“I know I can’t win”. How many times have you heard a person with a gambling problem say that? If you have a gambling problem, how many times have you said that to yourself? Yet despite this, people with gambling problems continue to gamble. Why?
There is a difference between knowing and believing. We can know something without truly believing in it. Human beings are complex creatures. There is often internal conflict between what we know is good for us and our habits, needs and desires. That’s why someone may know they cannot win on a rational level, but when they are at the venue they can’t help but gamble excessively.
What can we do to resolve this conflict between what we know and what we actually do? We need to move beyond merely knowing and arm ourselves with knowledge about how gambling really works, in order to develop a true belief that we cannot win by gambling. When we truly believe something, then our actions will be consistent with our beliefs. So spend a little (or a lot of!) time and effort to understand exactly WHY you can’t win. As a starting point there is a range of excellent educational resources available online (e.g. http://www.whatareyourodds.com.au/).
To demonstrate the power of knowledge, let’s consider the popular poker machine game Black Rhinos. Playing one line at a time on a 5c machine, it would take 6.7 million button presses costing nearly $330,000 to have a 50% chance of winning the top prize of $10,000. You will have other smaller wins along the way, but you can expect these will not even come close to covering what you put in. Are these sorts of odds worth betting your hard-earned money on? Are they worth the time and energy you put in, the heartaches, the impact on your family?
Knowing how gambling really works helps people develop a true belief that they cannot win. So, start informing yourself and begin the journey of overcoming your gambling problem today – Gambling Help can support you along the way. Call Gambling Help on 1800 858 858, or visit www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au for free and confidential support.