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Katherine's story

I'm 22 years old and I have a gambling problem. It started out when I was 18 year old, as harmless fun with my partner in which we'd go to the local pub, once a week, and put $20–50 max per night and do 30 cent bets.

Then one day I won $6000 on one of the machines doing bigger bets than I usually would do. I didn't put it all back into the machine but did manage to put at least half of it back in there and so that's when I decided to get a $10,000 dollar loan. I thought if I got a loan I'd be able to win the money that I lost and have money to spare and spend. But all of that went into the machines and yet I still keeping trying.

Throughout the next year I was putting most of my weekly wages into the machine, sometimes winning but mostly losing. During that time I toke out more short-term loans and a credit card, mounting to $9000 worth of debt. Then one night I went to the pub with my partner for dinner and while waiting for our food decided to go play some pokies and ended up winning $8900 which I immediately walked away with.

But once again I went there once or twice a week sometimes even three times a week and managed to put it all back. It made me feel so sick. I had a good paying job ($1100 per week after tax) and I still have nothing to show for it. The only thing I have are the debts. I still owe the bank $7000 even though it's been two years since I toke out the loans. And why haven't I paid off the loans? Because I kept losing my money each week.

The longest I've been able to get away from the addiction was 4 months. But I keep going back into this cycle. I'm 22 years old and I have almost no credit score what so ever because I could pay off my debts. And now I'm in my room, with my partner sleeping next to me, wide awake because I had just blown $2000 in the past two days.

I need to stop. I want to stop and I will stop.