online gambling
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Thread: online gambling

  1. #1

    online gambling

    Im expecting this thread to be a bit controversial and if im over stepping the mark say so and i will withdraw the thread...

    This is the absolute honest truth.

    My mother has a severe gambling addiction. Not going to races / bookies etc, purely online gambling. Im not lying when i say this, but in the last year she has gambled over £250,000. She sold her house last year and spent all the money from it. She now has a new mortgage on a new house and a new £20,000 debt. I am realy woried for her, because she is very secretive and doesnt discuss anything with me. I have pretended to be her and shut down sher accounts, she was supposedly 'banned' from gambling online, but this restriction has not stopped her at all what so ever.

    Before it gets so bad that she loses everything, i need to do something about it.

    Does anybody have any suggestions of how i could stop her from getting on these web sites
    eg..., victor chandler, ladbrokes......

    II need to do it without her knowing ive done it! She would go mad! She is using win 98! with no updates or firewall or virus checker! 1ghz p3, 256mb ram....... (she wont let me install a firewall cuz she doesnt want me on her computer for obvious reasons) so the deal is i can get on the computer, but anything i do its got to be sly so she doesnt notice. She is most definately a n00by when it comes to computing.

    This is a very random email, but im sure if anyone who is reading this can relate to the stress it causes the gambler and all those aroud (me!)

    I hope someone has a good idea to help me out

    The more you know, the less you understand!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Dude, this isn't a technological problem. If you block these sites she'll only go elsewhere. Blocking gambling sites would be about as effective as removing the beer from the fridge to help an alcoholic.

    She needs serious psychiatric help.

    I'm no psychiatrist, but I would think that she needs to identify the fact that she in fact has a problem before anything can be done about it. That should be your first goal, not blocking gambling sites.
    Government is like fire - a handy servant, but a dangerous master - George Washington
    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence - it is force. - George Washington.

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  3. #3
    ye, i hear wht ur saying, could have said it in a better way....

    but ive tried talking and reasoning etc but its not working. Gambling online is different from normal gambling, its not like uve got the cash in ur hand. ur just looking at numbers on a screen, no meaning, she doesnt gamble anywhere other than online. Not even a lottery ticket.

    If i can stop her from doing it online, if only temorarily, that for me would be a triumph.

    So, plz any help welcomed, other than the obvious

    She needs serious psychiatric help

    The more you know, the less you understand!

  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Some steps you could take at home to help reduce the "urge".

    Put in a proxy and have her web requests blocked from gambling. You'll have to review the logs to make sure that they are being blocked. Or, you can drop them at the firewall... if you know what sites she is going to. If you are using dial up... put entries in her hosts file...

    So it will refer her to her own computer when she tries to visit the site.
    There are so many of them out there though... so good luck.

    You can also put something like Norton Internet Security and put on parental control.
    You can block the sites she visits based on content. It works very well. That'd be funny though... putting "parental control" on your parent.... lol Just make sure you choose a strong password so she can't disable/uninstall it.

    Like others have said... she can go elsewhere to gamble. But it'll make it more of a pain for her and she may not be comfortable going to a internet cafe to gamble.

    She needs professional help. You can only do so much. She needs to want to help herself. If she doesn't want to stop... then she won't stop. gambling is a serious problem. I've gone to the race track (they have slots there) and see the people in there. Most of them are not only addicted to the slots... but also to alcohol, and nicotine.

    If she has lost so much $$ already... she might not be able to stop because she HAS to win it back. But in the process, she just puts herself deeper in the hole. The deeper she gets, the more she has to play. Just because she might be able to get herself out of it.

    My mom has a new habit of playing the online slots. She is on them constantly! But she is playing the slots that are free. Hopefully it doesn't become more serious and she doesn't start paying to play. Seeing that there are real slots only a couple miles from my house... I find that unlikely. I've found several ways to "cheat" that site... too bad its not real. I could be a thousandaire right now.

    I can understand how addicting it can be though. I took $50 to the slots a couple months ago. I won $250 in the first 10 minutes I was there... Don't you know that I lost it all too. I put it right back in the machines. I left there with the $50 that I came with. It was fun... but just a waste of time.
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    online gambling is a major problem, one of my best mates from uni gambled away his student loan, failed uni becuase of it, and has complelty lost all sense of common sense.

