Zac gives his wallet to a friend

Don’t Chase That Winning Feeling

A young man named Zac shared his story recently…

Gambling has become a problem for me over the last two years. I know it’s not the biggest amounts, like some of the other stories on the www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au website – but I worry what I might end up getting in to. I’m currently 20, and have been playing pokie machines for about 2 years. I still remember the first few times I played. My best mate and I played ‘lucky 10’s’ – both putting in $10 each. It was like printing money – we seemed to always win! Then we started playing with $20 notes, the $50 notes. And before too long, spending a few hundred dollars in a night was pretty common. When I was earning $500 a week, I would spend an easy $250 a week of that on machines. Then spend the rest of the week poor until pay day. I hated being always out of money! Lately I have been only gambling a little – setting my budget, and then giving my wallet to my friend and saying “don’t give it back until we are in the car. No exceptions!”. It’s funny, after I make a big fuss about it, how quickly I want my money from my wallet. That’s what friends are for. Here’s hoping that my strategy keeps on working, and that I don’t get more caught up in gambling than I already am. It’s a real bitch, hey?

It’s great that Zac has put strategies in place to avoid getting into gambling debt such as setting limits.  Having mates around who’ll help you out is a good support, especially if you’re having a drink or two. It’s amazing how quickly you can go from 10 bucks here and there to losing half your pay. Early wins are so powerful that you don’t only chase your losses but you chase that winning feeling. Think about it in terms of alcohol. The more you drink = the more you need to drink to get drunk. It’s the same thing with gambling; a $50 win used to be great, but over time you need bigger and bigger wins to get the same excitement.

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