pWhile many people start playing the pokies for a bit of fun, some people start to see an increase in their spending as time goes on. The question is, when does it go from a bit of fun to being a problem?
There are a number of things people can look at to understand if their gambling has become a problem:
How much are you spending as a portion of your income? We all have recreational activities and these often cost money but spending more money than we can afford is a sign that gambling is taking over. A rule of thumb is that spending 5% or more of net weekly income is suggesting that there may be a problem.
The impact on others. Having fights or arguments over playing the pokies with your partner or family? Lying to them about your playing? Has your partner threatened to end the relationship over it? These are all signs gambling has gone from a bit of fun to a problem
Impact on yourself. Felt terrible after heavy losses? Spent more than you planned and then regretted it? Angry at yourself for not having more self-control? Problem gambling not only has an impact on others but also on yourself. Most people don’t feel good after they have spent more hard-earned money than they should have.
Gambling alone or with others. Initially playing the pokies is often done with other people but if you find yourself playing alone, that can be a sign that it’s taking no longer just a bit of fun.
If you find that poker machine playing is causing difficulties, or that you have difficulties related to any other form of gambling, you can always call Gambling Help on the following number 1800 858 858 or go to the website for more information and support.