The Day I Decided To Stop Gambling With Gamblers Anonymous

Everything was going perfect for me in life. Good job, good home, good life and good friends. Until one day some friends asked if I wanted to go to the casino. By the time I realized it, three years of my life were gone and I was in debt. It was time to quit.

The day I decided to stop gambling I was depressed and relieved at the same time. I couldn’t go on any longer. I thought all my hopes and dreams were shattered. I couldn’t tell anybody what I was going through. I was afraid that they would be disappointed in me. I remember the first day. I was nervous and anxious. I had a hard time focusing at work. This was not my first time trying to quit. I was sure I really wanted to quit, but wasn’t sure if I could quit.

The day I decided to quit I had no where to turn. I found it was difficult to talk to my family and friends about my problem. I began to do research and found Gamblers Anonymous. I wanted to give Gamblers Anonymous a try. I happened to have met a lot of nice people there. They welcomed me into the group and made me feel comfortable. I had tears coming down my face and my anxiety kicked in. I was very quiet buy my emotions were running wild inside. I made it through my first meeting and was somewhat looking forward to the next one. As each week passed new members would join and others would disappear. This became a weekly event. Who was going to come back and who was going to stay?

I continued to go to my Gamblers Anonymous meeting on a weekly basis. I was always afraid some one would recognize me. The turn over was extraordinary. Each week as I entered the meeting my heart began to race until I was sure I didn’t know any of the new members. It was the tenth week and an old co-worker of mine walked through the doors. We hadn’t worked together for over ten years. I thought about leaving but I decided to stay and try and work it out. Unfortunately he did not keep the Gamblers Anonymous code. He had told a friend who told another friend until it got back to me. It was unfortunate, but I dealt with it and moved on.

I and others unfortunately had other situations occur that were not very positive for us at Gamblers Anonymous. I still thank them for putting me on the road to recovery. From the first time I entered Gamblers Anonymous and followed up with the website I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/

I believe I am on the road to recovery. I take one day at a time and allow myself the option to gamble or not to gamble. This helped me to take control of my life. By allowing myself to make the choice the amount of stress on me has been significantly reduced.

A month after I stopped going to Gamblers Anonymous meetings, I ran into one of the members. He was curious at how I was doing and asked me if I would be there next week? I told him I would try and make the meeting. I popped in a few times more to tell them how I was doing. They were all glad to see me, but I wasn’t in compliance with the rules of Gamblers Anonymous, so I decided not to go back. In this particular group I attended, they have rules that do not allow a member to comment during therapy if they did not attend four consecutive weekly meetings. I respected their rules but realized it was time to move on. I told the group and thanked them very much for putting me in the right direction and left.

After this experience I created a website that would allow people to be themselves as they recover. This site is also the closest to anonymous you can get. There you will also find a private stop gambling chat room and a self help manual to help gamblers stop compulsive gambling addiction. The website is I Stopped Gambling So Can You http://www.istoppedgambling.com/.

My experience from Gamblers Anonymous meetings to now has helped me to stop gambling. I stopped so can you!

Mr. Howard Keith has an extensive background in dealing with compulsive gamblers, relatives and friends of gamblers and teenage gamblers.

Mr. Keith believes there are many alternatives to aid in the recovery of a gambling addiction verses a twelve step program. A large percentage of his emails were from compulsive gamblers looking for an alternative to Gamblers Anonymous and twelve step programs. Gamblers Anonymous also helps a significant number of people each year but there is a large percentage that does not stay. These are the people Mr. Keith is hoping to reach.

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Bluffing About Your Import Compliance?

Are you willing to go “all in” with your Customs compliance rating? Unless you’re holding royal flush it most likely isn’t the best idea. Every importer is rated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the level of compliance exhibited by their import practices. This is routinely updated by U.S. Customs and can be accessed through an online Portal known as ACE.

If your rating is too low, Customs may see this as a red flag and decide to play a little game of Texas Hold’em with your shipments. When this happens you’ll be forced to fold, show your cards and possibly anti up. Gambling (in moderation) can be fun, but when it comes to your compliance choose to play on-line where the stakes are low.

