Meditation & Health #5 – An Accomplished Woman Trapped in the Casino
An Accomplished Woman Trapped in the Casino
By Chan Yue Translated by Jia-Hui Illustration by Amber Zhong
She was an IT professional who is young, well-mannered and highly intelligent, and was leading a luxurious and fashionable lifestyle. But all that changed when she walked into a casino one day.
During a sightseeing trip, she chanced upon a renowned casino in the area. It offered a special bus service giving each passenger a gambling voucher worth $30. The passengers would use part of the voucher to pay for the bus ride, and the remaining value to try their hand at a little gambling. Since she did not have to spend her own money, why not give it a try?
Using only $12 as a start, she was surprised to win $100 after just an hour of gambling. She thought, “Well, with the extra $100, it would not hurt to continue gambling for a while more, would it?”
Slowly, her apprehension about gambling eva-porated. Even past warnings against gambling gradually disappeared. Despite losing many times, she still yearned for a single successful attempt to bring back every penny and more! Unsuspectingly, she slowly increased her stakes. Then, she was so intent on winning that she did not consider the consequences of her actions. Eventually she realised that she gambled away a total of $2,000. She became nervous; she decided that once she had recovered all her losses, she would leave immediately. However, the more anxious she got, the more flustered she became, and the more she lost. Yet, her determination to continue gambling grew. In the end, she lost $8,000; she could hardly believe she had lost so much money in just one day.
Dejected, she left the casino. Weary and vexed, she thought, “If only I could turn back time and start the day afresh! How foolish of me, to even step into a casino! How can I possibly ignore the fact that I have just lost $8,000 in the blink of an eye?”
She walked on aimlessly, deeply regretting for having set foot in the casino and gambling thousands of dollars away. What on Earth could be done?
Wanting to take a break from this ‘mess’, she returned to her hotel. Her mind was so clouded that she could not eat or meet with anyone; all she wanted was to fall into a deep sleep, and let the horrible memories of the casino fade away. However, she tossed and turned, as sleep evaded her. Her mind apparently could not leave the casino behind, and repeatedly played the day’s events, like a broken film projector. She was gnawed by the mental torment that most unsuccessful gamblers suffer.
After a day of rest, she began to regain her composure. Surely she could not leave things as they were? No, she would be doing herself injustice if she did not give herself another chance to get back on her feet. In order to recoup her losses, she withdrew yet another $8,000 from her savings, and stepped into the casino once more.
Path of No Return
Maybe it was her desperate wish to win, or simply bad luck, that she found herself losing her $8,000 before noon. Once again, she left the casino dolefully. Not only did she fail to recover her losses, but she had lost yet another $8,000. She was on a path of no return and it was too late to turn back.
She withdrew more savings and returned to the casino repeatedly, hoping to regain the money she had lost. However, she was unable to change her fate. She lost nine out of ten times and ended up gambling away all her hard-earned savings – a hefty sum of $100,000. Eventually, she lost the motivation to work. Day and night, she was at the casino. Losing all rational thinking and wisdom, she became hopelessly addicted to gambling. She believed that as long as she did not give up, her chance would surely come.
Where did she get the money to continue gambling then? There were no easier targets than the gamblers surrounding her at the casino. She had no more reservations; her pride and self-respect had also disappeared. So she began to hunt for her prey. She made friends with whoever was about to place a bet, and when they were not paying attention, she stole their money, valuables and identity cards. Yet, even all these were quickly gambled away. After several attempts, she was caught. A gloomy life of imprisonment awaited her.
Having to face the law made her come to her senses, and she truly regretted her actions. However, after all that had happened, what good was there in regretting?
Destructive Effects of Gambling
Not only does gambling ruin a pers on’s mental and psychological well-being, but it can also destroy a family and bring harm to society. Gambling addicts are haunted by greed and blinded by false hopes. For that moment of suspense and excitement or a chance to make quick money, they gamble till they are caught in their addiction. Long-term gambling can warp a person’s values and beliefs. The dangers of gambling are frightening: Once you are addicted to gambling, there is no turning back. There is no way to retrieve what has been lost; in some cases gambling can even lead to a life of crime and deceit.
Advise your loved ones who are addicted to gambling to come to their senses; help them see the dangers and consequences of gambling, and urge them to avoid the casino – don’t wait till you’ve lost everything before you start regretting.
Grandmaster JinBodhi once said, “Trying to gain riches the easy way will ultimately result in grief, and the foolish will be haunted by demons! This is how a gambler is made! There is no way to avoid losing in the world of gambling.”
Our Master’s words have given us a deeper understanding of the effects of gambling, which had ruined the life of this young woman. Master’s painstaking efforts to remove evil at its roots and offer protection to all beings shall serve as our reminder to follow the right path.