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Personal stories

Gambling harm isn’t just about losing money. It can affect how you feel.

We know it can be hard but talking about it means you can start to feel better.

Here are some real life stories of people who opened up and talked about the harm they were experiencing and got the support they needed. Now they share their story with you.

Share your story - Help others by sharing your story here

Lived Experience

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Pauline

When she was gambling, Pauline transformed from being a bubbly person who loved bright clothing. What was she going to do to feel like her true self again?

Read Pauline's story
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Connie

Connie was a successful businesswoman with a great reputation. But after crossing paths with some shady characters, she turned to gambling and crime and lost her way.

Read Connie's story
Beryl

Beryl

When Beryl started playing the pokies, she thought of it as her ‘time out’. But it became a lonely experience where her common sense was overridden by the psychology of play. Until COVID-19…

Read Beryl's story
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Ian Brett

Before he was 10 years old, Ian was earning money then finding adults willing to place bets for him. He went from casinos to rehabilitation units in a downwards spiral until he approached Gambler’s Help ready and eager to change.

Read Ian's story
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Steve

While Steve’s friends could bet a little then walk away, he spent years maxxing out his credit cards and feeling ashamed of his hidden gambling habit. Now his self-awareness and determination to live openly and honestly keep him on track.

Read Steve's story
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Jan

Jan dreamed of a happily-ever-after marriage but instead found herself mopping up after the crises created by her husband’s gambling.

Read Jan's story
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Patrick

Running and his determination to be a better dad and worker helped Patrick move on from gambling.

Read Patrick's story
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Terry

Gambling was meant to be a shortcut to retirement, but in reality, it was a roadblock. Once Terry woke up to the truth, he quit.

Read Terry's story
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Stuart

Stuart battled against drugs and gambling for years and finally quit after walking out of a counselling session.

Read Stuart's story
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Carol

Carol found support in her son’s love, and her counsellor to overcome a pokies habit.

Read Carol's story
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Rob Daniel

After years when his gambling habit ran out of control, Rob’s openness to treatment and support helped him turn his life around.

Read Rob's story
Michaela Settle

Michaela

Michaela Settle knew deep down that her then-husband was gambling, but denial was her ‘survival instinct’.

Read Michaela's story

Shared Stories

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There are many ways to seek professional and anonymous help for your own, or your loved one's problems with gambling.

If you need immediate help, please call Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858 or Gambler's Help Youthline on 1800 262 376 (from within Australia only). This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free and confidential.