ACE is another CBP acronym for Automated Commercial Environment. This web-based information system is a great way to track entries, duty payments and compliance ratings. Signing up is simple and training can be done online. The best part about ACE is that it is free. No buy-in required!

Once you have your ACE log-in and password you can view your standing with Customs in the “Reports” section of the ACE Portal. Importers should continually monitor and review their rating (similar to watching a credit report) because it will move up and down as CBP conducts exams and reviews. CBP refreshes the compliance data on the 20th of every month.

With ACE You Can Monitor…

Your and your broker’s compliance,
Your bond sufficiency,
HTS numbers as well as trade preference programs,

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Opening Up the Online Gambling Industry in France

The online gambling scene in France is on the verge of changing irrevocably with the imminent enactment of a new legislation inspired in part from the successful example of the UK and other European countries. It remains a vastly untapped potential for online gambling operators. The liberalisation of the market, which up until now has been controlled by the monopoly of the state-owned Française des Jeux, is under intense scrutiny from the European Commission while at the same time preparing itself for the fast-paced environment of the online gambling world in which operators are already active offering an ever-growing choice of games of chance to the willing French consumer.

In this article I will attempt to cover the key points of the emerging French Gaming Law (which remains to be finalised) by looking at its viability with regards to tax and licensing regimes and how it will affect foreign entrants to the market.

In the interest of the consumers, an essential element of this legislation aims to prevent addiction by fixing limits on wagers and winnings that may be placed or received by punters. With this in mind, operators will be obliged to include warnings about underage playing and the potential risks of excessive gambling.

The opening of the market will encompass horse race and sports betting and shared games of skill, involving the ability of the player to improve his or her chances by adopting a certain strategy in relation to their opponents – such as online poker. Hence, lotteries, online slot machines, betting exchanges and casino games involving playing the bank (blackjack and roulette for example) will be excluded from the opening as they are considered too addictive.

A new independent public authority, ARJEL (Games Regulations Authority) will be set up specifically to regulate the remote gambling market, responsible for:

· Ensuring compliance with policy objectives regarding internet accessible games.

· Suggesting to government specific requirements for different types of licences available.

· Preparing and attributing online gambling operator licence requests.

· Monitoring online operations and clamping down on illegal gambling sites and fraud.

ARJEL will be empowered to block access to such websites through a direct injunction to Internet Service Providers and block such financial transactions.

· Enacting auditing rules concerning technical and financial data for each transaction.

· Making suggestions to Government on legislative and regulatory issues.

· All operators shall be required to provide information and guarantees as to their identification, gambling experience, shareholding, measures taken to prevent fraud and money laundering, secure online payment and protection of data and minors.

· Licences will be granted to operators within Member States of the EU or ECC. Any of these whose headquarters or shareholders are based in so called non co-operative tax havens shall be refused licences to offer their services in France.

· Online gambling internet websites must be accessible through a first level domain name ending in “.fr”.

· A mirror server, based in France, shall contain all data relative to gambling activities and exchanges between players and operators.

· Licences shall be granted for five-year renewable periods and shall be non-transferable.

· The tax rate will be based on amounts wagered by players, according to the following:

8.5% – Sports betting

15.5% – Horse race betting

2% – Online poker

Such taxation based purely on wagers rather than gaming gross revenue is less well suited in the case of poker operators for example, for whom 2% tax on wagers would equate to taxing approximately 60% of gross revenue. This could put operators off entering the market, as well as go against EU regulations of freedom to provide services. However on the whole, France should remain attractive despite the proposed tax regime that might be an obstacle to foreign online gambling operators seeking to enter the French market.

With the implementation of the Draft French Gaming Law, the ARJEL will need a further few months to be efficient and begin granting licenses. According to Senior Government Officials, France will not start granting online betting licenses at the beginning of 2010 as initially thought. Partly as a result of the detailed opinion of the Commission rendered on June 8th, 2009, the Draft French Gaming Law will most likely not be implemented as from January 1st, 2010. In any event, it should be in place for the kick-off of the World Football Cup in South Africa at the latest.

Allez les Bleus!

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