Gambling Myths Vs Gambling Facts – You Heard All the Myths, Now Here Are the Facts

So what are the gambling myths and gambling facts? A myth is defined as: A popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone. A fact is defined as: A piece of information projected as having objective reality. In the gambling industry there are numerous myths perceived to be facts that range from where the hot slot machines are to tips while playing table games. Here are a few:

Slot Machines

Myth – “The loosest machines are placed at the entrances”.

Fact – All machines are pre-programed to hold a certain percentage of monies played over time to ensure a profit. This is known as the house edge, AKA casino advantage. The percentages may vary from 1 to 15% depending on jurisdiction, denomination, or type.

Myth – “The slots seem to be hitting less on the weekends when it’s crowded. That’s when they tighten them up to make more money”.

Fact – First of all it’s against the law to change the hold amount. Second, the only way to “tighten” up a machine s to contact a representative from the manufacturer to come and change the computer chip, and they would also need casino control board approval. This is time consuming and expensive.

Myth – “Slot attendants know where the hot ones are. Grease their palm and they’ll lead you to the right machines”.

Fact – No one knows which ones are about to hit. Some casinos advertise banks of machines with 98 or 99% paybacks but that’s over the long term. If any slot attendant knew which ones were due to hit, their relatives would probably be playing them.

Myth – “I’ve been playing this machine for a long time and losing. When I left, another player took my seat, and he hits a jackpot on the first spin! If I played just one more spin that jackpot would be mine”!

Fact – A computer chip in the machine called the Random Number Generator, generates thousands of combinations every second. Jackpots can happen even when the machine is not in play. It’s not likely that you would have won.

Blackjack

Myth – “The novice player on my right is making all the wrong moves. He just hit a 16 against a weak dealer 5. He busts by drawing a 10, which should have been mine. I would have won with my double down 11”.

Fact – It’s true that a bad player can affect the outcome of other players hands, but they can also make decisions that result in other players winning. it evens itself out over the long term.

Myth – “I just lost 5 hands in a row. I’m due to win so I’m going to bet up to recoup my losses”.

Fact – The result of your previous hands has no bearing on the results of future hands. If you keep betting up, your money might disappear sooner.

Craps

Myth – “It’s bad luck when a stick man sends the dice to a shooter with a seven showing”.

Fact – Stick persons do not do this intentionally. Sometimes a die will flip on the felt and a seven will show. Sometimes players pre-set the dice to the number they want to hit before tossing. This only holds up the game and aggravates others. Pre-setting the dice does not affect the outcome of the roll.

Myth – “A virgin shooter is good luck”.

Fact – No person or event can cause good or bad luck. First time shooters are often remembered when they win for other players at the table, bu quickly forgotten when they lose.

These are just a few of the gambling myths that have infiltrated the industry over time. Forget the myths and know the facts to maintain a positive and winning attitude. Good Luck!

Three Strange Criminal Law Stories From Florida

As a follower of and writer about the criminal law, this author often reports on strange criminal law stories from the State of Florida. Here are a few of my favorite vintage stories I would like to share with a wider world.

Orange County. Florida: Veteran’s Day weekend, 2010, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department became a national laughingstock when it was reported that sheriff deputies and members of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation carried out a series of warrantless raids against local Orlando barbershops that made history for arresting 35 people on misdemeanor charges of “barbering without a license,” after having spent several months investigating the matter. A records check revealed that in the last ten years only three people in the entire state of Florida had been sent to jail on such charges. In the instant cases, many of the warrantless sweeps entailed officers swarming the barbershops that had children inside and putting the barbers in handcuffs and “perp walking” them to police vehicles. At least one felony arrest was made when one of the raids netted a barber with an unlicensed handgun. We learn further that all the barbershops were in the African American and Hispanic neighborhoods.

This startling report makes one wonder whether those neighborhoods are known for being hotbeds of “criminal barbering?”

