Amid pandemic, rise in gambling addiction emerges…

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The last bet Lou Remillard placed was a $2,000 online sports wager on a Major League Baseball game. The 46-year-old Las Vegas restaurateur was drunk and broken at the time and said that he no longer cared to be alive.

Having lost that final bet and facing tens of thousands of dollars in debt, Remillard for the first time walked into a 12-step meeting for gambling addiction the next day. It was Oct. 1, 2018.

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“That’s the date I protect,” Remillard said on a recent afternoon from the crepe restaurant he owns that is a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip. He agreed on that Monday to stay sober, stop gambling and help counsel those facing the same predicament.

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“All we can do is help each other,” he said, a task that has been made even more difficult by the unrelenting stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of people have been alone and struggling with their addiction,” said Remillard, who facilitates online morning recovery meetings most weekdays. “They’re not alone.”

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