Awareness and prevention
Information and resources
Written by: Justin
I have been gambling for roughly 12 years now. Started in high school playing card games on the weekends, would either win roughly $100 or lose $50.
I have been gambling for roughly 12 years now. Started in high school playing card games on the weekends, would either win roughly $100 or lose $50. Then I started playing poker online and did fairly well in the beginning, would win some extra money for college. Big wins were a few hundred bucks and losses the same. For a few years I did not gamble much at all, maybe one to two times a month for a few hundred dollars.
Then I got hooked up with a bookie. I made $5000 over one season betting randomly, then I got hooked and started playing every day. I ended up losing $11,000 in two months and self-excluded myself from using the bookie, betting bigger to chase my losses. I swore I was going to stop because I was starting my own business and not making money in the beginning.
Then I started to make some serious money in my business and also found online bookie sites to place bets, bigger bets just to chase the high of winning. Within a few months I lost $20,000 and felt numb to it. I was down $30,000 for the year and sick to my stomach. The problem is I had the money as I made $100,000 my first year in business.
Well here we are today. Exactly five weeks ago I was down $60,000 for the last year and ended up hitting a $28,000 four team $2000 parley. I told myself I was done. The rush was awesome. I had a hard time cashing out all the money at once, only allowed $3000 at a time. I knew I was in trouble. Within the next four days I lost all of it, and within the last three weeks I lost another $20,000. That is $80,000 in the last 18 months.
I am addicted. I try to stop. I read all these stories, self help books, exclusions from online, etc. But I'm addicted and it makes me sick. I am not broke as I will make roughly $250,000 this year and a very successful business owner. It is not about the money, its about the high, just like a drug addict. Makes me sick. No one has any clue how much I have lost and I'm so ashamed to tell anyone.
Today marks my start on the journey. I just need to find happiness with what I have. My advice is to never start gambling. I could be driving the best cars and traveling all over the world, but I choose to light it on fire with online gambling. I still have that chance, I just need to focus. Good luck to anyone else reading this.
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.