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It is estimated that 80% of problem gamblers in Australia
play the pokies. Slot machines are said to be the most addictive form
of gambling. This is partly due to the way the games work and also due
to the music and sounds. The games are developed with an aim to keep
Because pokies are so widespread in Australia the amount of problem gamblers
is increasing at a rapid rate. Current estimates put the number at around
who lose an average of $12,000 per year.
It took a long time for the state governments to act on this information.
In 1995 they put a freeze on the amount of poker machines for each state
and in 2000 they brought in new laws restricting the advertising of pokies.
Considering the fact that it is the governments who make the most money
out of the pokies these measures have not made much of a difference.
Help for problem gamblers
If you suspect that you have a gambling problem there
are many ways to get help. Below are 20 questions from Gamblers Anonymous.
If you answer yes to five or more of the questions you should consider
1. Have you ever played until you ran out of money?
2. Have you ever played for longer than you had originally planned?
3. Have you ever borrowed money to gamble with?
4. Have you ever sold anything to finance your gambling
5. After losing have you had an urge to play again to win back your losses?
6. After winning have you had an urge to win more?
7. Have you ever lost time from work due to gambling?
8. Has gambling ever reduced your ambitions for life?
9. Have you ever felt remorse after a gambling session?
10. Has your gambling ever made your life at home unhappy?
11. Has gambling effected your reputation?
12. Have you ever gambled to solve financial problems?
13. Have you been reluctant to use gambling money for other expenses?
14. Has gambling ever made you careless of your welfare or your family's?
15. Have negative emotions give you an urge to gamble?
16. Has good fortune ever given you an urge to play the pokies?
17. Have you ever considered harming yourself as a result of gambling?
18. Have you ever committed an illegal act to finance gambling?
19. Has gambling caused you to have difficulty sleeping?
20. Have you ever gambled to escape thoughts of worry?
How to Get Help
The following links all lead to sites that offer help
for people who are problem gamblers. If you answered yes to more than
five of the questions listed above then we highly recommend that you
visit the sites below to see how they can help you regain control over
Gamblers Anonymous (www.gamblersanonymous.org.au)
Gambling Help Online (www.gamblinghelponline.org.au)
Problem Gambling Victoria (www.problemgambling.vic.gov.au)
Problem Gambling SA (www.problemgambling.sa.gov.au)
Centrelink Support Services (www.centrelink.gov.au)
Gambling Treatment (www.stvincents.com.au)
Pathological Gambling category at Dmoz.org (www.dmoz.org)
Gambling Addiction category at Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com)