Australian Gambler, my story

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Intro My name is Zach 28 years old, I am a compulsive gambler from the Gold Coast, Australia. I have been gambling for close to 10 years now. My losses would be somewhere in the hundreds of thousands now without a doubt. I live a good life, I live close to the beach, have a fantastic border collie called Switch, and I have my dream job for where I am at in my career at the moment that pays me six figures. I also have a fantastic family, that are somewhat aware of the gambling problem, but definitely have no idea as to how bad it truly is. But due to gambling, I have basically not a cent to my name, and I have lost a lot of good friends, especially over the last 3-4 months. So a lot of the above has been what has been able to keep me going in life, and not look to drastic measures. I have been trying to stop gambling for the better part of three years now. Where it began Gambling started for me back when I was about 18. I had some mates that I would go down to the pub with and we would have some beers together and then go to the pokies(slot machines) and put maybe $20 through, and it seemed fun and innocent at the time. Little did I know that my addictive personality would take a hold of this and drive my life to where it currently is. My biggest weakness would be the pokies, especially once I discovered online casinos. But it was never really an issue through my early 20’s, as I usually only gambled what I could afford to lose and it never affected my day to day life such as paying bills or anti social behaviour. It was just a “casual” gamble at the time. Where it got bad It was probably around the age of 24-25 where it got really bad. I was dating a girl at the time, where from the early stages I would manage to weasal money out of her to feed my addiction of the pokies. She would lend me money or give me money not realising what the problem was. I truly took advantage of her in this situation. There were even a couple of nights where we had been drinking with friends, and she passed out to go to sleep and I would take her bank card and go withdraw $1000 or so, just so I could go play the pokies. She forced me to go to GA at one stage, I went once, but I was no where near ready to give it up. I mean why would I when I could keep syphoning money out of her? After that relationship ended, things calmed down a little bit. I was still gambling in a bad way, but I wasn’t stealing money to feed the addiction. I did it through my own means. From time to time I would need to borrow money from friends or family to keep my head afloat, but I always paid it back to them. In the last 2-3 months is where the addiction has got me real bad. I was living a bad living situation with a housemate that basically forced me to keep to myself in my room or the study. This is where I really discovered online pokies. I put $300 in, over the course of about 3-4 days I managed to get that up to around $80k. I said alright I am gonna withdrawal at least 60k of this, but going to see if I can use the other 20k to see if I can turn it into more. As online pokies have it, they really draw out the verification process. They do not make it easy to get your money. It goes without saying that within 3 days I managed to take that $80k and turn it into $0. Because I am a compulsive gambler and self control around gambling is not something that I have. The follow on effect Having gotten up to $80k, I was convinced that I could easily get up to like $10k or something. This resulted in me using money I didn’t have and borrowing money, and lying to borrow money in order to gamble. As I sit here now and write this up. I went from having no debt, to now about $5k in debt and having blown around $15-20k over the last 1-2 months. Going forward Now I sit here contemplating the road ahead of me. Here is what I have done so far – Called my bank and banned any form of gambling transactions – Installed Gameban on my phone and computer – Told a friend about my gambling and the true extent of it. – Looking into counselling and GA meetings around me. It’s a long road ahead, but I have to start somewhere. submitted by /u/pokie_problems [comments]

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