High Stakes (Gambling)

We all enjoy a bit of a flutter once in a while. But for some people, gambling is a debilitating addiction.

Approximately two per cent of all Australians, or 330,000 people, have a gambling problem. Problem gambling destroys careers and relationships, breaks up families and often leaves the gambler with insurmountable debts that they ultimately attempt to pay back the only way they know ” by winning next time.

Only a small percentage of people who gamble will develop a problem with gambling. Warning signs that someone may have a gambling problem include:

  • Going to gambling venues alone and more often
  • Staying at a gambling venue for long periods
  • Spending more time on gambling than other interests
  • Gambling down to the last dollar
  • Thinking about gambling all the time
  • Trying to win back lost money by further gambling
  • Loss of enjoyment in gambling
  • Inability to control overspending
  • Lying to friends and family about gambling
  • Feeling depressed or having problems sleeping because of worry about gambling
  • Missing school or work due to gambling

But no matter how terrible the problem may seem, there is help available. There are many organisations that can offer support, assistance and counselling for problem gamblers. Asking for help is the first step. Call Gamblers’ Helpline on 1800 156 789, go to www.gspot.org.au or contact Gamblers Anonymous. Gamblers Anonymous is a support group for people with a gambling problem. To find a meeting near you, or for more info, go to www.gamblersanonymous.org.au

What Are the Odds?

Event Chances

Pulling an ace from a deck of cards: 1 in 13

Roulette number coming up: 1 in 37

Winning a trifecta: 1 in 1,716

Winning Powerball: 1 in 54,979,155

Winning Oz Lotto: 1 in 8,145,060

Winning Lotto: 1 in 7,059,052

Winning 6 from 36 Pools: 1 in 2,760,681

Winning $2 Lottery: 1 in 180,000

Winning $5 Lottery: 1 in 140,000

Dying from heart disease: 1 in 4

Being killed by lightning: 1 in 1,603,250

Being Kidnapped: 1 in 33,223

Dying from a venomous bite or sting: 1 in 1,159,364

Marriage ending in divorce: 1 in 2.3

Source: Australian Institute for Gambling Research Web site ( University of Western Sydney ),
citing Professor Croucher ( Macquarie University )

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