New Port Richey, Florida: This strange story is also from 2010. As many of you know, “Four Loko” is a caffeinated alcoholic drink. A New Port Richey man drank four bottles and then went on a naked rampage. Police report that the 21-year-old man ran barefooted out of the back of his home to a house a few blocks away, smashed a sliding glass door and ransacked the home. He next took off his clothes, defecated on the floor and ripped the oven door off its hinges, according to Pasco County deputies. At another house a woman arrived home to find the naked man smeared with blood, sleeping on her couch. She called 911. According to a report, when deputies arrived, the man allegedly said: “Why am I being arrested? I didn’t steal anything.” He was charged with two counts of burglary.

The headline to this little story could have read: “Loko Gone Loco.” It is probably best to stay away from this dangerous product.

Hernando County Jail, Florida: 2011. Strange things happen in jail. A jail inmate in Hernando County didn’t have enough honeybuns to pay off a gambling debt and was paid off with a punch in the face. The inmate admitted he lost a football bet with a fellow prisoner. The loser of the bet said he went to bet winner’s cell to give him the bear claws he owed him, but he was short four honeybuns. The bet winner was not happy about being stiffed on the bet and punched the loser so hard that he had to be hospitalized. Yes, the winner of the bet and the puncher. was arrested on a battery charge.

If this had been casino gambling the bet loser could have wagered: I’ll see your one bear claw and raise you four honeybuns…

Gods of Gambling

People like to gamble, they place bets to have fun or to earn extra cash. When they feel lucky or when someone is watching over them, they simply want to take a chance, to prove that fortune smiles on them, and betting / gambling is no exception.

Praying to God for a team to win a specific game in order for you to win a bet is more or less selfish when there are still so many bad things in the world. But what about those ancient gods of the past, people believed in them and prayed to them for fortune. The different mythologies of the world reveal powerful deities that rule over the world of gambling. Here are some of the gods that can influence the outcome of a football match in our favor:

Hermes is the Greek god of gambling, profit, hazard, and gaming. Hermes was the winged messenger of the gods. He was the god of flocks, road, trading, commerce, thieves. He is also known as Mercury in Roman Mythology. His father is Zeus, the ruler of the Greek gods.

Thoth is the Egyptian god of gambling. He had the same attributes like the Greek god, Hermes. He is the creator of magic, the inventor of writing, the messenger of the gods and the divine record-keeper and mediator. According to myth, he earned 5 extra days by gambling with the moon (then known as Iabet) in a game of dice to help the sky goddess Nut to have her children.

Macuilxochitl, (five flowers, also called Xochipilli) is the Aztec god of gambling, music, dancing. He was the god of games, from board games (Patolli) to the Aztec version of football (Ullamaliztli). Generally represented as a god of fun and dancing, Xochipilli could also send venereal disease to anyone who violates abstentions by engaging in sexual intercourse.

Li-Nezha is the Chinese god of gambling. He is probably the only one of the Chinese Gods that can reveal the winning numbers in lottery. Li-Nezha is perhaps more well-known as Nataku or Nata from Japanese anime a half-mortal war god. In ancient times mortals worship him as a God of Lotteries and Gambling.

Lakshmi, is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and fortune. Lakshmi is the consort of the god Vishnu. Hindus believe that anybody who worships Lakshmi sincerely, and not in greed, will be blessed with fortune and success. After worshipping Lakshmi on Diwali, many Hindus gamble and spend profusely, believing that Lakshmi has bestowed good fortune upon them.

Nohoilpi – The gambling god of the Navajo. Also called “He Who Wins Men”. He is a renegade son of the sun god Tsohanoai. He came down to Earth and taught his gambling games to the various tribes but soon abused his power by overcoming them at all his games of chance and collecting his winnings by enslaving people to build a city to mark his glory. He was defeated at gambling by a Navajo man send by the other gods and was thrown into the sky.

The Legend of Nick The Greek

Of all the gamblers who have ever lived, none was more well known than Nicholas Andreas Dandolos, aka; Nick The Greek. The year was 1946. Benjamin “Bugsy” Seigal had just opened the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and things were about to change forever. For the next 20 years the mob maintained a steel grip on legalized gambling in Nevada.

