NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MR. DeMARCO: Yes, good evening.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Welcome.
MR. DeMARCO: My name is Tony DeMarco. I'm a counselor and a member of the board of directors --
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Tony, would you pull the mike a little closer --
MR. DeMARCO: Yes.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: -- so the people in the back can hear?
MR. DeMARCO: Yes. I'm a counselor, and I am member of the board of directors of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey. It's a pleasure to be here.
On a community visit something similar to what you're doing this evening, Mahatna Gandhi was asked by a mother to cure her son of eating sugar, and he said, "Madame," he said, "come back in 30 days."
She came back with her son in 30 days, and he said, "Son, you no longer have the desire to eat sugar. You're cured."
And she said, "But, Great One, why didn't you cure my son 30 days ago?"
He said, "Madame, first I had to learn how to stop eating sugar myself."
Thank God that our leaders in government do not have to be compulsive gamblers to implement what is necessary to prevent a predisposition to gamble, to prevent early years, golden years, and social gambling from rising to the level of an addiction, and to treat the addiction when it has risen to that level.
I teach therapists and counselors that are not familiar with compulsive gambling to identify the symptoms of compulsive gambling and to think and feel like a compulsive gambler so that they may be able to set up effective treatment plans.
I educate and counsel parents, children, siblings and significant others on the denial, ways, and cunning devices of compulsive gamblers, and most importantly, that it is a disease that must be treated like any other disease, not with contempt.
When a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a noise? When an infant in an empty house wails for lack of food, does it mean that the child is not hungry for no one is paying attention to it?
It is most difficult to hear the cry for help of a compulsive gambler for his or her cry does not bear the telltale signs of the cries of those unfortunates who are addicted to varied substances. If you do not cup your ears towards our voices, you will not hear what we are saying.
Because the light of knowledge does not shine upon the plight of the compulsive gambler, because it is too easy to say that he or she does not have willpower, because only 50 years ago, which was like yesterday, gambling was mostly done in alleyways, dark basements, and with sinister looking bookmakers, because it has taken an untoward amount of time for government to establish its understanding of compulsive gambling in the here and now, and because it is not fashionable to make compulsive gambling a champion's cause, millions of American citizens and those aspiring to be American citizens will suffer the pains of hell and impress that same hell upon loved ones and other persons that they touch.
The state lotteries, the casinos, the Internet gambling are all vociferously promoting their wares of gambling in the here and now.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you, Mr. --
MR. DeMARCO: And although --
CHAIRMAN JAMES: -- DeMarco.
MR. DeMARCO: What's that?
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you. I'm sorry, but the time is --
MR. DeMARCO: Oh, is it? Thank you for listening to me.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: I'm going to ask you to submit the rest of that for the record.
MR. DeMARCO: It has been submitted.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you.