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Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience. Have you ever wondered whether you or someone you know, might have a problem with gambling? It can seriously damage your relationships and your finances. We explain some common warning signs associated with problem gambling as well as options available to get help and support.

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Problem gambling is when a person is unable to limit how much time and money they spend on gambling. It is usually impulsive and can lead to relationship, financial and workplace problems for the gambler. Trevor was in his 20's and had a job as a barman.

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He found his job stressful so to relieve the stress he played the pokies in his breaks and after work. He finally got to the point where he was spending all his wages every week on the pokies, hoping he could win back his losses to get his finances back on track.

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Trevor knew he was in trouble so he went to his parents to ask them for help. His parents helped him contact a financial counsellor. The financial counsellor helped him negotiate with his creditors and work out a plan to pay off his debts. His parents also encouraged Trevor to contact Gambling help online and they connected him with a local support group. Gambling help online has lots of useful information on how to help someone who may be a problem gambler.

They also have guidance on how to talk to your loved one about their gambling issues and how to access professional help and services. Problem gambling is a complicated, emotional issue. It is important to know where to get help, but also how to work out if your social gambling has become a problem. Banking Budgeting Donating Get your money on track Income tax Managing debts Dealing with debt collectors Debt consolidation and refinancing Trouble with debt Problems paying your utility bills Problems paying your fines Problems paying your rates Legal action lenders could take Hardship threshold Debt agreements Bankruptcy Repossessed goods Urgent money help Problem gambling Helping a friend or family member in financial hardship Problems paying your mortgage Financial counselling Free legal advice How to get out of travel debt Making repayments Saving.

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What is problem gambling? What can you do if you have a gambling problem? Worried about someone close to you? Sometimes people can't seem to limit their gambling because: They are excited by the possibility of winning They have Pokie Review Yahoo Comments before and think they will win again They want to Pokies Money Expert Loans reality They like the social atmosphere of the place they gamble in Signs of problem gambling Here are some signs that you might have a gambling problem: You think about gambling a lot You lose interest in social activities and your friends You can't afford to gamble, but you find ways to do it anyway You use rent or mortgage payments to gamble You hide your gambling debts from loved ones You lie about gambling and about where you have been when you gamble You feel that your gambling is out of control and you need help Case study: Trevor loses big on the pokies Trevor was in his 20's and had a job as a barman.

Trevor then decided to find a different job, where he will be less tempted to gamble. Quick links Unclaimed money Publications Financial advisers register Financial counselling Payday loans Unlicensed companies list Report a scam How to complain Other languages eNewsletter. Having a baby Buying a mobile Losing your job more life events

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  1. Save money with our guides to loans - coinsluckyz.comg: pokies.:
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    Key among these "experts" are self-proclaimed Aussie "pokie king" Peter Liston - who reckons he turned "$ into millions" and "so can you" - and Adam Morris - the "Author Prof Rockloff said gamblers had periods where the reels went their way but in the long run they stood to lose all money wagered. There are many ways to lose oops I mean, win money. Some of the most popular are pokies, lotto, scratchies, wagering and games of skill. Electronic gaming machines: Australia has 20% of the world's poker machines (and represents % of the world's population). As one of the most readily available. Afterward, Stacy studied gambling addiction and the ways slot machines entice customers to part with their money. In , she filed a lawsuit The preferred mode of gambling these days is electronic gaming machines, of which there are now almost 1 million nationwide, offering variations on slots and video poker.
  3. Whether you enjoy betting on sports or races, or even playing the online pokies, there are plenty of ways you can indulge your desire to have a punt from the comfort of But if you're a frequent gambler, could your history of spending money on gambling impact on your ability to qualify for a home loan?:
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If you miss a payment, it's likely the lender will contact you to see if you just 'forgot'. If you keep missing payments, they'll mark you 'in default', which will appear on your credit file, likely preventing you from getting any further credit. If you don't then get back on track, the lender can take you to court. This could involve anything from asking the court to allow bailiffs to come and take your car or other assets you own to the value of the car , or it could ask for an attachment of earnings to pay the debt, or in the worst case, petition the court to make you bankrupt over the debt.

If you find you're not able to make repayments, always contact the lender before you default. If you can offer a credible repayment plan while you're in reduced circumstances, this is always better than ignoring the fact you've defaulted and hoping your lender just ignores it.

Personal loans aren't covered under Section 75, as the lender pays the money to you, so there's no creditor-supplier relationship between the lender and the car dealer. However, if you're able to pay even a part of the deposit you put down using a credit card, then you would be covered, even if you then took out a loan to pay the rest of the balance. If you have a complaint about a car bought using a personal loan, try to resolve it with the dealer.

Sadly, though, there's less protection if you're using the loan to buy a used car from a private individual. See Buying a Used Car for what consumer protection rules apply. When you apply, a credit check will be done to see if the lender trusts you'll pay it back. Likewise, if you fail to keep up repayments, this could leave a mark on your credit file, which could affect your ability to get a mortgage or other credit.

See our Credit Scores guide for more info. Once you've applied for the loan, it's already on your credit file. So assuming you applied for the cheapest loan for you, then there's no point in not accepting that cash because it's not the amount of money you need. If you haven't been turned down due to a credit score issue, this isn't likely to be too difficult.

If you buy a car using a loan and realise it's faulty, you'll need to take it back to the dealer, and ask it to repair the problem. The dealer has a responsibility under the Consumer Rights Act to ensure the car is as described and fit for purpose. If there's something obviously wrong with the car, avoid taking delivery. If the fault develops later, contact the dealer and ask for a repair or replacement. However, if you've bought from a private seller, then you've fewer rights, so ensure you take the car for a test drive before committing to buying it.

Our Buying a Used Car guide can help with what you should be looking for. Almost every personal loan is at a fixed rate, so the rate and repayments you are given at the outset are fixed over the life of the loan, regardless of what happens to the base rate. Thus there's no impact whatsoever, whether rates rise or fall. But a change in the base rate will affect those looking to get a new loan, although it's not an exact relationship.

As loans are borrowed over the long term, the rates lenders set depend more on the City's predictions of long-term interest rates rather than the actual UK base rate. Lenders have tightened borrowing criteria since the credit crunch. It's now comparatively more difficult to get a personal loan than it was before the crunch happened. However, if you can get a loan, you'll benefit from historically low interest rates.

Competition and cheap government money have driven rates down to unprecedented lows over the past few years. That depends on the lender. There are some which make a big play on giving you the cash instantly straight from a branch, though invariably you'll pay more.

It's worth asking yourself whether the extra day's speed is worth paying a higher interest rate for the life of the loan. This can be set as a default option, so be careful. We think it's important you understand the strengths and limitations of the site. We're a journalistic website and aim to provide the best MoneySaving guides, tips, tools and techniques, but can't guarantee to be perfect, so do note you use the information at your own risk and we can't accept liability if things go wrong.

