||Alice from the Gambling Helpline’s story|
My name is Alice and I work at the Gambling Helpline, assisting people in South Australia with gambling related problems as well as assisting people who are affected by someone else’s gambling behaviour.
I started gambling on poker machines in 1995 when my youngest child started kindergarten and I found I had time on my hands. At that time I was gambling on social occasions, mostly with family members. Sometimes I would win and that gave me confidence to go back again. Over time I started going more often by myself. At that time my husband was giving me $200.00 a week to put in a separate account as he was saving up for a Harley Davidson motorbike. After about a year he went to take the money out of the account to buy the motorbike and found that it wasn’t there because I had gambled it. We separated after that happened.
I’m in my thirties, married with two young children. I started gambling over ten years ago and have been losing more and more money as the years have gone by. The only gambling I have been involved in is betting on horses. Over the years I have probably gambled between $100,000.00 and $200,000.00.
I am a 24-year-old female, from Western Australia. I came to live in Adelaide with my fiancé in 1999. In Western Australia, there are no gambling venues apart from the Burswood Casino. The Casino in Perth does not contain the same poker machines that Adelaide has, so I never was really interested in gambling when I was in Perth. I discovered the pokies a while after I arrived in Adelaide. My fiancé took me out one night to a pub and allowed me to have a ‘flutter’ with a couple of dollars. I honestly didn’t like it. I lost the money so quickly and I didn’t really understand how the games worked.
I was asked to write a piece describing my experiences and troubles that I have encountered with my gambling with the poker machines. I hope it helps those who may find themselves in a similar situation.
When I stopped drinking in 1992, after years of alcohol abuse, I almost immediately began gambling. It very quickly became a problem which I could not control. I wanted to stop, tried to stop, but couldn’t. For over 8 years I regularly attended counselling. I’d stop gambling for a while, but always went back to it, and each time I did I was worse than before.
I had it all, wonderful husband, son, family, friends, home and career.
||Counsellor Rosemary’s story|
I have been working as a Counsellor for some sixteen years now, supporting people with a very wide range of issues and experiences. For the past two years I have focussed on helping people overcome the effects of problem gambling in their lives.
||Therapist Jane’s story|
My name is Jane and I have worked at the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service (SGTS) for over 10 years and during this time I have assessed and treated many problem gamblers.