Art Schlichter was indicted -I understand i did it for years in my own gambling addiction

Art Schlichter was indicted -“I understand i did it for years in my own gambling addiction” Arnie Wexler

Art Schlichter, the former Ohio State quarterback was indicted today on 13 felony counts in connection with the ticket-selling scheme that swindled people out of more than $1 million.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 02:52 AM

By Mike Wagner


“A lot of people think Arthur is just a crook, and I understand that,” said Arnie Wexler of Boynton Beach, Fla., a national expert on compulsive gambling who, on occasion, informally counseled Schlichter for nearly 20 years. “This addiction makes you do crazy things and turns you into one of the best liars in the world. I don’t think anyone has dealt with more compulsive gamblers than I have, and I’m telling you, Arthur is one of the sickest people I have ever encountered.”

Wexler said he wrote Schlichter a “hard” letter about 10 years ago explaining that he shouldn’t let people feed his ego or treat him as a star if he intended to truly overcome the addiction.

He said Schlichter has refused to speak to him since.

“People keep wondering how Arthur is able to get money from all these people,” Wexler said. “Gamblers know how to do this. Gamblers say, ‘My car broke, my kid is sick, I can get you tickets, I can double your money,’ and on and on. There isn’t a real compulsive gambler who hasn’t committed some kind of criminal act to support the habit.”





Written for the NY Daily News (2/5/95)



It was a rainy Friday afternoon in 1983. The late Dr. Robert L. Custer , whom was the “father” of treatment for compulsive gambling, asked me to drive him to Long Island, N. Y , to visit one of his patients. This patient had entered an in-patient treatment center for compulsive gambling. As we drove along the bumpy Long Island Expressway, I had no idea whom we were going to visit. It didn’t matter to me, as I would have done anything for Dr. Custer, since by now we had become personal friends. As a compulsive gambler , in recovery for about 15 years, I had learned the only way I could keep my recovery was to reach out to another suffering compulsive gambler. Even though it was a long time ago, I could still remember the pain that gambling caused me and my family and friends. I always loved the time I spent with Dr. Custer , but this particular time was really special, since most of the discussion focused on recovery from compulsive gambling.

We arrived at the treatment center and went to see Dr. Bob’s patient. We talked for about an hour. He was a young man, about 21 years old and very handsome. He had the body of an athlete, seemed very intelligent and appeared to have quite a lot of potential. Yet, there was no doubt that he was a compulsive gambler and already had many losses including his career being in jeopardy. He was very likable and we hit it off immediately. For the next couple of weeks many of the conversations I had with Dr. Custer were about this patient. About three months later, in Bethesda Maryland, in the home of Dr. Custer,we met again. In the following year we met and spoke on the phone frequently. It seemed to me that we were becoming good friends. Even though he relapsed a few times over the next few years, we still kept in touch, often. During that time he still had the ability to perform in his career but his employers were afraid that the gambling addiction might interfere. Unlike alcoholics and drug addict, who get second chances, it is more difficult for compulsive gamblers to get second chances . In the meantime, the young man got married and got a job in another field. He had his own radio show, and as most compulsive gamblers , he was able to succeed at this new endeavor. However, recovery continued to elude him. His pain was getting greater and greater. He wanted to stop, but couldn’t. The need to gamble was stronger than his power to stop by himself. No compulsive gambler can stop on his or her own. He needed the help of other recovering people, but he was still struggling with this concept. The addiction had him by the throat and was destroying him little by little .

The death of Dr. Custer (in the mid 80’s) was a terrible loss to me and I know it had to be a tremendous loss for this patient. A few years later, his wife gave birth to their first daughter. Now they had become a family. Over the next few years we were still having contact over the phone. Often he would talk about his wife and his daughter and how much he loved them.

Last year, before the Super Bowl, I was a guest on his radio show. The discussion was about compulsive gambling. Even though he hadn’t stopped gambling himself, he was still eager to carry the message about the devastation of compulsive gambling to his audience. Shortly thereafter he took a “geographical cure” and moved to Las Vegas, the Mecca of gambling in America. For most gamblers this town is Heaven, but for compulsive gamblers it’s Hell. Again he was a host of a successful radio show.