Its stance of putting consumers first is protected and enshrined in the legally-binding MSE Editorial Code. For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes - join the 12m who get it. Your browser isn't supported. It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now.

The MSE mobile menu not all pages are optimised yet. Cheap Loans Tesco Bank: More than I actually paid. Best Bank Accounts First Direct: Fixed Rate Savings Atom Bank: Insurance News Insurance News Price comparison site Insurance Records Car Insurance The record's just 96p for a year's fully comprehensive cover.

How Much Can I Borrow? Uncover how much a bank may lend you for a mortgage. Savings vs Mortgage Offset Mortgage? What is a personal loan? Is a personal loan the right option for me? Where are the best buy loans? But one card currently lets you do money transfer for a smaller 2.

In most cases, a loan won't be cheapest. Credit card balance transfer deals are designed to allow you to shift other cards' debts to them at a special cheap rate, usually much cheaper than the best loan rates. Though make sure you make at least similar repayments to what the loan would cost each month.

Don't automatically assume switching to a cheaper interest rate will save you money. Many loans, especially older ones, have lock-in penalties. These mean even though you'll pay less interest, when you add in the fine for moving, you'll pay more overall. Our Cutting Existing Loan Costs guide has a calculator showing you if you'll gain by switching.

Some employers offer loans to employees, usually for buying travel season tickets so they can get to and from work. Loans have never been as cheap as they are right now. A price war between competitive lenders means that rates have plummeted over the past couple of years, though with the Bank of England's November base rate rise, we've started to see rates creeping up from their all-time lows.

Even low interest rate loans can have hidden costs, though. Before you pick the type of loan, it's crucial to decide one thing. Borrow as little as possible, repay as quickly as possible. To avoid complications, always base your borrowing on what you can comfortably afford to repay preferably after doing a budget , as borrowing too much can cause debts to spiral out of control. All advertised loan and credit card APRs are 'representative'. Lenders have to tell you that their loan rates are representative.

They'll do this by having a representative example on their site of what it may cost. You'll see something like this In this guide, we compare loans that can be paid back over terms of between one and seven years. Rates in the best buy tables below start at 2.

Sadly, the only real way to find out whether you'll get the advertised rate is to apply, though this leaves a search on your credit file, which can hit your ability to get credit in future.

If you're looking for a loan, check out the best buy rates below. We list loans by 'bands' as the rate you could get differs depending on how much you want to borrow. Plus, if you want to find out which loans you'll get, without applying, use our eligibility calculator to see your chances. The best buys are below, but there's the chance to undercut some of these rates by 0. Read a full Nationwide how-to. Usually the only way to know if you'll get a loan is to apply, which marks your credit file.

Our Eligibility Calculator does a soft search to find which loans you'll get without harming your creditworthiness. Want to find out if you'll get these loans? Use the Eligibility Calculator. Though be very careful in getting a personal loan for such a large amount as it's a huge commitment. If you can't get this, you could combine loans, or remortgage , though that often means extending the term, more interest and securing the debt on your house.

If you hold a current account or successfully apply for one with Nationwide, it promises to undercut the best loan offer you get by 0. This means, for example, a 2. To get the deal, you must first apply and get accepted for a standard loan - one that doesn't have fees as well as interest - through any bank or building society.

This includes providers like Hitachi and Ikano Bank, but excludes some loans from peer-to-peer lenders such as Zopa and RateSetter. If Nationwide accepts you, it will then offer you a rate which is 0. It's easiest to apply in branch for this, as you'll need to show or send your proof of acceptance for the other loan to qualify. You can apply by phone, though you'll need to send your proof of the other offer by post before the loan is issued. Most of the linked accounts are best buys in their own right, and are among our top bank account picks.

Read full details and eligibility criteria for Best Bank Accounts. You can open or switch to a current account with Nationwide at the same time as applying for the loan. But be prepared for the credit score hit you'll take. How much of a hit that is depends on whether you're already a Nationwide customer. To switch banks, as well as apply for two loans, you'll have done three credit applications within a short space of time one for the initial loan, one for the new current account, and one for the Nationwide loan.

You may only have one application for the original loan on your credit file, though this will depend on whether Nationwide has already 'pre-approved' you for a loan with it. Main current account customers may already be pre-approved for a certain amount, and if the amount you're borrowing is under this, Nationwide says it won't do a hard search though it may still do a soft search.

Your one application will come from the non-Nationwide loan you applied for. If you're applying for a mortgage, or other big credit, soon, for safety it's best to leave a year between big applications, as this is how long applications stay on your file.

See Credit Scores for more information. You need to decide whether the added hassle of making the extra credit application's worth it. If Nationwide then offered you a 2. If you're borrowing near a threshold, use a loans calculator to check if borrowing more costs less. If you do borrow more, put the extra loan towards repayments. These cheapest loans are updated daily. As an extra boon, members of specialist cashback websites can be paid when they sign up to some financial products.

Do check that it's exactly the same deal though, as terms can be different. One of the main ways to add flexibility used to be via the Cheap Credit Card Loans loophole, which allows total flexibility and has rates cheaper than loans. But it's only for the financially savvy as it's easy to mess up.

However, if you're considering either substantially overpaying or clearing your debt early with a lump sum, there are some options. If your loan was taken out on or after 1 February , you can make partial overpayments on your loan. Loan providers must allow you to pay off your loan in full. This is usually subject to a penalty which is usually between one and two months' interest.

Check your individual agreement to see what your lender will charge you. Also you can pay off in full without penalty. It sounds funky and different. But for borrowers, getting a peer-to-peer loan is pretty similar to a bank loan, except rates can be cheaper and they're flexible, so you can repay when you want.

It matches borrowers and lenders savers , cutting banks out of the equation. People with spare cash can usually get higher returns lending this money than from saving. Similarly, people looking to borrow can usually get lower APRs than from standard loans.

The lending sites do all the organising though, so as a borrower, your relationship and repayments are through them. They run a marketplace matching savers with borrowers. Rates depend on how good a risk you are. But peer-to-peer lenders are 6. If you do actually get the loan, though, it'll go on your credit file and your repayment history will be recorded.

Most loans require you to pay on a schedule. If you want to part-pay or fully pay early, there's sometimes a penalty. With flexible repayments, you can repay early in part or in full without a penalty. Consumers using peer-to-peer sites are now better protected after the industry became regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority from 1 April In many ways though, this is to protect savers, not borrowers as if it went bust and didn't collect your cash, you wouldn't be that upset.

However, all major sites have their own safeguards in place to make sure you pay the money back, and that lenders don't lose out. For more information , see our Peer-to-Peer Lending guide for savers. Let us be blunt. Although there are plenty of competitive rates now available, getting the cheapest ones can still be difficult. First, treble-check you're borrowing the absolute minimum needed. Lower amounts are easier to borrow. Plus, make sure you've checked your credit files to ensure a simple error isn't hitting your creditworthiness read the Credit Rating guide.

