GAMBLING: Pokies. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
GAMBLING: Pokies. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Our Say: Gamble on seeking help – it will pay

FOR many people, playing poker machines is the ultimate Catch-22.

There are those who gamble in the hope of relieving financial pressure, only to find themselves under more strain because of the money they have put through a poker machine.

Then there are others who would love to stop, who want to beat what has become an addiction, but are too embarrassed or ashamed to reach out for help.

Here on the Fraser Coast, punters lost $4,294,000.77 in March in poker machines around the region.

That figure in itself is depressing, representing $159.82 per household.

Gambling addiction can affect anyone, from those who have money to spend to those who depend on every dollar in their budget.

And addiction affects people in different ways, from the pensioner who can't afford to pay rent to the mother who finds herself spending less and less time with her children because she just wants to put "one last dollar" into the machine.

Society pays a very heavy price when a person becomes addicted to the poker machines, no matter what way you look at it.

It is our responsibility to remove the stigma attached to addiction so those who need help feel comfortable reaching out for it.

We need to remember that any problem we may have, financial or otherwise, is unlikely to be solved by putting our dollars through a poker machine. If you need help beating a gambling addiction, contact Gamblers Anonymous on (07) 3356 0117 or email garsoqi@live.com.au.