It was during this time that “The Greeks” legend had begun to take hold. Although he was well known and liked in the hay days of Damon Runyon’s 1920’s and 30’s, it was his Vegas adventures that solidified the mystique surrounding the man.

There are so many stories attributed to the Greek that it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. The only reliable accounts I have were told to me by my father who had spent as much time in Vegas as the guys that empty out the slot machines.

As a young man in his very early 20’s, Nick was engaged to be married and the day before the wedding, his fiance ran off with another guy. Heartbroken, some friends took him to the racetrack to get his mind off it.

As the story goes, without rhyme or reason, Nick proceeded to randomly pick 8 consecutive winners parlaying his bankroll into nearly $20,000. From that point on the stage was set and our hero never looked back. Some people believe in destiny, some don’t. In this situation it’s hard to call it anything else.

At the craps tables he was a confirmed “don’t pass” bettor always laying full odds against the point. He was a bold gambler with an uncanny understanding of the mathematical percentages of any gambling proposition. He had very sound judgment and an innate instinct for finding an edge.

As with most seasoned gamblers, the methods they use to increase their wagers when on a winning streak was for the most part intuitive. When you’ve been around gambling for that long a time a lot of it becomes second nature.

The “Greek” was also know for using a system of plateaus, as he called it. This was a method of locking up a portion of his winnings to insure he wouldn’t play it all back once he had a winning session.

Using an example; Starting with $1,000, you hit a winning streak. You gradually build the stake up to $1,500. He would then lock up $500 (50% of his starting stake) and continue to play with the rest. If he won another $500 he would lock that up and be playing with the winnings only.

This is a very intelligent money management system that protects your capital and allows the player to try build to another plateau using his profits. Each time he reached another $500 level he would lock it up and refuse to play it back regardless of any adverse run of luck.

Nick The Greek seemed to have an inspired knack for any type of gambling. He was a believer in luck and recognized that all luck, good and bad, ran in cycles. He knew the best way to take advantage of those cycles was to bet heavily when it was working in your favor and to reduce his bets to a minimum when it went against him. This procedure would guarantee that his winning wagers would all be significantly larger than his losing ones.

One night at a dinner party, Nick went upstairs to a high stakes poker game. About two hours later he emerged from the game having lost $250,000. He went onto the dance floor laughing and joking and having a great time. A friend came over and asked him how it was he could be dancing and in such good spirits having just lost a quarter of million dollars. With a big smile on his face he looked at his friend and said, “your life doesn’t go with it.”

Maybe the reason Nick the Greek’s legend is so enduring is because he was clearly, a very classy guy. He was also known for saying, “the only difference between a winner and a loser… is character.” For our purposes, we’ll call it self-discipline.

It was said that The Greek won and lost about $400 million dollars in his lifetime, close to a billion dollars in today’s money. Nick died broke in 1966 but I never got the sense having a lot of money meant all that much to him anyway. It was just a way of keeping score.

Dominic LoRiggo – The Man Who Mastered the Secrets of Winning at the Craps Table

In the world of gambling craps has always been associated with a purely luck game that depended on a player getting hot or getting on a streak. You see it all the time in the movies and TV shows where a player starts playing craps and gets on a winning streak so big that he would end up playing at the table all day and his friends come back the next day to see that not only has he lost all his original money but has lost all of the money that he has borrowed to keep playing on top of that. It can be a fun game but it could drain your pocket book really quick. Has anyone ever cracked the system to consistently win at the crap table? So far only a few and we will take a look at the incredible feat of one infamous individual.

Dominic LoRiggio was a man who consistently made more money then the casinos that he has played at on its crap table and has earned some great praise by being called the man with the golden arm. Dominic through many years of practice has perfected the technique of getting the rolls that he needs and in his books explain the physics behind dice control and how to get the rolls you want almost every time. He says to get this style done you need to purchase a regulation craps table. He explains in his books and in his dice control seminars that there is a precise mathematical system involved and it takes discipline and focus as well as practice to be able to do this every time. He gets the cream of the crop as far as clients who sign up for his seminars like famous actors and big businessmen. These well known personalities know his reputation as a dice control specialist and if they are able to pass his courses they believe that they can also succeed at the tables. His courses aren’t cheap but in this world you get what you pay for.

