Fight For You.

Brought to you by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

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I literally grew up on a racetrack. Tamworth Jockey Club, The Capital of Country Racing to be precise. My Dad was the secretary of the club, and has since gone on to build his career in the industry.

Saturdays for us kids were fabulous. We would get dressed up and head to the track. Dad would work, Mum would socialise and we would spend out time hanging out at the stables and playing with kittens which always seemed to be around. We would buy lollies at the little shop and watch the races.

If someone in our circle of friends had a big win, it was off to the local Chinese for us!

Yes I do believe I will have a pink lemonade…”

We were oblivious to the fact that for some families, a trip to the races was very likely to end in disaster, with no money for food or bills until the next pay cheque came through.

And then along came the pokies. In 1956, poker machines were legalised in New South Wales, changing the way Australians gambles forever. 

If you have ever played the pokies, you may know the trill of winning. The first time I tried a flutter on the pokies, I put in a dollar and won a week’s worth of rent. Surely that is good odds, no?

But pokies, like looming bands and Real Housewives of Melbourne, can quickly become addictive,and unfortunately the odds are stacked against you. Like with most addictions, you might need help breaking the habit.

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation is an independent statutory authority set up to focus on the impacts of excessive gambling, provide free support services and to foster responsible gambling for those who choose to have a punt.

How can you tell when you or someone you know has an issue with gambling?

Here are some signs to look out for. Do you, or someone you know…

  • Gamble to avoid dealing with problems or disappointments
  • Skip work or study to gamble
  • Gamble instead of spending time with family and friends
  • Think about gambling every day
  • Gamble to win back money lost throughout gambling.
  • Feel depressed because of gambling
  • Lie or keep secrets about gambling
  • Argue with family and friends about gambling
  • Borrow money to Gamble
  • Gamble until every dollar is gone
  • Don’t pay bills and use the money for gambling instead
  • Try to stop gambling, but can’t.

The Foundation’s Fight for You 100 Day Challenge follows the story of four real people who have decided to take control over their gambling, and their lives. They record their thoughts and feelings in a video diary for 100 days, and it is raw, emotional and real.

Meet Anna.

More than just a campaign, www.fightforyou.com.au is an online support service that gives people the opportunity to sign up for the 100 Day Challenge, join online forums, chat live with a counsellor, receive tips and tools for controlling their gambling, set goals, track their gambling and keep their own private written or video diary.

If you, or someone you love has a problem with gambling, please know that you are not alone.  So far, over 3,4000 Australians have signed up for the help, support and encouragement available through the Fight for You 100 Day Challenge campaign. It is great to know that there is a non-judgmental community that is out there, waiting to help you take back control.

Please visit www.fightforyou.com.au for more information, and share the website around, because the more we talk about problem gambling, the less of a stigma will be attached to it. Help is there. And I am so glad that I was able to tell you all about it.

Has gambling affected someone you know?

Please feel free to share your story.