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The Gambling Harm Podcast episode three focuses on casino play

The third episode of The Gambling Harm Podcast has gone live, with Paul Findlay MBE recounting the problem gambling he encountered within casinos, alongside a wider view on how the industry is changing to make it safer for those visiting casinos to bet.

The latest edition of EPIC Risk Management’s brand new podcast series welcomes an enthralling ex-military guest whose life was changed overnight after injuries sustained while serving his country, followed by further turmoil as he turned to various online and in-person forms of casino gaming during his recovery, with financially-damaging results.

The EPIC Restart Foundation trustee also touches upon what draws customers to casinos, the different sensory responses to in-person versus online casino play, the harsh reality of gambling in Las Vegas and the steps that are being taken by land-based casinos to offer enhanced protection to anyone displaying signs of gambling-related harm.

Explaining the importance of meaningful interactions between casino staff and customers, Paul recounted a key moment in his journey that made him stop and think about the harmful elements of his play.

Comparing how he played poker in competitive tournaments to the way he behaved when playing tables during breaks from competition, he explained:

“You’d play probably for about two hours and then there’d be a 15 minute break. You’d play for another two hours, then there’d be about an hour’s break or 45 minutes where you’d go and get some food, dinner, etcetera.

“I always remember a dealer saying to me ‘you’re a very different player after the break’. When I asked ‘what do you mean?’, she replied ‘when you come back you’re on tilt’.

“Tilt, in poker terms, is when something happens in the game that causes an emotional reaction. Instead of playing logically, you play by emotion, and poker’s a game that needs to be played logically.

“I would be doing so well for the first two hours of the poker tournament. We’d have a break, everybody else would go to the toilet, go and get a drink, go and get a bite to eat, whereas I’d go straight to the other tables and if I won, I’d come back happy. However, very rarely did I win because I would usually stay until I’d lost! That’s the reality.

“The amount of times I would miss the restart, so I’d miss some of my blinds and I’d lose some of my chips because I wasn’t there.

“When I look back now I think to myself, ‘it’s because of that’. I think if that conversation had evolved a little bit more and I’d got to that realisation quicker, it might have made me think about things slightly differently.

“I went back and thanked her for having those conversations and I started looking at ways I could potentially evolve my pattern of play, which eventually ended up being that I just had to stop completely.”

The new episode of the podcast, which is entitled ‘Casino Culture’ is available in audio or video format across leading mainstream platforms, such as:

• Soundcloud

• Spotify

• Apple Podcasts

• YouTube (video format)

Trigger warning: This episode of The Gambling Harm Podcast features references to serious injuries sustained on military service.

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