Welcome to our online peer support community - A supportive place for anyone making change in their gambling, as well as concerned friends and family.
  • Connect, be inspired, motivate others. Share your experience & strategies.
  • Safe. Anonymous. Professionally monitored. Free of judgement.

    To join the discussion, sign up today.
    Join us Tuesdays at 8pm - 10pm AEST for Chatty Tuesday.
  • My gambling roller coaster

    For people making and maintaining change in their gambling. Connect, ask questions, offer advice, and share your story in here. If you are new to the site drop in and say hello!
    Junior Member
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:09 am

    My gambling roller coaster

    Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:19 am

    I never imagined my self being in the position I am in today. I’m 20 years old, a student, and approximately $14,000 in debt that I owe my friends.

    If you’re interested, my gambling journey began like this...

    2016 - My 18th birthday was the first time I gambled. I went with family and friends to the casino and made about $400 that night.

    From there my friends and I often visited the casino once a week, bringing about $100-$200 to spend. Was still in year 12 high school at the time.

    2017 - casino visits about 2 times a week on aveage through out the entire year. Spending increase to $200-$300 per visit. Income would come from working at my fathers cafe. I did not go to university.

    MID 2017 - I decided to go study at uni, one problem, casino and uni were both very close to each other. Most mornings before class I’d gamble. Online gambling also came into my life. I left uni.

    2018 - I worked as a truck jockey earning decent pay for a 19 year old, but my online gambling took basically 70% of my earning for each week. I asked my friends to do small bets for me and when they lost we’d double down on them. My mates are pretty well off and they can afford to keep spending, and it lead me to owing them a bit more than I can afford. I owed my friend about $2000.

    Mid 2018 - I left to work at my fathers new cafe and worked towards paying the debt off.

    Its pretty sad from here for me because I learnt a lot between 2018-19...

    I always knew my father gambled for fun. But I never knew he was compulsive like me... I learnt he uses the profits from the business to gamble. I also saw how much stress he goes through the next morning he comes to work if he lost the money. Almost everyday he travels to he casino to gamble. I assume he lost the money the one night he doesn’t go there. He is in many thousands of dollars of debt with credit cards. It’s devastating because he’s a single parent with my self and 2 younger siblings.

    I’ve followed in his foot steps unfortunately.

    So I wanted to change that.

    But I’m so stupid.

    I aimed to pay my friend all the money back by 2019 and made my New Years resolution to never gamble again! Yes, I made it I paid him back. But I also went to the casino with my other friend to gamble $300 I brought with me that I accumulated extra with me. I told my self, “this is the last time I’ll gamble so I’ll bet for one last time” I made some money but then I went down hill and lost the $300 that night. And if you’re and addict and know what it feels like to be in profit and lose it all in an instance... you’ll bet with any money you’ve got
    in reach. My friend lent me $200 and I lost it.

    Now if you’ve read this far I’m impressed. It’s a pretty detailed story I know, but I am trying to show how all these small things lead to huge consequences.

    So I paid friend #1 $2000
    And now I owe friend #2 $200

    Why don’t I just leave while I can and pay the $200 easy?

    I wish.

    A soccer match is starting in an hour and my friend wanted to watch and bet on it, as he actually planned before we went to the casino.
    “Can you do the same bet for me so I don’t leave the casino tonight at a loss?”

    At this point I have no money in my bank account so I depend on him to bet for me.

    Friend #2 doubles down for me $400 =$600 debt.

    It loses.

    2 days later we meet up, it’s 2019, I’m still in debt... We do $1000 bet each on an other game and it loses... we’re chasing hard.


    Long story short, my friend has money to keep allowing me to chase my loses. He figures I can pay him back, and if he bets for me he’ll get his money back from me sooner... few month into 2019 I owe my friend $9000.

    Friend #1 quit gambling since 2019.

    March 2019 - Welcome back friend #1... he’s back into it.

    Friend #2 won’t do anymore bets for me and friend #1 asks me to do bets for him because he banned all his accounts, and if I do the bet for him he’ll let me borrow!

    It gets crazy, I get back into debt about 1.5k with friend #1 and still owe $9k by 2020 to friend #2.

    Friend #1 learns that I owe friend #2 9k and try’s to help me out by getting out of the debt I owe him... we continue to bet and did win some, but ultimately we lost.

    I owe friend #1 $4,000 and friend #2 $9,000.

    Before I owed this much debt I wanted to go back to uni to study. I wanted to get away from my father and his gambling problems and create a better future for my self. I am currently at uni now but considering dropping out for a bit again to work off that debt. I am balancing uni with work at the moment, and thank god I have another job that I take night shifts at.

    Life is a struggle at the moment and my friends expect payment by 2020. I don’t want to stop uni but I think I might have to... I haven’t decided on what to do yet.

    I just want to know if there is anyone else out there that has had similar experience at such a young age and what they did to handle it...

    More to come about progress. Positive I hope!
    3 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 126
    Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:13 am

    Re: My gambling roller coaster

    Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:00 pm

    Hi @S@Sam11 ,

    I'm Tim Tam, one of the facilitators on GHO.

    Good on you for reaching out for help on the forums. I hope you find other member's advice, support and personal experiences to be helpful to you.

    It sounds like you are stuck in that common cycle that all gamblers find themselves in.
    Chasing losses as you already know, becomes toxic as we think we can win back the money we spent but that's not the case.

    If you like, you can look at different ways of tackling the habit by gambling counselling, self-exclusion (banning yourself) and also finding other places or activities for you to immerse yourself in. You are more than welcome to call the helpline if any of this interests you. It's also very common for young people to access this type of support.

    Kind regards,

    Tim Tam
    2 x
    How the F did I get here
    Senior Member
    Posts: 378
    Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:05 pm

    Re: My gambling roller coaster

    Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:33 pm

    Hey Mate,

    My story is similar in the whole chasing loses. Which I think is the case for most of us. My vice is the pokies, however I have an addictive personality towards anything.
    I've punted over the years but pokies have been my drama.

    I started young also 18 and was pretty much pumping in my whole wage every other week within 6 months. Didn't owe massive amounts like you at the start, but did owe some.

    I don't really know what to say except you need to try and kick this habit now.
    You don't want to waste your youth like so many of us on here. You dont want to wake up one day in your 30's or 40's and so on, with zero $$ in your bank, debt worse than now, not having had any real enjoyment out of life due to lack of money and being able to do things, and worst of all hating yourself to the core due to how your life has turned out.

    Maybe get some counseling, go to GA. I know you probably can't talk to your dad because of his addiction, do you have another trusted family member you could confide in, get support from and maybe help you control your $$? Would be great if you found/connected on here with someone your age that is going thru this, I mean in the sense of chatted on here with via message.

    Actually there's a few guys in the forum who are in their early 20's who's addiction is sports betting/horse. Hopfully you could connect with them.
    2 x

    Return to “Change Makers”