He was originally part of a dice control team called Rosebud and were pretty successful at the beginning but Dominic eventually left them because their bets were too low for his taste as he was a very high roller who liked to bet big to win big. He figured that if he could consistently beat the house why not accumulate a large pot in a shorter period of time. I guess that would give him more time to enjoy his life outside the crap tables. The guy is a legend and people come from all over the globe to try to learn his golden secrets of rolling the dice. To call his feat an amazing one is the understatement of the century.

Gambling Destroys the Spiritual Link

The thrill of winning is exciting and it is addictive. That is what draws people back to gaming tables, poker or slot machines, the races, and so on. They are overwhelmed by the thought that they can win money and meanwhile most of them lose and some very heavily. In my neighbourhood there are many who are so addicted to gambling that they forget everything else. They can even forget that they left their children boiling in a hot car outside the building.

The spiritual link is sensitive and it was given to a group called the children of Israel at the start of the day of the lord. That is a period shown to me of around 4,000 years. We are at the end of it as the vision described it as a line drawn out and the middle was NOON in large capital letters and there on a cross was a man, Jesus Christ, whose presence came about some 2,000 years ago.

This figure is an invention of Constantine who established the Catholic Church in 325 AD and he is called the second beast of Revelation and 666 in chapter 13:12-18 of that part of the bible. He also put Mary, the Mother God of Babylon in it as the Mother of God and he reinforced the wall put up to hide the real God and to sever the link with the Spirit that the people of God were given.

All types of temptations were allowed to be put before them to test their loyalty and strengthen their commitment. Gambling is one such test as too are all the other false gods, including money and commerce. Constantine is the brains behind the World Order and the systems that support it.

The so-called establishment runs on commerce and industry and the making of money is more important even that survival of human life. This is the trap that is taking those not of the Spirit away for good. Those who can avoid the pit-falls and who remain true to the Spirit are part of the in-gathering taking place now. Those who have lost their link through gambling or anything else are now discarded.

The History of Online Sports Betting

Man, by virtue of his instinct to survive, is naturally a gambler. Given the risks of living day-to-day life, it was considered an act of skill to stay alive until the sun sets, especially during the Stone Age. As the human race began to develop systems that would facilitate the physiological need of survival, the gambling instinct that was inherent in man did not dissipate. Rather, it became stronger with the passage of time.

The gambling instinct, simply put, is displayed early into the history of human civilization. The Romans were notorious for their fierce and unforgiving gladiator matches, which were mainly violent at least and visceral at best. By 80AD, the emperor Titus then conducted the first official ceremonies at the Colosseum, and thus the festivities had begun. Slaves were pitted against each other in mostly battles to the death, and sometimes against wild beasts as well. Spectators relished the thought of betting on their favorite gladiator, hoping that he would live to see the end of the glorious battle.

But as time progressed, the violence of the human sport had proved to be too much for some, and gambling has been reduced to animal fights. Of course, this has been around even before the human blood sport of gladiators, but they had become highly popularized in certain parts of Europe -particularly Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, France, and even some parts of Asia such as the Philippines and Indonesia. Among these fights were bullfighting, cockfighting, and fox hunting.

As European influence spread more and more all throughout the continents of the world, the thrill of betting soon became a worldwide phenomenon. Gradually, the hunger for the sight of blood was soon surpassed by the promise of amassment of wealth. The stakes were high, but made more appealing by the rise of establishments such as casinos. Betting was never more enjoyable.

But alas, the collected momentum of sports betting was halted abruptly by the coming of the two World Wars since activities such as race meeting and lotteries became severely restricted. Its return only came in the mid-1950s and soon flourished again.

Not to be outdone, sporting events still remained strong in gambling circles, as events such as horse races, basketball matches, and baseball games just seemed to beg for more incoming bets. The rise of communications technology also facilitated the development of sports betting, with phone betting becoming an attractive option to those who live far and away from the games. Companies such as Intertops in Antigua started this as far back as 1993.

