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Bottoming Out: Gambling Addiction in Las Vegas

Part One
Part One

Tony's Story

Tony McDew not only recognized that he had a gambling problem, but set out to document it with his own video camera, hoping that sharing his experience could help others. When the jackpot hits, "It feels like you're getting high." And when it doesn't? "You want to crucify yourself."

Continued...

Part Two
Part Two

Psychology of addiction

The mere sight of a slot machine can trigger a chemical response in the gambling addict's brain in the same way the thought of cocaine stimulates a drug addict. Some researchers are exploring the use of drugs to treat addicts. Robert Hunter offers old-fashioned group and one-on-one therapy.

Continued...

Part Three
Part Three

Technology

When designer Si Redd realized the overwhelming attraction of his video poker machines, he advised addicts to get help — and leave Nevada if necessary. Today the role of the slot machine in feeding addiction is debated. In Canada, gamblers can tell a slot machine to limit their play.

Continued...

Multimedia
Part Two

The Logic of Loss

Curious about how slot machines work and the math and logic behind them? Check out our virtual slot machine! See how and why the outcome of each spin is random (and independent of previous spins) and why those two 7s on the third reel never seem to hit.

Play and learn »

Part Two

Tony's Story

Tony McDew not only recognized that he had a gambling problem, but set out to document it with his own video camera, hoping that sharing his experience could help others. When the jackpot hits, "It feels like you're getting high." And when it doesn't? "You want to crucify yourself."

Watch the video »

Live Chat

Problem Gambling Center executive director Krista Creelman will answer questions about gambling addiction from Las Vegas Sun readers at noon Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Submit your questions »

Recovery Resources
Recovery Meetings

Find area Gamblers Anonymous meetings, take GA's 20 Questions quiz and get contact info for those in need of recovery.

Meetings » | Test yourself »

Reader Stories

Read stories of addiction and/or recovery submitted by fellow readers.

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