The Loans Eligibility Calculator protects your credit score by telling you which personal loans you've the best chance of getting before you apply.

All you need to do is put in the loan amount you want, the length of time you want the loan for and its purpose, then some info about yourself.

It'll tell you your chances as a percentage of getting different loans so you have an idea before you decide to apply. If it looks like you're not going to get a particularly good rate after using the loan comparison service, check the standard loan rate from your own bank to see how it compares. It knows more about you, and credit scoring is about predicting your behaviour, so that extra data may help.

If its advertised rate is cheaper, it's worth calling in for a chat. There's a chance your bank will give you a loan when others wouldn't. Credit unions are independently run local co-operative organisations which aim to assist people who may not have access to financial products and services elsewhere.

There are in the UK providing loans, savings and current accounts. Each has its own services and rules on who can join. Recently several credit unions have got together to offer an online portal for their loans. The representative APR is Most loans are cheaper than the cap, and it's generally only used for very short term loans.

All credit union loans have no hidden charges, no penalties for repaying early and many include life insurance for the loan as standard.

Traditionally a union only lent to people that also held savings with it, but this has been relaxed in recent years and most credit unions will now lend you money regardless of this. For full details on how they work, how to find out if there is one near you and the other financial products that may be on offer, read the Credit Unions guide. What is problem gambling? What can you do if you have a gambling problem? Worried about someone close to you? Sometimes people can't seem to limit their gambling because: They are excited by the possibility of winning They have won before and think they will win again They want to escape reality They like the social atmosphere of the place they gamble in Signs of problem gambling Here are some signs that you might have a gambling problem: You think about gambling a lot You lose interest in social activities and your friends You can't afford to gamble, but you find ways to do it anyway You use rent or mortgage payments to gamble You hide your gambling debts from loved ones You lie about gambling and about where you have been when you gamble You feel that your gambling is out of control and you need help Case study: Trevor loses big on the pokies Trevor was in his 20's and had a job as a barman.

Trevor then decided to find a different job, where he will be less tempted to gamble. Quick links Unclaimed money Publications Financial advisers register Financial counselling Payday loans Unlicensed companies list Report a scam How to complain Other languages eNewsletter.

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Instead of betting on one simple payline, players are able to bet on multiple patterns of paylines‚ÄĒas many as on some machines. This allows for more opportunities to win, but the results are often deceptive. You can get to of these false wins, which we also call losses , an hour. Because the machine is telling the player he or she is winning, the gradual siphoning is less noticeable.

Related to the video slot machines are video-poker terminals, which IGT began popularizing in The standard five-card-draw game shows five cards, each offering players the option to hold or replace by drawing a card from the 47 remaining in the virtual deck.

The games require more skill‚ÄĒor at least a basic understanding of probabilities‚ÄĒthan the slot machines do. As such, they appeal to people who want to have some sense of exerting control over the outcome. They saw, for instance, patrons going more often for four of a kind than the royal flush, a rarer but more lucrative hand, and they adjusted the machines accordingly.

Video poker also offers its own version of losses disguised as wins. Whatever the exact figure, the house odds make it such that if a player plays long enough, she will eventually lose her money. T echnological innovations have not only rendered electronic gaming machines wildly profitable; they have also, according to experts, made them more addictive. A crucial element in modern gambling machines is speed.

Individual hands or spins can be completed in just three or four seconds. For many gambling addicts, the zone itself becomes more desirable even than winning.

Players have gone for 14, 15, 16 hours or more playing continuously. They have become so absorbed in the machines that they left their young children unattended in cars, wet themselves without noticing, and neglected to eat for hours. Casinos and game designers have come up with many ways to keep patrons at their machines and playing rapidly. The chairs are ergonomically designed so that someone can sit comfortably for long stretches.

Winnings can be converted back to credits or printed on vouchers to be redeemed later. Waitresses come by to take drink orders, obviating the need for players to get up at all. Public-policy advocates compare slot machines to cigarettes.

Both, they claim, are products specifically and deliberately engineered to have addictive properties that are known to hook users. Eubanks was the lead counsel for the Justice Department in successful federal litigation against the tobacco industry between and She joined Noffsinger in representing Stacy Stevens after he convinced her that the deception used by the gambling industry paralleled that of the tobacco industry. The data they track in real time on player cards alert them to these pain points: Hosts are also on the lookout for telling behavior, such as someone striking a machine in frustration or slumping over it in discouragement.

When hosts spot someone in a state like this, they may swoop in and offer a voucher for some free credits, a drink, or perhaps a meal in the restaurant, where the player can take a break until the resistance passes and he can resume gambling. When players do exhaust all their funds, casinos will sometimes loan them additional money. In , she spent an entire night gambling at Caesars Riverboat Casino, drinking strong alcoholic beverages provided for free.

When she eventually came to the end of her money playing blackjack, the casino offered her a counter check, basically a promissory note, to enable her to keep playing. She signed the check and gambled away the money. That happened five more times. Noffsinger countersued on her behalf. Experts say casinos should be aware that when they extend credit to losing patrons, they are by definition enabling problem gamblers.

Casinos might similarly be held liable for the financial consequences suffered by gamblers to whom they extend credit beyond a certain limit. In , the widow of a man who killed himself after racking up insurmountable debt at a Mississippi casino sued the casino under an extrapolation of dramshop laws. So far, no U. Nor should they, according to the gambling industry.

Nothing of that sort exists to measure what the level is to have gambled too much. Mountaineer Casino and IGT both declined repeated requests for comment. It does not, however, prevent them from losing money if they visit a casino despite the restriction.

Some experts believe self-exclusion lists are not effective, because they seem to be erratically enforced. Despite the presence of sophisticated surveillance technology, patrons are not routinely screened for their self-exclusion status.

Given that casino operators and slot-machine manufacturers are adamant that the blame for gambling addiction resides with the individual, it is not surprising that research by the industry-funded National Center for Responsible Gaming favors studies directed toward confirming this conclusion. Members of the board of directors, she asserts, do not make research decisions, and the center has a separate scientific advisory board.

She says that the problem is rooted in the individual. Independent research not funded by the NCRG has shown how false wins, near misses, and other such features influence gamblers, especially the way they perceive expected outcomes. Most of them are making correct conclusions based on deceptive information.

Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, says that although the industry should have a role in research and public-education efforts, it cannot be effective on its own. The group, which maintains a neutral stance toward legal gambling, receives a large share of its funding from the industry.

A lmost a decade after the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act launched the dramatic expansion of casino gambling into new jurisdictions, the federal government appointed a commission to study the impact of the proliferation.

