NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
NILDA K.: My name is Nilda K., and I'm a compulsive gambler.
I did have a speech, but on my way here I have not been down to Atlantic City in five years. On my way here, all I kept thinking about, I remembered when I used to come here was the highs of how great I was going to make it big. On my way here today all I could think of was the misery that it caused me.
It caused me my family, my life, my occupation. I lose a degree, looking forward to maybe being in jail.
Who do I have to thank for the life that I have now is GA. Because of them I am working again, and I hear all of these people talk about how great their life is because of Atlantic City. Well, you know something? I have a great life, too. I have all the good things in life. We all do, but it's due to GA, not because of the casinos.
Yes, we have an addiction, and I'm not saying that everybody cannot gamble. That's not true, but there are a lot of us that cannot gamble because we have an addiction just like an illness. It's an illness.
I have diabetes. For the rest of my life I have to take insulin. Well, for the rest of my life I have to go to GA meetings because they saved my life.
I know what I feel like coming down here. I'm sick. I am really sick to my stomach of the thought of what Atlantic City -- and not only Atlantic City; I'm talking about Vegas also -- did to me, caused me so much illness, almost -- almost going to jail.
But thanks to GA I'm back up on top, and not through gambling; through the program. That means a lot to me.
But let me tell you. I mean, like I said, we have an addiction. It's like any illness, any other illness. We don't have to be down here, but I'm not saying that people that can gamble -- that's fine for them, but don't make it so glorified. It's not that glorious. It's not that gorgeous. It's not that shimmering like you see in the casino. For a lot of us it's tragedy.
I'm talking about your life, your education going down the drain. That is horrible, and that means a lot.
And I think that you should all be aware of also the downfalls, not only all of the glories, because you can have a good life. You can have a home with a picket fence just being in a program and not gambling.
Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Thank you.