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Alex's story

I have been gambling on the pokies for more than 20 years. I started off with small bets at my local pub; then gradually over the years I upped my bet to $2–$3 and thought 'wow I can win some big money here'.

I remember my first big win in 2010 when I started increasing my bets to $5 on a game. I won $5000 from just $100. I lost all of that money within a week. I've had similar wins around that amount but I've always put the money back and lost it. In 2015, I got into major debt with loans and credit cards ... you name it, anything to get money, just so I can put it in these machines.

I turned to online gambling slots and this is where things got ridiculous. I deposited one day $300, that's all I had left in my account and I won $180,000 from a $37.50 bet. I withdrew the money and came into my account within 3 days. I said 'that's it, I'm done, I'm not putting a cent back'. But within 2 weeks I uploaded $1000 dollars to try some online black jack and started doing $50 bets. I lost that $1000 and I got hooked at that very moment and half hour later I blew the whole lot $180,000. I had no control. So no matter what money I get, I blow it. I was devastated but in the back of my head I kept saying you only blew $300.

Now I'm still trying to give up as hard as I can. I realiased gambling is all about feeling that rush of a win and having the feeling everyday of being up that day.