The ‘feminization of gambling’

Chris Danner, like a lot of slot machine players, started gambling to win money.

Eventually, she played the slots to escape.

When seated in front of a slot machine, Danner thought only of winning a big jackpot. She forgot about the controlling husband who always was concerned about money, her escalating gambling losses, her feelings of shame and guilt.

 

In April 2012, after about three years, Danner hit bottom. Her husband had cut off her access to the couple’s bank accounts, but she forged his signature on checks to get cash anyway. She gambled away the money and had no way to cover the losses. Her credit cards were maxed out. She feared her husband would have her charged with forgery. At the age of 64, Danner decided suicide was her only way out.

“I was turning myself into someone I didn’t know: a liar, cheat and thief,” Danner says.

Danner never followed through on suicide, but her story is a common one when it comes to female problem gamblers. Middle age, “escape gambling” and slot machines can be a deadly cocktail for women at risk of developing gambling problems. Experts estimate there are thousands of at-risk women in New Mexico, and thousands more who already have developed the affliction.

“I was turning myself into someone I didn’t know: a liar, cheat and thief,” Danner says.

Danner never followed through on suicide, but her story is a common one when it comes to female problem gamblers. Middle age, “escape gambling” and slot machines can be a deadly cocktail for women at risk of developing gambling problems. Experts estimate there are thousands of at-risk women in New Mexico, and thousands more who already have developed the affliction.