"You're looking at a guy who used to buy transistor radios from kids on the train just so I could hear the score," blurted out Ronald L. of New York City as 16 men and one woman listened solemnly. "I used to bet on everything, even the turnstiles at a ball game," he confessed. Then, in a quivering tone, Harold B. told the group: "I degraded myself in every way. I robbed like a bastard." His voice dropped to a whisper. "I was nothing more than a piece of garbage."

The confessions lasted for 3½ hours as a Gamblers Anonymous chapter held...

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