Despite that warning, states have been unable to resist the continued expansion of casino gambling. One reason for the ongoing growth is the financial clout of the industry itself. Many states provide tribal casinos with regional monopolies in exchange for revenues skimmed off the top of casino profits‚ÄĒas much as 30 to 40 percent in some places.

Kansas actually owns the games and operations of nontribal casinos. New Jersey, Delaware, and Rhode Island have all provided financial bailouts to faltering casinos. Communities typically build casinos based on a mirage of false promises: It should not be allowed by anyone, anywhere, anytime.

In defense of its products and practices, the gambling industry insists that it is heavily regulated and therefore safe. Nelson Rose, the author of Gambling and the Law. Each state in which gambling is legal has set up its own commission to regulate the industry, but there seems to be a symbiotic relationship between regulators and the industry.

Many gaming-commission members‚ÄĒincluding those who approve applications for casino licenses‚ÄĒare advised by consultants for private companies also on casino payrolls.

Yet such essential disclosure is not required of electronic gaming machines. As it happens, the Nevada State Gaming Control Board addressed exactly this question during its hearings on virtual-reel technology.

They seem unwilling to deal with the social costs. Les Bernal of Stop Predatory Gambling agrees that the close relationship between the state and its gambling interests was crucial: Essentially what the West Virginia Supreme Court has said is that gambling interests in West Virginia are immune from liability.

Former West Virginia House Majority Leader Rick Staton has expressed regret over his role in expanding legalized gambling in the state.

There have been more people who have lost a lot of money, there have been more people who have had to file bankruptcy, there have been more people who have embezzled, there have been more people who have committed suicide. And that, according to several experts, is what it will probably take‚ÄĒa court trial, which would open access to private industry documents.

They cannot afford to have that made public, because it would confirm what everybody knows: The more lawyers read about it, the more they are going to start smelling blood in the water. It just takes for a case to be brought up in the right jurisdiction. A photograph of him later that week, when he was deep-sea fishing in Cabo San Lucas, a place that usually brought him happiness, reveals the heaviness in his expression‚ÄĒhis eyes defeated, his smile gone.

In the months after he was fired, Stevens tried taking the antidepressant Paxil and saw a therapist, but he did not admit to Stacy that he was still gambling almost every day. As spring turned into summer, he knew that charges from the IRS were forthcoming following its investigation into his embezzlement and that even after serving time in prison, he would likely still be on the hook for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he owed in back taxes and penalties.

His former employer seemed close to pressing charges, having put the police on notice. He would never be able to work in the financial sector again. Once the affair hit the papers, his family would be dragged through the gantlet of small-town gossip and censure. He could see no way to spare them other than to sacrifice himself.

By mid-afternoon on August 13, , Stacy had started to worry. But she got no response until about an hour later, when he sent his last text to her: Stevens had just called him. Bender had tried to talk him out of killing himself, but Stevens had hung up. Bender said he would call They found Stevens sitting on the railroad tie by his Jeep. Two filmmakers follow a Texas abortion provider, some of her patients, and the staunch pro-life advocates who oppose her work.

As reflexive support for the president redefines their movement, most conservative commentators have caved to pressure, following along. On Monday morning the conservative-media world woke up to a savagely personal attack in National Review on the Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin.

The outburst might seem a textbook case of the narcissism of petty differences within the conservative world. Both the author of the denunciation, Charles C. Cooke, and its target, Rubin, are right-leaning skeptics of Donald Trump. What on earth could they be arguing about? And does it matter? If he does something, she opposes it. The result is farcical and sad. It was an outburst of celebration, and of defiance‚ÄĒof the economists who disputed their fiscal claims, of the Democrats who assailed their morality, and of the polls suggesting that Republicans had just voted themselves back into the political abyss.

The Senate followed suit on a , party-line vote after midnight on Wednesday. Once the final House vote occurs later on Wednesday, the GOP will have made good on one of its central promises, delivering a steep reduction in taxes for corporations and small business owners, and a more modest one to millions of individuals and families.

Not necessarily the top photos of the year, nor the most heart-wrenching or emotional images, but a collection of photographs that are just so From Barron Trump with a fidget spinner to the Great American Eclipse, from Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer to Lord Buckethead in the UK, from the toppling of Confederate statues to the toppling of many men in power who stand accused of sexual misconduct, and much more.

The almost infinite shades of creepy misbehavior on display are challenging the legal and cultural categories used to describe them. You need to draw a line in the sand and say: None of it is OK.

None of it is acceptable. It most definitely is not. But as the public outrage over sexual misconduct gains force, it is swallowing up an increasingly diverse range of allegations, from the relatively petty such as those lodged against Franken to the truly monstrous such as the claims regarding Harvey Weinstein and Roger Ailes. In between those poles exist almost infinite shades of creepy‚ÄĒwhich, sadly, will necessitate a great many discussions about how to deal with, and even talk about, the different types of offenses and offenders.

Big tech firms have gone from pushing for open-internet protections to being powerful enough not to need them. The most recent chapter in the debate over net neutrality has been, like previous chapters, cacophonous. One notable difference this time around, though, was the relative quiet of many large tech companies. In previous years, these firms had been outspoken about the issue.

Reid, an American reporter, went to his American doctor for an old shoulder injury, he got a very American recommendation. The doctor suggested a total shoulder arthroplasty, a Cadillac of a procedure that would saw off his shoulder joint, replace it with silicon and titanium, and cement it into place.

Reid declined, then set off to get the same shoulder treated in five other countries, documenting the experience in his book, The Healing of America. A French doctor demurred, saying a total shoulder replacement was only for those in constant pain. So [surgery] is not indicated. The Americans‚ÄĒzealously, expensively‚ÄĒand the British‚ÄĒstiff-upper-lippedly‚ÄĒcame up with wildly different cures for the same problem.

As allegations of harassment and abuse bring down powerful men in media, entertainment, and politics, Thomas has also been curiously immune to fresh scrutiny, despite the multiple, detailed accusations against him.

His case is part of a peculiar pattern in which men publicly accused of misconduct before the Weinstein allegations seem inoculated against the current backlash. Thomas, unlike some of the men forced from their positions, also enjoys lifetime tenure. But the abrupt resignation Monday of Kozinski , a prominent judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who was accused of harassment, shows that lifetime appointments do not render their holders invincible. A Spotify playlist of the songs is here , and my best albums of are here.

Close in the ear, strumming with unnerving precision, Katie Crutchfield plots her escape from some suffocating relationship: A scientist and a monk compare notes on meditation, therapy, and their effects on the brain.

Can training the mind make us more attentive, altruistic, and serene? Can we learn to manage our disturbing emotions in an optimal way? What are the transformations that occur in the brain when we practice meditation? In a new book titled Beyond the Self , two friends‚ÄĒMatthieu Ricard, who left a career as a molecular biologist to become a Buddhist monk in Nepal, and Wolf Singer, a distinguished neuroscientist‚ÄĒengage in an unusually well-matched conversation about meditation and the brain.

