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    Hello again. My girlfriend was born in the center of a war that raged until she was about 10 years old. Guns firing most nights. Her father & mother had to run south & live in a tent for a while then the war stopped. She married, and packed up her babies with other families and risked it all on the open ocean before landing as refugees. Two years in camp then resettled in North America.

    Ran a few businesses. Made money and gambled away everything. Few failed relationships after divorce – always her relationship struggles were connected to gambling.

    Along came me as a kind soul trying to deal with her massive mood swings. Trying to control her gambling and get her a small savings account built up. Never works. She simply can’t own money. But I take care of her best I can and constantly tell myself to move on but something inside, I guess, feels like I’m going to be rewarded for the good deed of being a fool at her service.

    Has much been written here on binge gambling? I recently remodeled a house I own and turned a section of the top floor into a beautiful small apartment with separate entry, private kitchen and bath. She’d been complaining that we don’t have a nice place of our own. She and I don’t live together; It’s been impossible to even think about that because she drops into severe mood swings, which I think are due to her childhood.

    So I’ve been working almost daily on this beautiful apartment we can call our own to use as we see fit. I’ve also just given her sick sister overseas some money to help her. And we just attended a big ceremony together in which I was her dutiful man in the presence of hundreds of people from her home country that have immigrated and enjoy a very tight knit community here. She has basically every reason to just calm down and be nice and stop fighting and bickering and insulting me when she stoops into her dark moods.

    Well what did she do? Over the course of SIX DAYS she went into a bizarre episode of needing the gamble either all day or, on one occasion, walked out the door at 10:00 PM and stayed out until morning. 6 days. About 40 hours in casino. It was pretty soul crushing for both of us. She lost her last $1000 then spent two days trying to make up for it. Cleaning and cooking and pretending everything is all fine and dandy.


    Hi Gvalls

    You describe yourself as a kind soul with a girlfriend who can’t ‘own’ money. You are creating a beautiful home for her, giving her sick sister money and even being a ‘dutiful’ man to hundreds of people from her home country.

    You struggle to see that with basically every reason to ‘just calm down and be nice’ to you, she is not conforming. However, I struggle to see why your girlfriend would reward you for the “good deed of being a fool at her service” when you write on another thread, that you ‘tolerate’ her gambling and that you ‘give her permission’ to go to the casino with $60 or $80!  Where is the incentive to quit?

    A compulsive gambler is entitled to ‘own’ money they have earned although will often need support with handling it Does your girlfriend have no income of her own?

    I am pleased that you remembered that you had been informed last year that you are part of the problem and yet here you are again asking for sympathy for yourself, whilst still feeding your girlfriend’s addiction, which you tolerate.

    It is possible to carry on enabling a compulsive gambler ad infinitum but I suggest that you have to ask yourself why you would do this? A compulsive gambler can control his/her addiction but does need the right support and handing cash to such a vulnerable gambler is not an act of kindness.

    Maybe you could find a dedicated addiction counsellor for your girlfriend which would be more helpful and cheaper than any small apartment with separate entry, private kitchen and bath. Perhaps you could encourage her to join GA where there is a significant number who quit gambling forever. Perhaps you could encourage her to come on this site and talk privately to our Helpline or participate in one of our CG groups where she would be most welcome and understood.



    Thanks for your message. Nguyen only works a few hours a week and all of that money is spent on the basic necessities. Fortunately she setup an Airbnb in their home so that helps too. When we are together I buy whatever she needs but usually she just wants money to gamble, not anything else aside from food. I’ve asked to take her shopping but that seems to just spark her mood swing into ‘I just need two hundred dollars’. I give her money to take home. She is very creative and helps in my business dealings at work and I give her generously for extra profit that I can connect to her assistance. Without going into further detail she and I seem to do well as a pair but it pains me to see her dump everything into casinos.

    As a side note, her friend owns a popular restaurant and has basically nothing to her name even though she is bringing in $4000 cash sales a day. She gambles around $2000 a day and apparently loses it all and keeps going back. That’s been going on over 10 years. Being part of Nguyen’s life, I hear a lot of stories along this line.

    I’ve spoken with her at length about counseling. She knows that she is addicted, of course. She knows that there are people ‘who talk’ and they meet all the time. She’s Vietnamese and closely connected to that community. She says, perhaps she may be wrong, but she says ‘English people do that. None of my people do that. We sign paper to ban ourselves.’

    This is where it gets complicated a bit because a boundary line separates us even though we both live close to it, and where she is from there’s only one casino and she’s banned herself. But where I live there are probably 15 choices within 1 hour drive and I don’t think they take the bans seriously, though she said she’s willing to ban herself at all of them. What do you think? Take her to all the casinos and have her get banned? Three of these in particular have generous rewards cards point schemes and I’d love to see her cut those up. Those casinos say that if you ban yourself you’re not supposed to enter, and you will definitely not be issued a loyalty card.

    It could be the road to recovery; however she is REALLY anxious about going to Las Vegas so if she bans herself here it might create more anxiety about somehow getting to Vegas.

    Nguyen fell off the deep end about 8 weeks ago, into a dark area of extreme gambling. Since then, my resolve to help her has grown stronger and I acknowledge I probably could have handled it differently before. Thanks.


    Hi G
    Provided that your girlfriend is willing to ban herself from the casinos then there is no harm in taking her to do so. If she has not stated her willingness and she is going at your insistence then it is likely to be a wasted venture.
    Las Vegas is probably the worst place for any gambler to go if they want to live gamble-free. If she believes that there is a remote possibility that you are willing to fund this trip and enable her ‘dream’ then her addiction will be in full throttle.
    Giving her cash is feeding her addiction – and giving her money, generously, is not helping her. If she has ‘earned’ this money, then it is hers to do with as she wishes but it would be good if she was willing for you to take care of it for her – but she has to agree. I don’t see why you feel the need to give ‘generously when you know she will abuse it.
    It is quite a generalisation to say that English people talk and meet. I don’t believe that an English compulsive gambler wants to talk or listen any more than a Vietnamese gambler who is addicted – unless and until, they are determined that they want to take control of their lives. She might come from a community that doesn’t talk but does she also come from a community that doesn’t listen?
    If your girlfriend wants to live gamble-free then she clearly has some work to do on herself but you can help by not enabling her.

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