Started gambling just for fun, would put $5 in a machine with a friend, and if we lost we lost, and if we won we would take the money and leave. Somewhere along the line we started doing bigger bets, and put more money in but nothing too radical. I had a friend, who I think was my downfall in gambling, they would call me up and ask me if I wanted to go to the club or pub for lunch or dinner and I would say yes. I didn’t know then but I know now, it was just so they had someone to gamble with, because we didn’t eat, we would walk into the pub or club, and go right to the machines. I wouldn’t gamble a lot, maybe $20 maximum per session, at around 3 sessions a week. Still a lot of money to just be throwing away. Anyways I had enough of wasting my time at the club and pubs all day so I decided to cut off communications with this friend. A year went by and I was pokie free for that year until this friend rang me up again, (wish I hadn’t answered the phone) we went to the club, but this time I put $50 into a machine, by myself. $50 turned into $100, $100 turned into $200, basically trying to get my money back. I then started going all the time, maybe 4-5 times a week, at $50+ a day. I would go by myself If was bored at home, some days I would win big, and throw it all back in on the same day, and sometimes I would win big and leave, but eventually it would all go back in at some point. The worst days where when you would smash heaps of money in, and get absolutely nothing. My friends saw a change in me (my real friends) and told me I had a problem, I agreed with them, definently didn’t deny it. I tried stopping a few times with no success. I then told myself why not instead of gambling, exercise. So I tried it and it worked. I no longer think about wanting to go to the pokies because I’m bored. Instead of wasting my time gambling I’m being healthy. It’s been a month now. Not saying I’m fully recovered, I still go to the clubs and pubs I use to go, but I won’t gamble, or if I do choose to gamble it’s $1-$5, I find setting a limit helps. I hope someone actually reads this. Don’t start gambling it’s not worth the future worries it will give you. Even if it’s just $5 the machines are programmed to win more than you, you’ve basically already lost before you even start.
Thank you for sharing such an encouraging and hopeful story. An investment of time and money seems to have reaped some health benefits for you as well as not seeing your money being wasted. Furthermore, your strategy of setting a limit, and most importantly sticking to it would no doubt contribute to the gambling not becoming a problem.
May your story help others in a similar position to change the path which problem gambling is taking them down.