When the Internet finally came out for public access and personal use, the betting world evolved into a more closely-knit community. Globalization served its purpose in connecting the world in ways previously thought inconceivable -after all, who would have thought that you can bet on a game halfway across the world with such ease? In 1996, a company in Gibraltar called Microgaming took advantage of this trend and began developing software for use in other gaming companies all over the world. Others soon followed suit, and thus online sports betting as we knew it was born.

How to Get on in a Man’s World: 3 Women That Tamed the Old West

How does a woman succeed in a man’s world? In the American West of the Nineteenth Century, most accepted what society offered. Find your man, get married, have babies – then commit to a life of washing, cooking and sewing; hard, unrelenting and invariably thankless.

But a few women were having none of this. Anything a man could do, they argued, so could a woman. And they proved it. A few, notably Annie Oakley, made their point with a gun. Others chose the gaming table. Cards were a great leveller of the sexes and three women in particular showed just how.

Alice Ivers (1851-1930)

When you marry an American mining engineer, Alice accepted, the mining camps of states such as Colorado and Texas become your home. You might be the only woman in a rough, tough male world relieved only by drink and gambling. The girl originally from Devon, in England, played society’s ‘game’, to a point. She sewed and cooked for husband Frank.

But if he can have fun gambling, Alice reasoned, why can’t I? So she followed Frank into the gambling hall and discovered she was good at cards – very good. Particularly Poker. Just how good, gambling houses like The Gold Dust in Deadwood, Colorado, quickly discovered. Here was a woman, they realised, who was a ‘natural’ poker player. One with a good head for numbers that could quickly weigh up the odds. Someone who could keep a straight, ‘poker’ face. She became known as ‘Poker Alice’ with good reason.

Alice was quite capable of earning $6000 in a night, and breaking the bank. Better, the owners realised, to have this petite, 5’4″ beauty with shining brown hair working for you as a dealer. Men were drawn to her table like flies to a spider’s web. Mesmerised by her appearance, distracted by the cigars she loved to smoke, many were humbled by her skill at cards.

“I would rather play poker,” Alice once quipped, “with five or six ‘experts,’ than eat.” Except on a Sunday. A strict, moral upbringing and strong religious convictions guided her to the end – even when in later years she ‘diversified’ into prostitution.

And no one crossed her. All knew she had a.38 pistol in the voluminous folds of her fashionable dresses, bought on regular shopping trips to New York. And she wasn’t afraid to use it.

Eleanor Dumont (1834 – 1879)

Few consciously picked a fight with Eleanor. Certainly not the drunken miner who nicknamed her ‘Madame Moustache’, alluding to the tuft of hair on her upper lip. A rare female in the mining camps of the California Gold Rush, everyone knew she kept a Derringer pistol under her skirts. To accost this lady and demand her purse, as two gentlemen discovered one evening, was to invite a blast of lead. Neither individual, it is recorded, waited for her to reload.

Like Alice, Eleanor was a consummate card player who outplayed the men. One of the first professional Blackjack players, her skill as a dealer and counter of cards was legendary. Few men bettered her. Plenty tried as they flocked to the tables of Dumont’s Palace, the card den she ran with another professional gambler, David Tobin.

Everyone knew the rules of entry: dress smartly, behave properly and no women allowed. The all-male clientele were entranced by their elegant, bejewelled hostess, who calmed them with her quiet dignity and deflected trouble with her sharp wit. Most soon became accustomed to the lady who rolled her own cigarettes and drank champagne.

As time stole her looks, it became harder to charm and disarm; prostitution was added to the career portfolio. The serene, elegant hostess metamorphosed into the saloon character, trading ribald jokes over a glass of whiskey.

But Eleanor never lost her passion for cards, or her principles. Despite jealous rivals defaming her as a card sharp, she maintained to the end her reputation as an honest dealer who never defaulted on a debt. When luck finally ran out at the gaming table, and money loaned to her by a friend could not be repaid, Eleanor quietly exited from the room and from life, aided by a glass of wine laced with morphine. A note found by her body stated simply that she had ”tired of life”.

