Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Written by: Carlos

I have been gambling since the age of 10. It started off with $1 scratchy cards that mum used to buy me. This was just the start. By the age of 10 I entered a $5 Melbourne Cup sweep at a family friend's BBQ. I picked out Makybe Diva and won $100. The win was huge for me, being only 10 years old and ever since I've been chasing that thrill. 

Not long after that, at the age of 14, I begun sneaking into the pub down the road and putting on bets. It may have only been $2 each way but it was just the start. 

Many of my mates' dads at school owned race horses and I asked them every week if they could ask their dad if something was a chance. 

What started off as having a bet maybe one Saturday a month turned into every weekend by the age of 15.

At school there was even a punting group where we would talk about racing non-stop.

I managed to get an online account at the age of 16 where my betting began to spiral out of control. I was betting on greyhounds and harness racing every night. 

I worked at a pizza shop for $10 an hour and as soon as I got paid I would run down to the TAB and it would be gone within half and hour. 

I am now 19 and my gambling addiction is out of control. I work at a pub where I am surrounded by gambling left right and centre. I earn over one thousand dollars each week, sometimes working seven days straight. 

Every Wednesday I keep refreshing my bank account to see if the money has gone in. As soon as it's in my account I begin to bet, transferring money into my betting account within seconds. If I'm lucky I'll get through three days without losing all my money. But usually it's all gone on the same night.

My gambling addiction has caused me to not achieve my potential at school, drop out of uni and has left me with no money.

I need help.

Gambler's Help 

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.