Awareness and prevention
Information and resources
Written by: John
I am writing this story on 1 January at 7 am, basically lying on a sofa with a huge headache, but not going to sleep because I bet 50 euros on a random basketball match just for the buzz and the opportunity to get a boost of happiness after an exhausting NYE celebration with my friends.
I am writing this story on 1 January at 7 am, basically lying on a sofa with a huge headache, but not going to sleep because I bet 50 euros on a random basketball match just for the buzz and the opportunity to get a boost of happiness after an exhausting NYE celebration with my friends. However, the team I bet on is 23 points down in the 3rd quarter, so I basically just extended my debt to my friend to 100 euros.
It all started when I was 14 years old, and I discovered you could easily buy CS:GO skins with cash and bet them online on e-sports matches. I remember my first bet being two bucks, winning it and feeling like I just discovered a source of infinite money. Quickly my bets became much bigger. I was successful and quickly gained more than 100 bucks in CS:GO skins, which were only pixels on my computer screen after all, that I never cashed out. After losing all my winnings, I became desperate, and every cent I got for lunch or to pay for my school books I spent on buying skins to bet. It usually lasted a few days until I eventually would lose everything in my inventory.
I was unaware of the damage I was doing to myself, my family and my friends, since I had a great, loving mother who provided me with everything I asked for. I tried to stay positive and with a smile on my face every day, even when I lost lots of money, and my mum didn't suspect anything. The time flew past, every day after school I would get home, skip my sports training and ignore my homework, just so I would be able to bet. I started betting on soccer, basketball, tennis because it seemed like an easy way to gain money. Soon I started throwing random bets on darts, snooker or other sports I knew nothing about. After losing about 1000 euros and never cashing out any of my winnings, I thought I was done.
Sadly enough, in a month or two I discovered online poker. I was only 15 years old, but I would play 50-100 euro poker games, always believing in my luck. I won some big hands, but eventually lost all my money. Day after day gambling and playing poker, I lost a total of 2000 euros in less than a year, without my family knowing it and only my friends knowing it.
Now I'm 16, with 17 cents in my bank account, 100 euro in debt to my best friend, and yet still finding ways to place bets. I just thought telling this story would help me realise the harm I'm doing. So for my New Year's resolution, I promise not to bet a single cent. Sorry if my ideas aren't expressed in a logical or interesting way, but I hope I can learn from my mistakes, and get my life back in my hands before it gets worse. Good night.
There are many ways to seek professional and anonymous help for your own, or your loved one's problems with gambling.
If you need immediate help, please call
Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858 or
Gambler's Help Youthline on 1800 262 376
(from within Australia only). This service operates 24 hours a day, 7
days a week and is free and confidential.