point, he was about to miss a game because he lost track of time in a casino. Luckily, he only missed the warm-up, but he was putting his career at risk because of gambling.
Reid stated that he was so delusional that he was avoiding dealing with reality. “You don’t want to look at the numbers. You don’t want to be honest with your friends and family,” said the athlete. Only when he hit rock bottom he finally realized that his marriage was over, he had no money left and was also in considerable debt.
The athlete started his recovery by confessing to his parents about his addiction. The next step he took was banning himself from entering the casino by registering in the BCLC voluntary self-exclusion program. This program allows people to choose a period during which they are excluded from all casino facilities, including online ones.
The program worked well for Angus Reid. His confidence helped him overcome the shame of disclosing his addiction to the public. He further explains that “I knew being a pro athlete and some people knowing who I was that I’d never want to be in that embarrassing situation of being thrown out of casinos and people seeing me doing that.” The self-exclusion program worked like a charm for Reid, as he was motivated to stay away from casinos so he wouldn’t ruin his public image.
A decade later, Angus Reid says that he feels like an entirely different person and considers himself a success recovery story. He is remarried, has a four-month-old son, and works as a commercial broker for Reliance Insurance and does football analysis and mentoring.
As long as you are moderated and set a budget that won’t affect your lifestyle, gambling can be entertaining. The issue is that many people think that they can make easy money out of it and spend more than they can afford. Angus Reid is a perfect example that recovery from addiction is possible. But is he gambling anymore? Click this link for the full interview with the athlete.