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May 11, 2022

Ever heard someone gambling their life savings away? Well, that's not as rare as you think it is. And gambling addiction has one of the highest suicide rates of any addiction disorder, which is disturbing to hear.

Today, we have William "Ted" Hartwell with us discussing gambling addiction in this episode: "Losing It All To Gambling".

We discuss William's personal story and struggles with gambling. How he got into it, how deep he got before realizing that he had an issue and needed help.

We discussed the modern aspects of gambling, i.e., sports wagering, lootboxes, online gambling, the state of social games and how kids are getting into gambling at an early age and what you, as a parent can do about it.

We also learned what the gambling industry is doing to tackle this issue and also what you personally can do about it and how you can get help to overcome this addiction.


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National Council On Problem Gaming

Call 1-800-522-4700


Text 1-800-522-4700


A bit about Mr. Hartwell:

Mr. Hartwell has a Master's degree in Anthropology and has been a member of the research faculty of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) of the Nevada System of Higher Education since 1991. He is a longtime member of the National Council on Problem Gambling. Mr. Hartwell is the Principal Investigator of a DRI research study examining the impact of problem gambling in Native American tribal communities in Nevada.

Mr. Hartwell is in long-term recovery from gambling disorder himself, and he promotes awareness, prevention, and treatment of problem gambling as a consultant to the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). He has spoken publicly and personally on this issue on many occasions and is dedicated to humanizing and illuminating the illness of disordered gambling. He provides annual lectures on this topic for the UNLV Boyd School of Law Gaming Regulation and the University of Utah Gaming Regulation classes, as well as for many other departments within the higher education system.

He was a regular participant for many years in the UNLV International Gaming Institute's Responsible Gaming Ambassador training program for Las Vegas Sands Corporation and has consulted to MGM Resorts International and the US-Japan Business Council in their efforts to develop business related to the first Integrated Casino Resorts in Japan. Mr. Hartwell introduced the NCPG's youth gambling awareness and family gambling awareness programs into the Clark County School District in Nevada and he has recently developed educational programs for local schools on the topics of video gaming awareness and student-athlete gambling awareness. Mr. Hartwell has served at the pleasure of three Governors on the Nevada State Advisory Committee on Problem Gambling since November 2012. He was the 2014 Shannon L. Bybee Award recipient for his continuing work on advocacy, outreach, and research on the issue of problem gambling. In 2021, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Mr. Hartwell lives in Las Vegas, where he is also a professional cellist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, a devoted husband to a recent Russian immigrant, a past soccer and volleyball coach, and the proud father of a precocious 16-year-old girl and three cats.


A bit about me (Dr. Orest Komarnyckyj):

Dr. Orest Komarnyckyj enjoyed a prestigious career as a periodontal regenerative surgeon moving to a new passion in June 2018. He retired after a 33-year career to pursue new passions. At 69 Dr. Orest has taken on a new role as an Interviewer, Podcaster and government-certified Old Guy. He streams from his new home in Las Vegas, NV. He lives with his wife of 29 years, Oksana. His status as an empty-nesters with two out of college-employed children has left him with time and energy to share decades of successes, failures, and wisdom.


Timestamps for the episode:

00:00 - Precap

01:15 - Intro

02:25 - Guest introduction

05:35 - What's the most important thing you've done today?

06:05 - Are gamblers born adddicts or they develop as addicts? And what was the moment that made you realize, this was an issue for you and how long did you deny it?

10:25 - What is the impact of gambling addiction on induvial and their families?

12:50 - Who or what is responsible for gambling addiction?

15:40 - What is the gambling industry doing to deal with this issue? Are they identifying problem gamblers in their facilities or online? What is the role of company employees in identifying gambling addicts?

19:54 - Commercial

20:58 - Commercial ends/How has online gambling contributed to this problem? How has fantasy leagues affected gambling?

27:02 - Is gambling an issue with teens?

29:15 - What are social games and why do some companies maintain that this is not gambling?

33:40 - If some thinks they have a gambling addiction/problem what should they do? Tell us about the Gambling assessment provided by the NCPG.

38:15 - Closing thoughts

39:35 - Outro