    Im truely sorry for your mum, you need to get her going someplace like Gamblers annoymous quickly, otherwise itll ***** you and her up royally - its not a quick fix and she has gotta wanna do it.

    you could make the connections to these sites very slow, im not sure how you would do this without any form of hardware, so that its so slow it'll still connect but probably boot you.

    its so easy to do though, i watched my mate play and he'd just bang in 100 pounds like it was growing on trees, suppose cos its not physical its not seen as real money that might provide a useful insight

    what about getting a free shell and tunnelling though it and setting up iptables on it, and block the sites from there? it remote and she's unlikely to find that? I think you could do that no probs, although im not sure whether iptables are providing on free shells?

    good luck


  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Pacific Northwest
    True story to help indicate how serious this illness can be:

    A dude at work had a gambling problem and was visiting those sites while at work. It got so bad that he max’d out his credit cards, the work’s plastic and another card (his girlfriend’s - what a chump). Well it came time for reconciliation by the bean-counters and the girlfriend, after 47 pages of snort and tcpdumps were reviewed, Bubba got a new lover.
    Connection refused, try again later.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Interesting psychological aspect here I think... I know a guy that works as a dealer in a Casino and he told me often about how he had people throw chips in his face when they lost etc. But losing money on the net seems to be easier for people... interesting enough, but beyond the scope of this thread.

    I don't know whether shells allow you to set up iptables... at least maybe a shell script of some sort would be good. One solution - albeit rather complicated at first but nothing impossible - is to buy an old computer with two NICs and install Linux on it, then route your mom's connection through that box [if you're on broadband... I guess you could do it with two modems but I have no clue so maybe somebody else could clarify] and set up iptables and Snort on it, and for ease of access maybe a remote shell connect [so you can hide the second computer somewhere in the house ]. Then periodically check the Snort logs and see what new sites she's visiting, and add them to the iptables filters... I know it's an ongoing thing, but maybe she'll slowly give up.

    As hard as it may be, you do have to talk to her. She's your mother. Get her into a hobby. Damn, get her on the couch in front of the TV and away from the computer! But talk to her and convince her it's going too far.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Simple solution:
    Disconnect her from the 'net, then follow Striek's advice.
    Chris Shepherd
    The Nelson-Shepherd cutoff: The point at which you realise someone is an idiot while trying to help them.
    \"Well as far as the spelling, I speak fluently both your native languages. Do you even can try spell mine ?\" -- Failed Insult
    Is your whole family retarded, or did they just catch it from you?

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    phishphreak makes some good points about addiction and mum needing to want the help.Problem is most people afflicted with the DISEASE of addiction do not get help.thats right i said disease and don't doubt that addiction is a disease that can kill.Drug and alcohol addiction has more recognizable physical symptoms along with phsycological symptoms.I have had afflicted people tell me that gambling had only monetary symptoms.when in fact the phsycological symptoms related to gambling (depression,anxiety disorder,etc) can cause a great deal of physical problems.Depression associated with gambling can cause a person to commit suicide.The anxiety associated with gambling can cause a heart attack and many other irreversible damageing effects associated with anxiety disorders.That is what makes addiction a disease and not just an emotional or phsycological PROBLEM.A disease gets progessively worse and ends with death,mental istituitions or jail.

    If she will not find help on her own and it has already cost her a house I doubt anything you could say would change her mind.I would suggest finding a professional for her and yourself.Like all addiction it affects the whole family as well as all people involved.I am not saying that there is something wrong with you.Just that it has affected you in one way or another otherwise you would not have written the post.All is not lost and she is lucky to have someone like you who cares enough to want to help.Problem is that people close to the afflicted are usualy the least qualified to help because of their emotional involvement with the afflicted.I am not sure what the laws are where you are but here in the U.S. it is not that hard to force someone to get help for most addictions.Gambling is a little tougher to get a judge to force someone to get help.But it is not that hard to get what we here in the U.S. call "power of attorney" over someone.That would give the person complete control over the afflicted persons dealings including their financial responsibilities.Seeing that it has cost her a home and seems to be getting worse you may want to check it out with a lawyer.Most lawyers here will talk to you for free initialy if they think theres a buck in it for them and who knows you might even find one that cares.There is down side to all that and that is she may resent you and that could ruin your relationship with her or worse.But at least you would know that you were doing what you seen as everything you could to help.That is why i can not stress enough that it affects everyong.If you do nothing will you be able to live with yourself?Please don't take this as advice.Rather i am just trying to show the different options and recourse you have.I am not a qualified professional and sugest you seek one for advice.You have many options and it would take an awfull long time to spell them all out....

    A very wise counselor once told me "If you are not part of the solution you must part of the problem"

    She is very lucky to have someone like you....Good Luck
    \"Convictions are much more dangerous to truth than outright lies\"

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