Below is a condensed and edited excerpt. A great number of people have dedicated their whole lives to this contemplative science. So why is a fringe movement praising his legacy? Other dubious scientific achievements have cut thousands upon thousands of lives short: But Lysenko, a Soviet biologist, condemned perhaps millions of people to starvation through bogus agricultural research‚ÄĒand did so without hesitation.

Only guns and gunpowder, the collective product of many researchers over several centuries, can match such carnage. Having grown up desperately poor at the turn of the 20th century, Lysenko believed wholeheartedly in the promise of the communist revolution. So when the doctrines of science and the doctrines of communism clashed, he always chose the latter‚ÄĒconfident that biology would conform to ideology in the end. You need to decide whether the added hassle of making the extra credit application's worth it.

If Nationwide then offered you a 2. If you're borrowing near a threshold, use a loans calculator to check if borrowing more costs less. If you do borrow more, put the extra loan towards repayments. These cheapest loans are updated daily. As an extra boon, members of specialist cashback websites can be paid when they sign up to some financial products. Do check that it's exactly the same deal though, as terms can be different.

One of the main ways to add flexibility used to be via the Cheap Credit Card Loans loophole, which allows total flexibility and has rates cheaper than loans. But it's only for the financially savvy as it's easy to mess up. However, if you're considering either substantially overpaying or clearing your debt early with a lump sum, there are some options.

If your loan was taken out on or after 1 February , you can make partial overpayments on your loan. Loan providers must allow you to pay off your loan in full. This is usually subject to a penalty which is usually between one and two months' interest. Check your individual agreement to see what your lender will charge you. Also you can pay off in full without penalty. It sounds funky and different. But for borrowers, getting a peer-to-peer loan is pretty similar to a bank loan, except rates can be cheaper and they're flexible, so you can repay when you want.

It matches borrowers and lenders savers , cutting banks out of the equation. People with spare cash can usually get higher returns lending this money than from saving. Similarly, people looking to borrow can usually get lower APRs than from standard loans. The lending sites do all the organising though, so as a borrower, your relationship and repayments are through them.

They run a marketplace matching savers with borrowers. Rates depend on how good a risk you are. But peer-to-peer lenders are 6. If you do actually get the loan, though, it'll go on your credit file and your repayment history will be recorded. Most loans require you to pay on a schedule. If you want to part-pay or fully pay early, there's sometimes a penalty.

With flexible repayments, you can repay early in part or in full without a penalty. Consumers using peer-to-peer sites are now better protected after the industry became regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority from 1 April In many ways though, this is to protect savers, not borrowers as if it went bust and didn't collect your cash, you wouldn't be that upset.

However, all major sites have their own safeguards in place to make sure you pay the money back, and that lenders don't lose out. For more information , see our Peer-to-Peer Lending guide for savers.

Let us be blunt. Although there are plenty of competitive rates now available, getting the cheapest ones can still be difficult.

First, treble-check you're borrowing the absolute minimum needed. Lower amounts are easier to borrow. Plus, make sure you've checked your credit files to ensure a simple error isn't hitting your creditworthiness read the Credit Rating guide. The Loans Eligibility Calculator protects your credit score by telling you which personal loans you've the best chance of getting before you apply. All you need to do is put in the loan amount you want, the length of time you want the loan for and its purpose, then some info about yourself.

It'll tell you your chances as a percentage of getting different loans so you have an idea before you decide to apply. If it looks like you're not going to get a particularly good rate after using the loan comparison service, check the standard loan rate from your own bank to see how it compares. It knows more about you, and credit scoring is about predicting your behaviour, so that extra data may help.

If its advertised rate is cheaper, it's worth calling in for a chat. There's a chance your bank will give you a loan when others wouldn't. Credit unions are independently run local co-operative organisations which aim to assist people who may not have access to financial products and services elsewhere.

There are in the UK providing loans, savings and current accounts. Each has its own services and rules on who can join. Recently several credit unions have got together to offer an online portal for their loans. The representative APR is Most loans are cheaper than the cap, and it's generally only used for very short term loans.

All credit union loans have no hidden charges, no penalties for repaying early and many include life insurance for the loan as standard. Traditionally a union only lent to people that also held savings with it, but this has been relaxed in recent years and most credit unions will now lend you money regardless of this. For full details on how they work, how to find out if there is one near you and the other financial products that may be on offer, read the Credit Unions guide.

Also tell us in the forum what you think of credit unions , so other MoneySavers can learn from your experiences. If no one will lend you the money cheaply, it's usually best not to borrow at all.

If the idea of the loan was to cut the cost of existing debts, please read the Problem Debt Help guide. Payment protection insurance PPI is supposed to cover you in the event of accident, sickness or unemployment for 12 or 24 months.

If you have no other funds, wouldn't be covered by work-based benefits, and don't have any other insurance policies that would cover your repayments for a year, then getting a policy may be a sensible move for you. Simply use the uninsured loan list above to find the right lender. While most PPI cover is pretty similar, they're not identical.

It's worth working out what you need before you start. For example, if you're not working, then you want to only get accident and sickness, not unemployment cover. If you're self-employed, some policies won't cover you, so either choose one that does or just opt for accident and sickness.

There's a growing industry of small insurers looking to provide reasonable cover that vastly undercuts the banks' own. If you're really set on just getting the loan and insurance together for the convenience, then never compare using the interest rate, but ask "what's the total cost, including insurance? We've designed a unique calculator to help you work out the cost of a loan, plus whether you can save by switching.

Unfortunately, this does not work on a mobile so email the guide to yourself so you can have a look at it on your desktop. Use the calculator below to play around and find out what shortening or lengthening the loan does How many months are left?

How much do you repay per month? What will it cost to pay off your existing loan now? Ring your bank and ask it for a settlement figure. What's the best interest rate you can get for a new loan? JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To get the checker working properly, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options, then try again.

If your loan provider has charged you the wrong amount, taken the wrong amount in payment, or its service has been atrocious, then you don't have to suffer in silence. It's always worth trying to call your lender first to see if it can help, but if not This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. It's totally free, and offered by a firm called Resolver, which we like so much we work with it to help people get complaints justice.

If the complaint isn't resolved, you can use Resolver to escalate it to the free Financial Ombudsman Service. This is one of the most common question about loans. You should never aim to just consolidate, it's often a disaster waiting to happen. If you've a lot of small loans or credit card debts, the primary aim should be to pay them as quickly as you can at the lowest possible rate.

Don't be suckered in by the promise that a consolidation loan can save you money by reducing your outgoings to a "manageable" level using just "one single monthly payment". That means the amount you pay back is going to be huge, as you're paying interest for a much longer time.