With all the phone calls over the years, we had not seen each other for about five years. Last week was the first time I saw him, again. I was on one side of a glass partition, he was on the other. The visit took place in the North Las Vegas Correctional Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. As with all compulsive gamblers they will pursue their gambling into the gates of prison, insanity or death. As we talked over the prison phone, my life, prior to recovery, flashed before my eyes. Thank God I had stopped when I did or I could have been on the other side of the partition. At this time I am fortunate enough to have had recovery for twenty-six years, one day at a time. My friend told me that he had eight nine days without a bet. He said that now he believes he can stop and he wants to. That’s how recovery can begin. You admit you are a compulsive gambler and you have the desire to stop.

The next day I saw him in Court for sentencing on the charge of bank fraud. I had the privilege to be asked by him and his attorney to explain the issue of compulsive gambling to the court. Not in my wildest dreams could I have believed that in my recovery I, or anyone else would ever be asked to speak in a Federal court about compulsive gambling.

With a room full of reporters, a family member, friends and some recovering compulsive gamblers, the Judge sentenced him to twenty-four months in jail. When I heard the sentence I got a pain in my stomach, my hands started to sweat and I could feel his pain. When the defendant stood in front of the Judge, his only request was to serve his sentence in a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, so he could be closer to his wife and his two children.

Although we have come a long way in the area of compulsive gambling awareness, there is still virtually no help in the Federal correctional system. It seems to me that it would be very difficult for a compulsive gambler to find recovery or stay in recovery in this type of setting. I believe the federal correctional system should provide some of the following services: counseling services, Gamblers Anonymous meetings within the facility,and education and reading materials on compulsive gambling and it’s recovery. I believe strongly, that incarceration time should be reduced in lieu of alternatives like halfway houses or in-patient treatment facilities. In addition I think that sentencing should include making full restitution(within a realistic budget), community service, continued attendance at Gamblers Anonymous and on-going counseling services

It is ironic that he was sentenced two days before the Super Bowl because if not for the fact that he is a compulsive gambler ART SCHLICHTER might have been the starting Quarterback in the game.

Arnie Wexler CCGC

954 5015270





Arnie Wexler
Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates
Boynton Beach, FL
561-200-0165 cell 954 5015270 Contact Arnie Wexler
http://Journalist/AddQuestion.aspx Ask a question with InterviewNetSM


Is Lenny  Dykstra  an addicted gambler ?

If he is ! we now have two x professional athletes sitting in jail because of a gambling addiction. And you can be sure they are not the only ones.
Art Schlichter  and Lenny Dykstra
When Will Sports Confront Gambling Problems of Its Own Athletes?
Athletes may be more vulnerable than the general population when you look at the soft signs of compulsive gambling: high Levels of energy; unreasonable expectations of winning; very competitive personalities; distorted optimism; and bright with high IQs

It is time for college and professional sports to run a real program to help players who might have a gambling problem or gambling addiction problem. Yet college and professional sports still do not want to deal with this. They do not want the media and public to think there is a problem.

One sports insider said to me: “Teams need to have a real program for players, coaches and referees, and they need to let somebody else run it. When you do it in-house, it’s like the fox running the chicken coop. You must be kidding yourself if you think any player, coach or referee is going to call the league and say, ‘I’ve got a gambling problem, and I need help.’ ”
The gambler is eventually able to remove themselves from reality to the point of being totally obsessed with gambling. Eventually, they will do anything to get the money with which to stay in “action”. They will spend all their time and energy developing schemes in order to get the money to continue gambling. Lying becomes a way of life for the gambler.   They will try to convince others and themselves that their lies are actually truths and they will believe there own lies.

People keep asking me  how gamblers  are able to get money from all these people, Wexler said. “Gamblers know how to do this. I did it for years to support my own gambling addiction. Gamblers  will say, ‘My car broke, my kid is sick, I can get you tickets, I can double your money,’ and on and on. There isn’t a real compulsive gambler who has reached bottom (after using all there $) who hasn’t committed some kind of criminal act to support the habit.”

Compulsive gambling is a progressive disease, much like an addiction to alcohol or drugs. In many cases, the gambling addiction is hidden until the gambler becomes unable to function without gambling, and he or she begins to exclude all other activities from their lives. Inability to stop gambling often results in financial devastation, broken homes, employment problems, criminal acts.    Most even at that point will keep gambling some will end up in jail some will attempt suicide some will die from their addiction as they will not take care of their health or the stress will kill them.
All three diseases are recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Yet, we treat compulsive gambling differently from the other two.

Society and professional sports treat people with chemical dependency and alcoholism as sick people, send them to treatment, and get them back to work. Yet society looks at compulsive gamblers as bad people, and they get barred from playing professional sports. Something is wrong with that.

The following is the diagnostic criteria from the


for 312.31 (Pathological Gambling):

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