MS. LANCELOT: Madam Chair, members of the -- well, Mister Chairman, members of the Commission, my name is Marilyn Lancelot and I'm a compulsive gambler. I have no opinion on taxation or regulation and I'm not against gambling for people who can handle it. I gambled periodically at horse and dog races, card games, lottery, bingo over the first 50 years of my life. Then I visited my first casino in Reno, Nevada. At that time I lived in Yuma, Arizona where there was no casino gambling.

I loved the slot machines when I found them and then I discovered Laughlin, Nevada and made weekly trips from Yuma to the Laughlin casinos for seven years. Caught up in a compulsive behavior, I was addicted to this type of gambling immediately. The trip from Yuma to Laughlin took four hours and I would have driven all day to reach a casino. I drove recklessly on the way, never considering the safety of the passengers in my car. I gambled only on weekends but I thought about it all week long. I even bought books on how to gamble successfully.

I never won a huge jackpot, just enough to keep me coming back either to win more or to win back what I had lost. When I drove to Laughlin by myself and came home and I had lost, many times I thought of turning the wheel of my car into the semi headed toward me. It would end this horrible nightmare. My insurance would take care of my problems and no one would ever know about my secret. I had always prided myself on being a model housewife, mother of five and couldn't imagine what had happened.

I hated what I was doing. I made promises to stop this insane behavior but I couldn't. I hurt my family, my friends and my employer. I even took my grandchildren with me to Laughlin when they were only five and six years old and I never gave a second thought to there may be something wrong with this. I gave each of them a roll of quarters and sent them to the game room. When they ran out of quarters, they came down to the casino floor. I would kiss them and give them another roll of coins. At 9:00 o'clock I walked them to the room, put them to bed, locked the door and I returned to the casino.

After two years of gambling, I was losing large amounts of money, max'd out all my credit cards. I rented a post office box to have my credit card statements sent there so my family wouldn't see what I was spending. Everything had to be secret. I lied about how much I won or lost. I began borrowing money from my employer to gamble with. The more I lost, the more I borrowed. I couldn't pay it back unless I gambled more. But there was always that dream that I'd win the big one and pay everything back and then I'd quit.

The casinos in Laughlin gave me a free room and free meals. They called me by my first name. Unfortunately, I never won the big one and the borrowing from my employer was discovered. I was forced to turn over my property to my employer which consisted of two beautiful homes, a couple of mobile homes, my savings, my retirement funds, everything I had worked for all my life. I had to file bankruptcy on my bills. I'm still paying restitution and will have to for the rest of my life.

I am still working. I am 68 years old. I have no home, no retirement fund or savings account, all the result of my compulsive gambling and that's only a small part of my story. I can't gamble normally, but I found a way to stop. Thank you.

COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Thank you very much, Ms. Lancelot.

COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Mr. Chairman, could I just ask, would you share with us in more detail, not at this moment but in writing, your experience with using your credit cards, maxing out and did you use the credit cards on the premises of the gambling establish? Would you give us those details, please? Thank you.

MS. LANCELOT: It was $300,000.00.

COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Give it to us in writing if you would. Thank you.

COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Thank you very much, Ms. Lancelot.

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