Awareness and prevention
Written by: Kidman
I just wanna tell a story of my brother and his addiction to gambling. He was a fine young man and has his own family. Due to work pressure and some family issues, he turned to gambling to feel wanted.
I just wanna tell a story of my brother and his addiction to gambling. He was a fine young man and has his own family. Due to work pressure and some family issues, he turned to gambling to feel wanted. Why he has taken to such bad habits? Yup... introduced by his friends. His gambling addiction was mostly playing the slot machines.
Well, the slot machine clubs here are doing a fantastic job wooing such victims to stay there, to spend all their spare time playing slot machines.
They are providing free alcohol drinks (mostly beers), free meals and other food, other free drinks, free cigarettes and a very nice, cosy and comfortable environment for you to gamble in. Full of privacy and you may stay days in the club.
In such an environment, you are served like a king ... eat, drink and gamble ... totally relax in this type of club. My brother's contact details have been passed to other clubs and every day he receives messages from clubs about free vouchers to start playing in them ... normally worth $200 per voucher.
With all this, he was going non-stop and losing money like there was no tomorrow.
Of course he won sometimes, but the winning was nothing compared to what he lost. Gradually, within a year, he lost all his savings, up to $450,000 ... all hard-earned money, which was saved from working since his young days and earned from selling off some properties. Now, all this money was gone.
When I asked him - Why are you immersed in such a bad gambling addiction? - he told me:
1. The club environment made him feel like he was at home.
2. He felt very appreciated by all staff, who served him so well.
3. He felt great when he won.
4. He always thought he would be able to win back what he lost.
5. He felt brainwashed, like he must go there when he had spare time.
Now he is a broken man. His family has big issues because of the gambling and he has not worked for months. Finally, he resorted to stealing and got caught by police. Due to his first offence, he wasn't sent to jail, but was fined. Of course, the fine was paid by his family and he now has a criminal record.
Now he wants to start all over again ... start from the bottom with a job with a really low salary, since not many people are willing to hire him.
This is what he's sacrificed due to gambling. Those who read this and are gamblers, I advise you to STOP, no matter how small the gambling is. Everything starts from small. It will roll and roll and become a wild fire ... then you cannot put it off. My brother is a living example - his life was ruined by a gambling addiction. There is no one single good thing that comes from gambling. You see it all in the casinos - they are earning HUGE profits, but where does the money come from? If you hand this money back to your family and yourself daily, weekly, monthly, wouldn't that feel good?
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.