I was born in Vietnam, which is located in the Eastern part of the Indochina peninsula, bordering China to the North, Laos and Cambodia to the West, the Eastern Sea to the East, and the Pacific to the South. My father moved from the North to the South after the officially unification of the North and South Vietnam in 1975. He met my mother, and they got married. My parents and most of my extended family aren’t big on gambling, so I personally never understood the appeal and thrill of gambling. A couple years ago, my parents had sent me to study abroad with the hope that I am able to have a better education in the United States. Once I started to go to college here, I have a broader perspective about the world I live in. However, I also experienced isolation, boredom, loneliness, stress and depression. Therefore, I tried to find an activity to feel included, and to relieve stresses of everyday life. Every weekend some friends and I had a poker night, and the locations changed as each of us take turns hosting the game. There were ten of us whom usually play and we all are Asian. I would say that I had a great time with the group. At that moment, gambling became a great way for me to get out, be around friends, and have fun. Gambling perhaps appeals to me because of its social aspects. Nevertheless, I have seen the damage gambling can cause when someone cannot control themselves. Beginning as a regular activity which is acceptable and entertaining, gambling addiction ends up being harmful to most players and causing unhealthy outcomes. But at worst, gambling destroys education, careers and relationships, and empty life savings.
During that time, I made friend with Tran, a Chinese-Vietnamese refugee. According to Tran, gambling has destroyed his family completely. He came to the United States with his wife and two sons 10 years ago looking for the American dream. He had worked extremely hard to earn money as a full-time tailor and freelance
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