Skip to Main Content

Michelle's story

Lost everything. I started out playing pokies online spending about $40 per week. Over a period of 2 years my gambling was up to $30,000 per week some weeks and that money was embezzled from my employer in the end to fund my addiction.

I worked fulltime, was well-respected, hardworking and a great mum but was suffering mental health issues and gambling was my way to switch off at night.

Prior to this 2-year period, I had never gambled. My theft of my employers’ funds led to my arrest. I was charged, sentenced to maximum security prison and will repay that money back for a very long time. $436,000.

My actions put my family through hell, my employers’ business was destroyed, their families impacted, and to this very day, 6 years later, we are all still paying the price.

Getting a job with a criminal conviction is not easy. But I have got a fulltime job and need it as I’m paying back the money I stole to feed my gambling. The lies, deception, utter destruction, embarrassment to my teenage children, all assets seized and sold, family home gone, my partner left... the list goes on.

My life as a result of gambling and those affected by my actions will be ongoing for a very long time. So please to anyone who is gambling as an escape, a switch off etc please seek help. I wish I had. We all know you might have a couple of wins gambling but in the end you do not win. Think of what impact your gambling is having on you and others and seek help immediately. Believe me there is a lot to lose by not getting help. From someone who lost everything, went to prison and still rebuilding at the age of 50, 6 years after being released, the shame, guilt, embarrassment is with me every day.