May 15, 2012

The house always wins. (except in my house)

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I can still remember the first time I played the pokies. It was at the Windsor RSL club and I stuck $1 in and pulled out 6 bucks. I liked it! I bought a beer with my money and put the remaining $2 back in. After a few minutes I had $12.

With the way I was travelling, I was going to be able to make rent in under an hour.

And then I lost the lot.

I grew up around gambling. On racecourses to be exact. My Dad was, and still is in the racing industry, which is an exciting, glamorous game. If you are winning. And you really only ever heard about the big wins. You never heard about the guy who threw his entire week’s wages at the ponies and had to go back to his wife and explain where they money has gone.

Do not get me wrong!  I love a punt. As do 3 out of 4 Australians. But you need to know what your limits are and when to stop.  Otherwise your fun will become your nightmare.

Dramatic much? Not really.

I know of marriages that have broken down because of gambling. I know of one lady who, because of her pokie obsession, had taken out mortgage after mortgage on her family home to feed her addiction, only to ultimately lose her house.

Dramatic much? Totally.

As I said, I love a punt. And I know that my putting a bet on, or money into a machine is akin to taking a match to that note. You need to be prepared to lose it and lose it quickly. If you have $20 to bet with and you are prepared to tear it up, then go forth and enjoy. But what if that $20 was $100? Or $200?

Would it make you think twice? 

Do you want to know your odds? 

Trust me, I know exactly what it is like, the feeling you get when you are “on a roll.”  

If you are off to the races, or perhaps the pub and you want to have a bet, put the money you are prepared to lose in your pocket. When that is gone, the game is over.

Keep things in balance. Set your limit. Don’t lose control.

Do you know someone whose life has been affected by gambling?
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