…Horse racing is my scene, but as a helping professional sadly, I’ve seen the other side of the coin. Some people are going to gamble too much, and they’re going to develop a problem because of that.

If gambling is no longer fun and is causing you stress it’s time to ponder whether or not you’ve got a problem. Gambling should be fun and entertainment, it’s important to always set a limit and try to never go over that if you possibly can, and please never chase losses. What’s gone is gone, you have to accept that. Gambling is going to be a form of entertainment and you pay for entertainment, that’s part of the losses. But with that group that’s has a problem we’ve got some options to help you now. We’re going to talk about those options and the first one that I’d like to mention which is also available to family and friends to seek advice and help for is the G-Line. That’s a 1 800 number which will be displayed on your screen. If you give that number a call, that call is completely anonymous, you don’t have to give your name, and if you ring from a landline there is no record kept of that call. There can be from a mobile phone however.

The person that you will be speaking to at the other end is an experienced professional, and they will try and get some data from you, they will let you talk about the problem as much and as often as you want to because you can call back on a number of occasions, and they will also direct you to the nearest available help should you need it. Now on this website we have a “services near you” button you can push and that will help guide you towards some of the other options. Those options include Gamblers Anonymous. This is a self-help group form where you can go and sit and listen to what other people say at a meeting near where you live. You don’t have to get up and give a talk, but people are encouraged to do so if they wish. No obligation though. It’s a very useful organisation comprised of people who’ve had a similar problem to yours and they’re very willing to receive you, and very friendly and will certainly try and advise you as to what to do.

And while we’re mentioning that, I’ve seen a lot of people say how hard it was to make that first contact. Whether it was by phone or going to Gamblers Anonymous, but how pleased they were further down the track that that had actually worked for them. Now for family and friends there’s also help and advice. We can send out pamphlets and brochures to both the gambler and/or their family and friends and you can achieve that information by pushing the “Take Action” button now and you can also find a group called Gammanon which exists with some, but not all Gamblers Anonymous groups.

Again, speaking to the contact services, they will be able to advise you where those particular groups are and when they’re held. Of course other help is also available. Your counsellor at school, your counsellor at TAFE and at work and your family GP all can assist and help to direct you in the best way to go and get some help. The most important thing of all is that you do something about it. If you do think you have a problem then don’t let it just go on. Really try and bring it to a halt as soon as you can.

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