Sunday, 21 August 2016

Written by: Nick

I'm 22 years of age. I'm a uni student into my 4th year of study. You're probably thinking, "Where did he find the time to gamble? And surely a uni student studying a double degree isn't the type of person that would have a gambling problem?" The point I want to highlight with my story is that ANYBODY can suffer a gambling addiction.

My addiction involved sports betting. I'm a soccer and football fanatic. It started at the age of 18 when I'd sneak down to the local TAB during my school lunch break and put on a $10 or $20 multi for the weekend. However 4 years later that culminated in me betting on certain occasions, up to  $1000 on football and soccer matches. I thought that if I studied the form of teams, kept up to date with football commentators predictions and analysis I would be able to profit from my gambling.

I found after losing somewhere between a total of $12,000 - $15,000 that you can't study football teams the way you can study uni textbooks. And that no matter how much you think you 'know' about a certain sport, ANY team can beat any other side on any given day.

Giving up is hard. Especially when all my mates gamble. I read something the other day that Australia is the number one country on the planet for gamblers per capita. There is no doubt that Australia has a gambling culture. I work in a pokies venue and I see the large array of problem gamblers we have at work.

The problem started for me, when I viewed betting as a source of income, instead of an enjoyable leisure. What I've learnt the most is that you will never beat an addiction until you address the reasons behind why is start ed in the first place. The first part in fixing any problem is acknowledging that you have one.

I'm not proud of my addiction, but I wont let it control my bank balance, or my life anymore. And I can't stress enough to any other 22 year old male in my current situation, gambling can not by any means produce an income. I hope any of you reading this take this advice on board, and learn from it. Don't lose $15K like I did before that sinks in!

Never give up, giving up.

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.