Musings of a gambling counsellor

One of the heart breaking things I've seen working as an intake officer and counsellor at a gambling clinic is coming across the people who called the help line, but just couldn’t bring themselves to come in for that first session. Or those who showed up for the first session, and for whatever reason, dropped out. It [...]

What randomness really means in poker machines

You have all probably heard about poker machines operating randomly, though what exactly does that mean? In gambling, random means that we are unable to accurately control or predict the outcomes that will occur next. Randomness also means that each outcome is independent of one another. That is, the outcome of each spin on a [...]

Why is gambling so hard to kick?

It’s been months since a win, your partner fights daily with you over it, you struggle to have enough money to fill the car with petrol and the red letters are now coming weekly threatening to take away your beloved car.  As you leave another session empty handed, broke and filthy with yourself you might [...]

The role of positive early experiences

People that struggle with problem gambling often ask themselves “Why me? Why can’t I stop?”. Many view it as an addiction, while others view it as something they’ve inherited in their genes especially when parents or other family members have been heavy gamblers. Others again berate themselves as being ‘so stupid’ and just unable to [...]

Supporting others

If you have experienced problem gambling, or maybe still are, it is likely you have experienced a wide range of distressing consequences. This may include, to name a few: financial hardship, feelings of depression and anxiety, and relationship problems. Perhaps one (and likely the only) advantage of having suffered through this is that you are [...]

Gambling under the influence

Recent research funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has found that 14% of people receiving treatment for substance abuse also experience problems with gambling. There are many similarities between substance abuse and gambling problems - both may be used to escape uncomfortable feelings such as depression and anxiety, both can result in preoccupation (either [...]

House Edge

Did you know that it takes on average $330,000 to win the $10,000 prize on the pokies? This translates to odds of over 9 million to one. In case you’re wondering, the chances of getting hit by a bolt of lightning are 1.6 million to one. So, next time you’re playing the pokies hoping you [...]