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  • Disassociating the game from the gamble

    Share some strategies when trying to quit or cut down on gambling. What works for you?
    Dave68
    Senior Member
    Posts: 320
    Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:38 pm

    Disassociating the game from the gamble

    Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:40 am

    I was addicted to the pokies for over 15 years, from the late 90's until i put my last coin in a machine back in April 2014. This addiction to playing those machines probably saw me easily lose over $250K, and left me (which i still am) in a mountain of debt and with a lot of harsh realities as i know that at my age 47 now, probably very few things i may have perhaps thought i could have when younger would ever be a reality now. The machines not only took my money, but cost me my time too...something which ones who still gamble on them really need to see the big picture of.

    However, in the last couple of months or so, i chanced upon the facebook app vegas hearts casino. Now, people might say i am dancing with the devil a bit here, but i now can play all the games i used to play for money, now just playing for free using the imaginary facebook tokens. The strange thing is with me, they are realistic to an astounding degree, and a lot of that realism comes from simply how long i go without getting features or any sort of significant payout in tokens. It's exactly like playing them, but i have been able to remove the link that needing to play them also involves needing to feed $50 notes into the slots of them. I never buy any tokens which they often have pop-up ads for, i just replenish my usually depleted tally every time i log into it by collecting the freebies they give out. Thus, what once saw me spend hours and hundreds of dollars playing pokies in a venue (and also playing online pokies which take just as much money from your credit cards) i can now play for absolutely free, and i get the same sort of 'hit' as i did before.

    Perhaps i am a little different to many. I am single, and have always been so, which means i've never had a family to consider with my bad life choices. But if there are some who are on their own who will either play the pokies online or go into venues alone....it might be worth a try. In my case though i didn't play them at all for over a year, as i had to mentally brow-beat into my subconscious that i just cannot keep wasting money into the machines. I was able to just refrain from playing them in-venue and also deleted all the online casino software and email links, to avoid falling for the inevitable match bonus offers they use to hook you back in.

    But i think back to my pinball and nintendo game playing teenage years in the 80's, and i reckon that maybe i've always been addicted to games as such....and it was the want/desire to play the pokies (and therefore always try to 'master' the machine by getting the ultimate payout) that kept me playing those things for so long, and spending so much money. It's money and time i can never get back, that much i have accepted. But i find i still get a feeling of disappointment when i lose several hundred thousand tokens down to zilch, almost like the feeling you get when leaving a venue with an empty wallet. But, and the key thing is that no money changes hands. I reckon that it could help occupy the minds and hands of some who maybe do want the pokie rush, but also know that they cannot keep putting money into the machines. This way, they are free, and i also have had no desire to go into a venue to play them for real anymore. I have disassociated the money from the game, and now they to me seem harmless.

    Like i said, it might be dancing with the devil a bit, but i can't help but feel that if this app was around many years ago, i'd have played it then and weaned myself off the gambling. I'll never know i guess now, but i now can safely play all the Aristocrat games i played (and lost stacks on) in the venues from the comfort of my desktop. I stay home, my wallet stays in my pocket, and my bank balance doesn't change. A perfect scenario for me, and i reckon this will satiate my sort of desire for a rush perfectly well compared to the dangerous allure of the machines in a venue.

    Just my two cents worth, interesting to see what others may think.
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    pamela
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1663
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: Disassociating the game from the gamble

    Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:38 pm

    I agree that it is a good way to get your fix without losing money..it may not work for everyone but it is worth a go
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    Charlotte (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 384
    Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:53 am

    Re: Disassociating the game from the gamble

    Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:50 pm

    Hi Dave,

    this is an interesting line of thought, and not the first time I've heard of people playing moneyless games as a replacement for gambling. I reckon you're right, perhaps it will be good for some people and not for others.... In it's defence, it sounds like an activity that's fulfilling the need that pokies did without the financial harm; on the other hand it brings to mind the expression "if you sit in the barber's chair long enough, youll get a haircut..."

    What do others think?

    Charlotte
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    JColin
    Junior Member
    Posts: 2
    Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:17 am

    Re: Disassociating the game from the gamble

    Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:55 am

    Hi, Dave, thanks for sharing your story, I can definitely relate to it. If you call playing on facebook dancing with the devil, I don't know what to call what I'm doing. I play at real-money online casinos but in practice mode. It works for me, because I can play exactly the same games that I used to play before, but I don't risk any money. Somehow it calms down my urges to gamble. Just like you, I realized that I get addicted to the game itself, not as much to the possibility to win. Yet again, I don't think this could work for everyone, and even might be quite dangerous if you're not in a good place at the moment...
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    Dave68
    Senior Member
    Posts: 320
    Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: Disassociating the game from the gamble

    Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:03 am

    I reckon JColin that playing these free apps can be a release and a way to perhaps get the gaming hit as such without suffering from the financial hit. I'm still playing the facebook one on my desktop and still happily play and lose the free coins, without even considering actually paying for extra tokens and therefore sort of getting into a similar boat like playing pokies in-venue. I do notice lots of pop-ups that encourage you to buy extra tokens, even at a fairly small price, and they have 'loyalty levels' etc that rise when you play and bet more. In a way this is just like playing pokies because i can see how they can lure people into buying tokens, and therefore spending money, which no doubt goes to Aristocrat for letting this software be used.

    But to be honest now, if i lose and get to zero, i just log off and do something else, The tokens have no value, they are trying to replicate the 'win the jackpot' urge a pokie player has and therefore get people to spend money on them. That can be dangerous and i reckon could leave people effectively gambling without putting money in the slots as such. However for me just playing them is enough, and i've probably done so now for over two months without nary a thought about buying tokens, or thinking i'll go to a venue and put money into a real machine. And as long as that feeling continues (and the memories of the $250K i have lost and heaps of debts i have keeps my mind always aware of this) i reckon i can play these and just amuse myself harmlessly.

    So for you too JColin, if it's working for you and you can just play them without feeling the need to get the real hit in venue or online with money, go for it i think. Whatever works to stop us spending our money is worth doing i reckon. Good luck anyway.
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    pamela
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1663
    Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:38 pm

    Re: Disassociating the game from the gamble

    Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:10 pm

    I agree ..I occasionally play the on line games but I have no desire to spend my own money.I still maintain that if the pokies in the venues were black and white and had no sound..no=one would play them because they wouldn't be as hypnotising
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    JAPAZ
    Member
    Posts: 30
    Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:00 pm

    Re: Disassociating the game from the gamble

    Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:30 am

    Betting for free is superior to betting for money. Long-term, I'd still try and stay away from games like that. I feel that giving them 'clicks' or 'air time,' keeps them popular and keeps them active so far as advertising goes (notwithstanding they probably survive the most on real money).

    I've heard of some supposed profitable ways of gambling recently. For starters, I have genuine skepticism because of how much I've lost over the years. But even if it was actually true, I am still reluctant to even want to give the industry any of my time. Plus any supposed/hypothetical profits are just taking away from the money another gambler has invested in the pool. To link this situation to yours, it is just about not wanting to give the industry any more air time than it gets (excluding discussions on quitting).

    While I still get the odd urge to gamble, I've grown to really detest the industry. That is not to shift liability away from any of my own actions, but gambling to me is like daylight robbery promoted as fun and safe, when it is just another profitable and taxable business that uses psychology to exploit the vulnerable.
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