Worse still, many consolidation loans are actually secured loans and thus you pay more, for longer, and are risking your home. The key aim is to cut the interest costs of your debt, whether that's on one loan or 22 of them, and pay it off as quickly as possible. Most high street personal loans are ' un -secured'. Annoyingly, that sounds like a bad thing, but it isn't. The alternative, and the kind you'll see mountains of TV ads for, are 'secured loans'. I'd steer well clear of those for the following reasons.

A secured loan literally means the debt is secured on your house or something else you own , meaning if you can't repay, the lender can repossess your home. With unsecured loans, it's much, much less likely this will happen. Almost every unsecured personal loan is at a fixed rate. You know exactly what you'll pay from the start, and it won't change if the UK's interest rates do, or on a lender's whim. Yet secured loans have variable rates, meaning lenders can up your payments when they like, and they often like to!

In the past secured loan rates have been known to double, hitting people's pockets hard. Secured lenders often promise "one easy low monthly repayment". While it may sound good, it's done to stretch the debt over many years, so you pay more, and more, and more interest, costing you a fortune. Before going for commercial debt, it's worth seeing if there are any Government loans available to you. There are two types you might be eligible for:. Since April , each local authority has been responsible for providing help to residents struggling with an emergency.

This can include you or your family's health being at risk, not being able to afford to buy food, needing help to stay in your own home and coming out of care, hospital or prison.

Sadly, this is a postcode lottery. Each council can choose whether to offer financial help or not, and councils can decide who is eligible. Some may give furniture or food grants, while others may give cash. The next type are budgeting loans and advances. These are only for those receiving benefits and with no or low savings. They allow for a wide range of borrowing to pay for items including school uniform or furnishings.

For more information, read the Debt Help guide. Secured loans give the lender security, not you. It's far, far, better to take a normal unsecured personal loan than one secured on your house. Secured loans are rarely a good move, and should be considered lending of last resort.

They're only applicable in very limited circumstances see the Secured Loans guide. Those with reasonable credit scores should consider a personal loan, cheap credit card deals or even extending their mortgage instead.

Those with a poor credit history looking at secured loans as a way out should read my Step-By-Step Guide To Problem Debts as an alternative. Once you've applied for the loan, it's already on the credit file.

So assuming you applied for the cheapest loan for you, then there's no point in not accepting that cash because it's not the money you need. If you haven't been turned down due to a credit score issue, this isn't likely to be too difficult. Almost every personal loan is at a fixed rate, so the rate and repayments you are given at the outset are fixed over the life of the loan, regardless of what happens to the base rate.

Thus there's no impact whatsoever, whether rates rise or fall. But a change in the base rate will affect those looking to get a new loan, although it's not an exact relationship. As loans are borrowed over the long term, the rates lenders set depend more on the City's predictions of long-term interest rates rather than the actual UK base rate.

Lenders have tightened borrowing criteria since the credit crunch. It's now comparatively more difficult to get a personal loan than it was before the crunch happened. However, if you can get a loan, you'll benefit from historically low interest rates. The Government has provided banks with a source of cheap money, which means that they can offer loans at low interest rates compared with a few years ago.

That depends on the lender. There are some which make a big play on giving you the cash instantly straight from a branch, though invariably you'll pay more. It's worth asking yourself whether the extra day's speed is worth paying a higher interest rate for the life of the loan.

This can be set as a default option, so be careful. Put simply, a homeowner loan is when a company requires you to own or have a mortgage on your home before it'll lend. These are usually, but not always, secured loans , where if you can't repay, it can take your house.

However, some unsecured personal loan companies do require their customers to be homeowners, because those who do own homes are less likely to go bankrupt or default as the risk for them is bigger. See our car finance section for the full lowdown. Car dealerships sometimes quote a "flat interest rate" rather than the APR. Flat rate loans make expensive loans look cheap.

Always compare loans based on the total amount you'll repay see Interest Rate Guide and:. When buying a car you need to be particularly careful. A few dealerships will quote a flat rate of interest, rather than an APR. However, most use the normal APR, like banks. It's always worth checking though, as while this might not sound a big deal, we're talking thousands of pounds. This is the interest you're charged on the outstanding debt. This means you're charged the interest on the original amount you borrow, no matter how much you've paid off.

The easy way round this is to always ask the question "what is the total amount I will repay including all charges? We think it's important you understand the strengths and limitations of the site. We're a journalistic website and aim to provide the best MoneySaving guides, tips, tools and techniques, but can't guarantee to be perfect, so do note you use the information at your own risk and we can't accept liability if things go wrong. Its stance of putting consumers first is protected and enshrined in the legally-binding MSE Editorial Code.

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes - join the 12m who get it. Your browser isn't supported. It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. The MSE mobile menu not all pages are optimised yet.

Cheap Loans Tesco Bank: More than I actually paid. Best Bank Accounts First Direct: Fixed Rate Savings Atom Bank:

certain you have prepared

Check cheaper alternatives first. Build Your Credit History A how-to for students and young people. Short Term Loans How to get them interest-free. Loan PPI Cheapest loan protection. How this site works We think it's important you understand the strengths and limitations of the site. This info does not constitute financial advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it's right for your specific circumstances and remember we focus on rates not service.

Do note, while we always aim to give you accurate product info at the point of publication, unfortunately price and terms of products and deals can always be changed by the provider afterwards, so double check first.

We don't as a general policy investigate the solvency of companies mentioned how likely they are to go bust , but there is a risk any company can struggle and it's rarely made public until it's too late see the Section 75 guide for protection tips. We often link to other websites, but we can't be responsible for their content.

Always remember anyone can post on the MSE forums, so it can be very different from our opinion. Premium Bonds Calc Unique tool uses probability to estimate winnings. Credit Club Turbo boost your credit chances and get your free Experian credit report. Credit Card Eligibility Calc Shows which top cards you're most likely to get. Cheap Energy Club Ensures the cheapest energy deal constantly. Martin Lewis is a registered trade mark belonging to Martin S Lewis.

That depends on the lender. There are some which make a big play on giving you the cash instantly straight from a branch, though invariably you'll pay more. It's worth asking yourself whether the extra day's speed is worth paying a higher interest rate for the life of the loan.

This can be set as a default option, so be careful. Put simply, a homeowner loan is when a company requires you to own or have a mortgage on your home before it'll lend. These are usually, but not always, secured loans , where if you can't repay, it can take your house. However, some unsecured personal loan companies do require their customers to be homeowners, because those who do own homes are less likely to go bankrupt or default as the risk for them is bigger.

See our car finance section for the full lowdown. Car dealerships sometimes quote a "flat interest rate" rather than the APR.

Flat rate loans make expensive loans look cheap. Always compare loans based on the total amount you'll repay see Interest Rate Guide and:. When buying a car you need to be particularly careful. A few dealerships will quote a flat rate of interest, rather than an APR.

