Hello, my name is Natalia, from Cambodia. This is just a nickname, actually, but my story is 100% real, and I just came across this website. I’m very glad that there is a platform for gambling-addicted people to share their anger, sorrows, mistakes, and sufferings with the world as an example of a life that others should avoid. First of all, thank you to the Admin for creating such a platform, which I believe will help many people become aware, especially those who are on the path to entering this destructive and devastating life.
My story is really sad because I have lost my honor, dignity, humanity, and finally my mental health. I have witnessed the transformation of Sihanoukville, Cambodia, from the most beautiful land in the world when I was 9 years old to what it has become today. Yes, Chinese millionaires came here to make so-called investments, but no one was aware that Sihanoukville would turn into the center of mafia, casinos, dirty nightlife, and drugs.
Although some people and local authorities thought they were bringing money, investment, and employment to the city, I believe they killed our nature, culture, and our future. It’s very hard to walk the streets in the middle of the night, and it’s even common to see Chinese police cracking down on houses to find their criminal citizens in my own land without any opposing action from my government.
I was 19 when I was first introduced to the casino through a job offer online. I just wanted to make some money and support my family because the casinos pay almost double what a local market pays. Their offer was a little hard for me, but I had no other choice since I was 19, and my family was really poor and struggling to meet our daily needs. I have 5 siblings, and I am the eldest among them. My mother wasn’t working, and only my father worked to support us. I know it’s very hard to take care of 7 people.
I was hired, and they gave me training for about a month to become a croupier. I was obliged to wear makeup, attractive and revealing clothes every day. I am not that kind of person who would wear such clothing in public, but I had no choice. Life in Cambodia is not easy compared to other parts of the world. We are a third-world country, and it’s not easy to find a job with this kind of salary. Even people working in the government don’t earn as much as I did in the casino with tips.
Anyway, after about 6 months, I became a professional croupier, and they scheduled me to work at VIP tables. I was excited since they gave enormous tips, which were two times more than my salary. I was earning good money, and I found myself getting interested in gambling. I was aware of how risky it was, but I wasn’t happy in my life. I thought it was an easy and quick way to make a fortune. But it was just a big dream, unfortunately. I will never forget a Chinese businessman who lost 3.7 million dollars within 6 hours of gambling. It was very scary for me, as anyone would have gone crazy with such a huge loss, but he just walked out like nothing happened.
Online gambling is illegal in Cambodia for locals, but who really cares? Almost everyone gambles on their mobile phones, hoping to become a millionaire. It’s only a dream, my dear friends, truly just a dream. Anyway, I registered myself on one of these websites and deposited a small amount of money that wouldn’t hurt me. After a couple of slot games, I had multiplied my money almost six times. I kept the money in my account to continue the next day, since I had been working long hours, and my body needed rest. I went to sleep. The next day when I came home, I started gambling again, and my money tripled. I was so excited that I transferred this money to my bank account.
For about a week or two, I didn’t gamble, and they kept sending me emails and messages with bonus offers. One day, I received a really good bonus from them, around 20 dollars. But I had to deposit 20 dollars to activate this bonus. I did it. The money suddenly disappeared with one slot game, both my capital and the bonus of 40 dollars. I was devastated and deposited another 20 dollars. Some people might consider 20 dollars a small amount, but when I converted it to my currency, it was equivalent to a week’s earnings for a decent person working 12-hour shifts.
In just 20 minutes, that money was gone too. I was very angry at myself and crying. I spent all my salary that night, which was around 500 dollars, the result of one month of hard work! I didn’t sleep that day, and in the morning, instead of going to work, I went to sleep. After nearly 3 hours, someone knocked on my door and woke me up from my bed. They gave me half an hour to get ready to go to work, and they deducted one day’s salary.
In the world of casinos, you can earn well, but you have no life at all. Being sick or absent is strictly not allowed. They simply threaten you, and I really don’t want to go into details here. Anyway, I asked the casino’s finance department for a loan since my family was waiting for my salary. They gave me three months’ worth of salaries in advance with one month of free work as interest. I accepted because I had no other options.
When I finished work, I had planned to give all the money to my family, but somehow I found myself gambling online in a local bar. I thought I might double the money and pay back the casino to avoid working for free for a month. But unfortunately, I lost this money too. My hands were shaking, and I was really nervous and scared. I had lost three months’ salary in less than three hours and didn’t even have any money left to go back home.
The bar was closing, and the employees asked me to leave. That was the beginning of all my disasters in life. The casino where I worked was near the bar, and I just walked there to ask for some money from my friend. As I was about to enter the casino, a Chinese businessman, a regular guest, saw me and called me by my name. (He knew me and always told me that I brought him luck.)
I went over to him, and I suddenly started to cry. He took me to his hotel, and I told him the whole story. He said, “Don’t worry, I will help you!” He gave me 3,000 dollars to pay off my casino debt and gave the rest to my family. I took the money and attempted to leave the hotel, but he stopped me and tried to kiss me. He was an old man, around 60 years old, and he wanted me to be his companion while he stayed in Cambodia. I was so scared but couldn’t protect myself, as this was the only chance I had to pay off my debts quickly.
I agreed to be with him that day, and I started living with him after my job. It was a disgusting situation for me, but Cambodia is not a country where you can easily make excuses, even to your family. They would not forgive me. I had lost the happiness in my life. Every day, I saw hundreds of people coming there and losing millions of dollars, while I was working for 500 dollars a month with 12-hour shifts.
I decided to create a drama with this Chinese guy, and he told me to stop working and stay at home. “Just take care of my needs, and I will take care of yours,” he said. I accepted since my innocent, clean body, and soul had already been destroyed. I was receiving 1,000 dollars from him every day and gambling. He knew about it, and he was the one allowing me to do it. Later on, he stopped going to the casino and started gambling from my account in the house.
Almost every day, he deposited 10,000 dollars’ worth of bitcoins from his account to my gambling website account. (My bank didn’t allow high transactions, and it was very risky for me.) After a month of living together, he had lost almost 500,000 dollars’ worth of bitcoin. I fell into deep depression because I couldn’t find any reason to live anymore. I had become nothing more than a slave for money. I couldn’t bear this life any longer. I was making plans to escape from it. I also started using drugs. It was very hard for me to be with someone old enough to be my grandfather. I drank alcohol or took drugs to numb myself and not be aware of what I was doing.
Actually, the story doesn’t end here, but I don’t want to go into further details, as it would become a book if I were to tell my story from A to Z. In short, I asked him for 10,000 dollars to repair my house and got his permission to stay with my family for three days. He agreed, and I went to my family. I left them 3,000 dollars and ran away to a place that I don’t want to share here for my safety.
Dear friends, my story is truly an exemplary gambling story that everyone must take seriously, especially if you are just beginning to gamble. Stay away from gambling, stay away from drugs, stay away from alcohol. Whatever we call “fun” in this world ultimately brings us nothing but trouble. Look at the bigger picture and consider the consequences of your actions. I had turned myself into a dirty, thief, liar, addicted person. I had made these choices. Now, I’m focusing on my new life with zero “fun” and trying to cope with my depression.
Gambling is the main reason behind all this destruction. But I will struggle to regain my honor and dignity, along with my mental health. Start today before it gets worse! Don’t listen to your inner temptations. You are the one making decisions, whether they are right or wrong. Just believe in yourself. You can do it! I hope you will take a serious lesson from my story. God bless you all!