My story starts with TAB when I was young. It was a lot of fun with mates, betting on horses, not knowing what I was doing, winning and losing. Then I noticed amongst my mates, I was blowing more, betting more, and at one stage borrowing so I could bet. I gave it up, but when I was old enough I got a credit card with a high limit. After playing the pokies for a while with some big wins, I started maxing out my card, dumping thousands into the machines and the more I lost the more I bet. After getting myself into real debt, I decided to pay it off. But, years later I was ahead and I started playing Hold’em which was fun, but again the gambling bug bit me and I was losing thousands again. As I was playing in the casino I ocassionally played blackjack and the the intensity of my wagering grew as I started betting thousands per hand! Before I knew it I was down $10k, the $20k then I would gain some then lose some. But what happened was it consumed my mind. If I won, it meant that I would want to go back and win more. If I lost I was determined to go back and win it back. To the point now I am down over $50k in debt. I don’t own a house and I have nothing financially to show for my years of working hard. I’m getting married and I have to lie about my financial situation to my fiancé. It is disgusting. I feel dirty. I could have paid for my wedding and honeymoon with a deposit on a house. Instead I’ve now got to borrow money for a wedding, and enter my marriage with a lie and a loan that will take years to pay off. I thought I could beat probability, I thought I could outsmart the game. I thought I could win back my losses. Instead I have turned into the statistic of problem gamblers. I am a fool. I haven’t won, I’ve seriously lost. If I continue to gamble, I will lose the chance with my future wife to be happy. It will destroy all the things that are truely wholesome in my life, like family and being stress free. I am now financially crippled and I’m writing this as tonight was my last night of losing. I will not play again. Writing this is very therapeutic as i havent told anyone my dark sick secret. if my story changes the mind of someone who has been damaged or on there path to losing lots of money then I’m happy. Simple rule my father told me when I was young was only gamble the money you can afford to lose. But can you really afford to lose any of your cash? I hope that I chose my future and life, pay back my debts and don’t return to high stakes gambling – ever. I question how such pokies and casino’s are even legal as they cash in on your greed, dreams and aspirations and pray on those that lose control – without any mercy. May everyone learn and simply not play rediculously and there will not be such an industry. Thanks for reading my sad and in some what parthetic story and I look forward to choosing life, and not get raughted with my lame attempt to try and make something from nothing anymore… Peace!