“Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen” was published in 2010, but Megyn Kelly, during her 9 a.m. segment on “The Today Show” last month brought new life to the book when she interviewed the queen herself.

Coincidentally, it set the stage for Problem Gambling Awareness Month which began March 1.

The author, Sandra Adell, is a professor of a literature in Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty, an accomplished actress and model.

On April 30, 2005, her life changed when a friend invited her to visit Ho-Chunk Casino in Delton, Wis.

Once inside, her initial reaction was negative. She didn’t like the low, dark ceilings or the strong stench of cigarette smoke. However, she decided to play some slot machines and won $1,100, giving a little of it back as she waited for her friend.

Five weeks later, Adell returned and won $6,000. She was hooked.

Oh, and did I mention she also started drinking more heavily?

Fast forward to February 2007. On her way home from St. Paul, Minn., where she was an artist-in-residence at the prestigious Penumbra Theatre, she stopped to play the slots at Majestic Pines Casino in Black River Falls, Wis. Two hours later she had lost $1,500.

She made another stop — back to Ho-Chunk. She cashed a check for $500 and won $1,300.

As she drove home, Adell lost consciousness. Her car ended up in a ditch.

“I hit bottom,” she writes in the book. Therapy helped her recover.

If you think you are experiencing similar problems, call 800-GAMBLER. This toll-free helpline is sponsored by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey Inc. Calling will connect you to someone who will respect your confidentiality and help you determine the next step to take.

Flake news

Snow and chilly winter weather last month may have been the reason why New Jersey’s online casinos set a record for monthly and per-day gross revenue.

February marked the second consecutive month that New Jersey set a record for monthly and per-day gross revenue.

“New and expanded product lines, improved payment processing and advancements in customer service will continue to drive organic growth,” says PlayNJ.com lead analyst Steve Ruddock.

The market is expected to expand when Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Atlantic City launch online casinos in the coming months.

New Jersey online casinos amassed $21.99 million in gross revenue, according to New Jersey's February Internet Gross Revenue Report, up 0.1 percent from the $21.96 million benchmark set in January and up 17.5 percent from $18.7 million in February 2017.

Recreational gambler Darryl D. McEwen, a former professional journalist, is president of his own consulting firm that manages several small national and international trade associations, and provides public relations and fundraising services for a number of charitable organizations. Have a comment on this or a question specifically related to an Atlantic City casino, players club or other promotion? Email Darryl at MrACCasino@gmail.com and he’ll try to respond to you personally. Your question — without your name - may appear in a future column.

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