Lottie Deno (1844-1934)

What was a Southern belle, from a prosperous Kentucky family, doing in Fort Griffin, Texas in the 1870s? This outpost, near the Texas panhandle, was one of the wildest frontier towns of its day – home to notoriety on both sides of the law, from Sheriff Pat Garrett to Billy The Kid – a place, so people said, that “had a man for breakfast every morning”.

Yet this striking redhead, with a personality that sparkled as brightly as her brown eyes, revelled in its notoriety and capitalised on its booming economy. This was a town flush with cash from high bison prices, and much of it was spent at The Beehive gambling saloon. As well as good looks, Lottie was a gifted card player, who thrived on parting men from their money – including gunslinger and noted card player, Doc Holliday, whom Lottie relieved of a cool $3000 one evening.

Her strict Episcopalian family would have been horrified. But the woman born Carlotta J.Thompkins made sure they never found out, hiding behind a series of pseudonyms of which Lottie Deno was the most famous. An abbreviation of Dinero, the Spanish for money, it was earned after she beat all-comers at a hand of poker. A drunken voice from a far corner of the bar cried out, “Honey, with winnings like them, you oughta call yourself Lotta Dinero”.

Her father, a successful racehorse breeder who died fighting for the Confederacy, might have winced at her surroundings. But he would have been quietly pleased. His daughter ‘flipped the pasteboards’ with a skill and passion to match his own. All those hours spent teaching the young Lottie about cards, on the paddle steamers and in the finest gambling rooms of New Orleans, had paid off.

And she conducted herself like the Southern Lady she had been raised, exuding class to the end. A lady with impeccable manners, who expected the same of others – no-one ever dared drink, swear or smoke at her table. A woman to trust, whose word was her bond.

And she was smart. It’s rare for a gambler’s luck to last for ever but Lottie Deno was that rarity. She bowed out with her earnings intact, and grew old in comfortable retirement, with her one and only husband Frank.

As good as any man

Three women, each very different from the others, all with a gift – a natural ability to play cards. Not enough by itself to survive in a man’s world, but all three turned this skill to their advantage. They proved they were as good as any man through strength of character, innate intelligence and sheer determination.

A Swimming Fairy Tale

Have you ever seen a movie and thought, “there’s no way this happens in real life.”

Well that’s what the Men’s 4×100 relay felt like it was just so unreal. If this was a movie you would call it Hollywood cheese.

It had the perfect setup, you had the good guys, (the Americans) with crowd favorite Michael Phelps, going for 8 gold medals. Two rookie swimmers, Jones and Garrett, and 3x Olympic veteran Jason Lezac seeking redemption from have lost the relay in the previous 2 Olympics.

Then you had the villains (The French). Why are they the villains? They’re French is another reason needed? This time there is, the French bring it onto themselves they proudly proclaim that they will “smash” the Americans. The thing is the way they have been swimming this year they just might be able to back up that boast. They are led by Alain Bernard the World Record holder. They are by all accounts the favorites to win this race.

As the race is about to begin the announcers tell us that the Americans will each have to swim the lap of their lives in order to beat the heavy favorites the French. Phelps just swam a qualifier a little over an hour ago, the announcers wonder if he will be rested enough, as if the Americans needed any more handicaps…. If you were a gambling man, there’s no way you pick the Americans to win. As a Famous Vulcan would say, “its just not logical”…

Then the race finally starts Phelps dives in first for the Americans swims a good lap, the Americans have an early lead. But nobody expects this to last and it doesn’t soon the Australians grab the lead and then the French do. These 3 teams are pretty close, so far it’s a pretty tight race. Then comes the last lap. The French pull out to a commanding lead and their swimmer is Bernard the World Record holder, the fastest swimmer in the world. Everybody knows it’s all but over the French are going to win this thing. As the swimmers touch the wall and start heading back on their final 50 ft, even the announcers proclaim that the French are going to win. But then something funny happens. With about 30 ft to go Lezac, the final American swimmer starts catching up, little by little you see the impossible unfolding before you very eyes, you can’t even believe it, the announcers don’t even believe it the Americans are gaining but it’s too late isn’t?