However, most use the normal APR, like banks. It's always worth checking though, as while this might not sound a big deal, we're talking thousands of pounds. This is the interest you're charged on the outstanding debt. This means you're charged the interest on the original amount you borrow, no matter how much you've paid off.

The easy way round this is to always ask the question "what is the total amount I will repay including all charges? We think it's important you understand the strengths and limitations of the site. We're a journalistic website and aim to provide the best MoneySaving guides, tips, tools and techniques, but can't guarantee to be perfect, so do note you use the information at your own risk and we can't accept liability if things go wrong.

Its stance of putting consumers first is protected and enshrined in the legally-binding MSE Editorial Code. For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes - join the 12m who get it. Your browser isn't supported. It looks like you're using an old web browser.

To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. The MSE mobile menu not all pages are optimised yet. Cheap Loans Tesco Bank: More than I actually paid. Best Bank Accounts First Direct: Fixed Rate Savings Atom Bank: Insurance News Insurance News Price comparison site Insurance Records Car Insurance The record's just 96p for a year's fully comprehensive cover.

How Much Can I Borrow? Uncover how much a bank may lend you for a mortgage. Savings vs Mortgage Offset Mortgage? In this guide What is a personal loan?

Credit cards can be cheaper than loans When is a card best? When is a loan best? The Loan Calculator Choosing the right loan Peer-to-peer lending Want to complain about your provider? Georgia, "Times New Roman", Times, serif; font-style: What is a personal loan?

When a credit card's better than a loan The most important factor here is your credit limit. I'm trying to make existing debts cheaper. But a credit card's not always the best option I'm trying to cut the cost of an existing loan.

I think I can get a loan from my employer. Choosing the right loan Loans have never been as cheap as they are right now. How much, for how long?

Beware 'representative' rates All advertised loan and credit card APRs are 'representative'. Best Buys Personal loans If you're looking for a loan, check out the best buy rates below. MSE's free tool Usually the only way to know if you'll get a loan is to apply, which marks your credit file. A few specialist credit cards can approximate loans and are far cheaper than the loans below, full step-by-step in Money Transfers. Cheapest standard rate Lender and Representative APRs all rates over years unless stated See all official APR examples Check which loan you can get before you apply Eligibility Calc MSE's free tool Usually the only way to know if you'll get a loan is to apply, which marks your credit file.

What loans do I need to apply for to do this? Which Nationwide current account do I need to do this deal? There's a few that allow you to do this. I'm not a Nationwide customer, can I still take advantage? To switch banks, as well as apply for two loans, you'll have done three credit applications within a short space of time one for the initial loan, one for the new current account, and one for the Nationwide loan Existing customers.

Sounds like a bit of a faff. Is it worth it? Use the loans calculator to see how much you could save. Early part-repayments are allowed If your loan was taken out on or after 1 February , you can make partial overpayments on your loan. Full early repayment Loan providers must allow you to pay off your loan in full. Peer-to-peer lending It sounds funky and different.

What is peer-to-peer lending? How cheap are they? Initial applications don't hit your credit score. What are flexible repayments? Apply for the cheapest uninsured loan. Analyse your PPI requirements.

Use the cheapest standalone insurer. The Loan Calculator We've designed a unique calculator to help you work out the cost of a loan, plus whether you can save by switching. Go to the personal loans calculator. Personal Loans Calculator Pick your question How much do you want to borrow?

To help you calculate, best buy APRs for common loan amounts include: If you choose a shorter loan, you'll have a higher monthly payment, but will pay less in interest. A longer loan generally means a lower monthly repayment, but you'll pay more in interest as you're borrowing over a longer period of time. What can you afford to repay each month? Switching loans isn't as simple as you think ‚ÄĒ on how to switch, read our Existing Loans guide.

Go to the Tools menu, then click Internet Options. In the window that pops up, select the Security tab along the top. You will see a box titled Security level for this zone. Go to the Tools menu, then click Options. In the window that pops up, select the Content tab along the top. Make sure the box next to 'Enable Javascript' is checked Once you've changed this, please refresh this page to try again.

Just want to see the best buys? Free tool if you're having problems This tool helps you draft your complaint and manage it too. Should I get a consolidation loan? Your home could be taken away A secured loan literally means the debt is secured on your house or something else you own , meaning if you can't repay, the lender can repossess your home.

Personal loan rates are fixed, secured are usually variable Almost every unsecured personal loan is at a fixed rate. Secured loan repayments are stretched over many years Secured lenders often promise "one easy low monthly repayment". Are you eligible for Government help? There are two types you might be eligible for: Always compare loans based on the total amount you'll repay see Interest Rate Guide and: Flat Rate Loans Don't be a flat rate fool When buying a car you need to be particularly careful.

It works like this Annual percentage rate APR: How this site works We think it's important you understand the strengths and limitations of the site. This info does not constitute financial advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it's right for your specific circumstances and remember we focus on rates not service. Do note, while we always aim to give you accurate product info at the point of publication, unfortunately price and terms of products and deals can always be changed by the provider afterwards, so double check first.

We don't as a general policy investigate the solvency of companies mentioned how likely they are to go bust , but there is a risk any company can struggle and it's rarely made public until it's too late see the Section 75 guide for protection tips. We often link to other websites, but we can't be responsible for their content.

Always remember anyone can post on the MSE forums, so it can be very different from our opinion. Premium Bonds Calc Unique tool uses probability to estimate winnings. Gambling addicts may have a genetic predisposition, though a specific marker has not yet been uncovered. Environmental factors and personality traits‚ÄĒa big gambling win within the past year, companions who gamble regularly, impulsivity, depression‚ÄĒmay also contribute to the development of a gambling problem. Given the guilt and shame involved, gambling addiction frequently progresses to a profound despair.

The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates that one in five gambling addicts attempts suicide‚ÄĒthe highest rate among addicts of any kind.

There are no accurate figures for suicides related to gambling problems, but there are ample anecdotes: P roblem gamblers are worth a lot of money to casinos. According to some research, 20 percent of regular gamblers are problem or pathological gamblers. Moreover, when they gamble, they spend‚ÄĒwhich is to say, lose‚ÄĒmore than other players. At least nine independent studies demonstrate that problem gamblers generate anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of total gambling revenues. Casinos know exactly who their biggest spenders are.

According to a article in Time magazine, back in the s casino operators bought records from credit-card companies and mailing lists from direct-mail marketers. These days, the casinos have their own internal methods for determining who their most attractive customers are. Machine Gambling in Las Vegas , 70 percent of patrons now use loyalty cards, which allow the casinos to track such data points as how frequently they play electronic gaming machines, how long they play, how much they bet, how often they win and lose, what times of day they visit, and so on.

