Jessica’s Story – Part 1

Gambling in Australia is more readily available than anywhere else in the world and this can cause problems for people coming from countries where it is more restricted. For example, recently arrived migrants to Australia can find the freedom of the Australian culture and the constant availability of gambling activities a risk factor for problematic … Continue reading Jessica’s Story – Part 1

How common is gambling?

Did you know that you know that approximately 70% of Australians participate in some form of gambling each year?  Gambling can, in fact, take many forms. Playing the pokies, playing table games at the casino and betting on horses are all considered gambling. Even buying a lottery ticket or ‘scratchie’ is a form of gambling. … Continue reading How common is gambling?

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 … Continue reading The role of positive early experiences

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 … Continue reading House Edge

Reach Out

How many times have you tried to stop gambling, only to go back to it when the cravings get too much? If you’ve ever experienced this, then you’ll know that will power alone is rarely enough to stop gambling. The good news however, is that is it possible to reduce your motivation to gamble in the … Continue reading Reach Out

What does harmful gambling look like?

Problem gambling does not discriminate and can be found in all age groups, income groups, jobs, and cultural backgrounds. Some may have developed gambling problems suddenly, while others may have struggled for many years. Problem gambling is not only about losing money, but is also harmful because of its potential devastating impact on the emotional, … Continue reading What does harmful gambling look like?

Gambling and Emotions

Almost all of my clients have experienced the lowest of emotional lows because of gambling. This typically happens at the end of a session when they have lost everything. Despair about the present and the future, self-blame, self-judgment and suicidal thoughts are all very common in those moments. These negative emotions are absolutely awful to … Continue reading Gambling and Emotions

Don’t beat yourself up

Do you beat yourself up about your gambling? Maybe you think that you deserve to feel bad after a session, as a punishment for going. It kind of makes sense. When kids do something wrong, we punish them, so that they’re less likely to do it in future. Why would it be any different for … Continue reading Don’t beat yourself up

Why should I understand the poker machines?

An understanding of the ways in which the poker machines operate is an important part in treatment of problem gambling. We may assume we understand how these machines work because we play them often or because ‘people have told us how they work’. However, an accurate understanding of the poker machines must include an understanding … Continue reading Why should I understand the poker machines?

What is Return to Player?

If you are a regular pokies player, you’ve probably heard of something called the 'Return to Player Percentage'. It is something often talked about but not always well understood. It is important to clarify what Return to Player Percentage is, as misunderstandings can lead to problem gambling. By law, every poker machine in Australia must … Continue reading What is Return to Player?