They can’t catch the French now there’s not enough time left…or is there? As the crowd gets louder the impossible become possible inch by inch Lezac get closer and closer, his teammates cheering wildly, almost there, one final push, one final stroke, one final stretch Lezac reaches for the wall, the next second it feels like time stops everybody waiting to see who touched the wall first.. and then an explosion…The Americans won! They set a new record and just barely beat the French.. but just barely is all it takes..The Americans are back on top. When Lezac is asked how he was able to do the impossible, how was he able to catch the WR holder,

He responds simply ” I was tired of losing”…

Talk about your Hollywood endings!

Loan Sharks

In the world today, it is not at all unusual to find yourself short of the cash you need to pay your bills, feed your family and maintain a reasonable lifestyle. For every working stiff who runs out of money before they run out of week, there are unfortunately a number of shady characters willing to loan you all the money you need at an exorbitant interest rate. You will have to be careful to avoid these loan sharks when you find yourself in need of quick cash.

Loan sharks are not just something made up in Hollywood to sell movie tickets. Unfortunately, loan sharks are all too real and getting involved with one can wreak havoc on your personal and professional life.

Loan sharks prey on people in financial distress. These people are often unable to obtain loans through traditional channels like banks and savings and loans. Often this is because of either bad credit or the nature of the debt they have incurred. A compulsive gambler may not be able to convince their local bank loan officer to help pay off their gambling debts. Likewise, if your credit is poor, you will find it extremely difficult to obtain a loan at a reasonable interest rate. Any time you borrow money, it is vital to know the interest rate you will be required to pay. If you interest rate is too high, you may never be able to pay off your debt. Your debt may pile up faster than you can pay it off. This is good for the loan sharks but bad for you. Loan sharks want to keep you in debt. This makes you dependent on them for ever increasing amounts of money.

Even if you are not a gambling man and not involved in any shady dealings, you can still fall victim to loan sharks of various stripes. Many so called payday loan and payday cash advance companies are actually loan sharks in disguise. They often charge exorbitant rates of interest in exchange for the quick cash they dispense. Although technically legal, these businesses are considered loan sharks by a great many of their former and current customers.

No matter what type of loan sharks you get mixed up with, extricating yourself from their clutches may be one of the biggest challenges you will ever face. Loan sharks, both the legal kind and the back alley kind, are notorious for chasing down the money they are owed. While not every loan shark is of the old leg breaking school, they will find ways to make your life miserable until you pay them what you owe. They will most likely visit you at your home or place of work to demand their payments. This tactic is extremely effective for the loan sharks and highly disconcerting for you. In addition to putting your personal relationships and your job in jeopardy, these type of tactics violate your sense of personal freedom and personal space.

The best way to deal with loan sharks is not to get involved with them in the first place. Anytime you need a loan, make sure you deal only with reputable firms. Make sure you know with whom you are dealing and that you get a full disclosure of the interest rate charged by the lender and all associated fees. One of the most common tricks loan sharks use to keep their customers in debt is to charge extremely high late payment fees, often as high as 1 to 1.5% per day. You can see how quickly your loan can spiral out of control at rates like this.

If you’ve already fallen into the clutches of a loan shark, the best way (probably the only way) to make them go away is to pay your debt in full. You may need to swallow your pride and borrow the funds you need from your relatives. It is always hard to admit to financial problems, and many people let their debt get completely out of control before they seek help. Your family and friends will most likely be willing to help you out with your financial issues. They will probably be more understanding than you expect. After all, most people wrestle with financial demons at some point in their lives.

Once you have banished the financial demons that loan sharks represent, it is vital that you not repeat your past mistakes. If you have a problem with gambling, seek help for your addiction. It is important to get your financial house in order so that you will no longer be easy prey for the loan sharks that prowl the financial waters.