Each time a patron hits the Spin or the Deal button, which can be as frequently as to 1, times an hour, the casino registers the data. In some machines, miniature cameras watch their faces and track their playing behavior. Several companies supply casinos with ATMs that allow patrons to withdraw funds through both debit and cash-advance functions, in some cases without ever leaving the machines they are playing.

Some of the companies also sell information on their ATM customers to the casinos. All of these data have enabled casinos to specifically target their most reliable spenders, primarily problem gamblers and outright addicts. They also employ hosts who befriend large spenders and use special offers to encourage them to stay longer or return soon. Some hosts receive bonuses that are tied to the amount customers spend beyond their expected losses, which are calculated using the data gathered from previous visits.

The business plan for casinos is based on the addicted gambler. It increased the limits on some slot machines so that she could spend more on single games.

It also made a new machine off-limits to other customers so that Richardson could be the first to play it. Management assigned Richardson an executive host, who offered her free drinks, meals, hotel stays, and tickets to entertainment events. In , Richardson, then 54, was sentenced to 14 to 20 years in prison for the crime. The thefts ultimately put the company out of business. A representative for Ameristar Casino declined to comment on the lawsuit. District Court for Nebraska agreed that Colombo had sufficiently proved its initial claim of unjust enrichment, which the casino would have to defend itself against.

W alk into the Mountaineer Casino in West Virginia, and the slot machines overwhelm you‚ÄĒmore than 1, of them, lights blinking, animated screens flashing, the simulated sound of clinking coins blaring across the floor. But the vast majority sit at the slot machines. Slots and video poker have become the lifeblood of the American casino.

They generate nearly 70 percent of casino revenues, according to a American Gaming Association report, up from 45 percent four decades ago. Three out of five casino visitors say their favorite activity is playing electronic gaming machines. Their popularity spells profits not only for casinos but for manufacturers as well. Old-fashioned three-reel slot machines consisted of physical reels that were set spinning by the pull of a lever.

If the same symbol aligned on the payline on all three reels when they stopped spinning, the player would win a jackpot that varied in size depending on the symbol.

The odds were straightforward and not terribly hard to calculate. But where each reel stops is no longer determined by the force of a good pull of the lever. The physical reels are not spinning until they run out of momentum, as it might appear. Thus it is possible for game designers to reduce the odds of hitting a big jackpot from 1 in 10, to 1 in million.

Moreover, it is almost impossible for a slots player to have any idea of the actual odds of winning any jackpot, however large or small. The intent is to give the player the impression of having almost won‚ÄĒwhen, in fact, he or she is no closer to having won than if the symbol had not appeared on the reel at all.

Some slot machines are specifically programmed to offer up this near-miss result far more often than they would if they operated by sheer chance, and the psychological impact can be powerful, leading players to think, I was so close.

Nelson Rose, a professor at Whittier Law School and the author of Gambling and the Law , has written, Nevada regulations operate on the theory that a sophisticated player would be able to tell the real odds of winning by playing a machine long enough. Research has shown that an elevated number of near-miss results does increase playing time.

Indeed, as early as , B. Astonishingly, the patent application for virtual reel mapping, the technology that made all these deceptive practices possible, was straightforward about its intended use: In the United States, by contrast, the federal government granted the patent for virtual reel mapping in IGT purchased the rights to it in and later licensed the patent to other companies. Of course, classic, spinning-reel slot machines make up only a fraction of the electronic gaming machines available at most casinos.

Technology has evolved such that many machines lack physical reels altogether, instead merely projecting the likenesses of spinning symbols onto a video screen. Instead of betting on one simple payline, players are able to bet on multiple patterns of paylines‚ÄĒas many as on some machines. This allows for more opportunities to win, but the results are often deceptive. You can get to of these false wins, which we also call losses , an hour.

Because the machine is telling the player he or she is winning, the gradual siphoning is less noticeable. Related to the video slot machines are video-poker terminals, which IGT began popularizing in The standard five-card-draw game shows five cards, each offering players the option to hold or replace by drawing a card from the 47 remaining in the virtual deck. The games require more skill‚ÄĒor at least a basic understanding of probabilities‚ÄĒthan the slot machines do.

As such, they appeal to people who want to have some sense of exerting control over the outcome. They saw, for instance, patrons going more often for four of a kind than the royal flush, a rarer but more lucrative hand, and they adjusted the machines accordingly.

Video poker also offers its own version of losses disguised as wins. Whatever the exact figure, the house odds make it such that if a player plays long enough, she will eventually lose her money. T echnological innovations have not only rendered electronic gaming machines wildly profitable; they have also, according to experts, made them more addictive.

A crucial element in modern gambling machines is speed. Individual hands or spins can be completed in just three or four seconds. For many gambling addicts, the zone itself becomes more desirable even than winning. Players have gone for 14, 15, 16 hours or more playing continuously.

They have become so absorbed in the machines that they left their young children unattended in cars, wet themselves without noticing, and neglected to eat for hours.

Casinos and game designers have come up with many ways to keep patrons at their machines and playing rapidly. The chairs are ergonomically designed so that someone can sit comfortably for long stretches.

Winnings can be converted back to credits or printed on vouchers to be redeemed later. Waitresses come by to take drink orders, obviating the need for players to get up at all. Public-policy advocates compare slot machines to cigarettes. Both, they claim, are products specifically and deliberately engineered to have addictive properties that are known to hook users. Eubanks was the lead counsel for the Justice Department in successful federal litigation against the tobacco industry between and She joined Noffsinger in representing Stacy Stevens after he convinced her that the deception used by the gambling industry paralleled that of the tobacco industry.

The data they track in real time on player cards alert them to these pain points: Hosts are also on the lookout for telling behavior, such as someone striking a machine in frustration or slumping over it in discouragement. When hosts spot someone in a state like this, they may swoop in and offer a voucher for some free credits, a drink, or perhaps a meal in the restaurant, where the player can take a break until the resistance passes and he can resume gambling.

When players do exhaust all their funds, casinos will sometimes loan them additional money. In , she spent an entire night gambling at Caesars Riverboat Casino, drinking strong alcoholic beverages provided for free. When she eventually came to the end of her money playing blackjack, the casino offered her a counter check, basically a promissory note, to enable her to keep playing.

She signed the check and gambled away the money. That happened five more times. Noffsinger countersued on her behalf. Experts say casinos should be aware that when they extend credit to losing patrons, they are by definition enabling problem gamblers.

Casinos might similarly be held liable for the financial consequences suffered by gamblers to whom they extend credit beyond a certain limit. In , the widow of a man who killed himself after racking up insurmountable debt at a Mississippi casino sued the casino under an extrapolation of dramshop laws. So far, no U. Nor should they, according to the gambling industry. Nothing of that sort exists to measure what the level is to have gambled too much. Mountaineer Casino and IGT both declined repeated requests for comment.

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