Is life a game of chance?

Unfortunately, life is not a game of chance

How gambling addiction can ruin your life

The gambling addiction started when I was 18 years old. In the beginning it was just “soccer betting”, so I made bets and paid minimal amounts for the time being. After that, more and more came along. You can bet and lose your money pretty much anywhere today, be it betting on soccer, betting on dogs, gambling machines, in the casino. The list is endless. I was pretty naive then too. At the beginning of my gambling addiction, I still thought that my stakes would be limited anyway. At least I thought I could control it. But soon it was no longer enough for me to only use small amounts. It got more and more. I went to the betting shop every day, gave my soccer tips and went back home. There I immediately switched on my laptop and watched the games. It went on like this day after day.

After a while I started using the gaming machine. When registering for the first time there was a voucher from the betting office. With this I immediately won 200 euros and I was immediately very happy. It is extremely nice to win so much money! I had the money paid out and immediately bought clothes, shoes and perfume around it. The next day I went back to the betting office and of course wanted to repeat my lucky run from the day before. But within a very short time the machine swallowed 150 euros. I went home and wondered what I might have done wrong. It wasn't a tragedy yet, as I had won money the day before. The next day I started another visit to the betting shop. The loss of the lecture no longer affected me. I wanted to win. Again and again I thought about what kind of profit I could afford. And this thought circled like a carousel in my head and was permanently present. I gambled away 300 euros. After the money was gone, I was pretty devastated and wondering how to make ends meet this month. Fortunately, before I answered the call from the betting office, I had already transferred the rent for my apartment. Before the new wages were transferred, I kept thinking about whether or not I should go to the betting office. I still had my behavior under control - at least I thought. Actually, I didn't want to go to the betting office anymore, but the pressure of addiction was already too great at that point. I went there, of course, and kept losing.

Month after month passed without my doing anything about it. At some point it was the case that the three-digit sums were no longer enough. I gambled more and more. Then I try my luck at card poker. I won small amounts every now and then, but in the end I still made a minus. It got worse and worse, and then the logical consequence was that at the beginning of the month all my wages went down. As a result, I could no longer pay my rent, had no money to eat and was completely devastated. I had no idea how to proceed now. I applied to my bank for a loan, which was also granted to me. I vowed not to go to the betting shop anymore. But my vows were hot air. The following month I gambled away all of my wages again and reluctantly had to pump money into my friends. I had gotten to the point where I quit my job because all I could think about was gambling. And after months of not paying rent, I was kicked out of the apartment.

Fortunately, I had good friends who helped me. They took me into their home and gave me the chance to start all over again. I drew up a financial plan and looked for work. Since I didn't have to pay anything for my friends to live in, I helped in the household and in the garden in return. I found work and things slowly improved again. After almost two months, I had almost paid off my debts. I got my own apartment again. All went well for a while. But then everything started all over again. What made me desperate most of all was that I had a young son. I wanted to give him something for his birthday, Easter and Christmas. But with what? I started ordering online. I couldn't pay for my purchases. Again I lost my job and lived at the bare minimum. Even my young son noticed that I had neither work nor money. That made me very upset and very sad. On the one hand I am worried that my son is not living with me, on the other hand I am glad that he is with my mother, who really looks after him very well. I know that I am not even remotely able to provide for my child financially. As it had to come, I lost my apartment again and ended up in the emergency shelter.

I do not wish anyone such an addiction. She's ruining your life. I really hope that I can get my gambling addiction under control and lead a normal life again. I'm nervous and have little hope. I just want to lead a normal life again, be financially secure and be able to offer my son something. However, the chances of a happy life are very slim.

Published anonymously in the street newspaper Kupfermuckn Linz in November 2017

Published on 01/29/2018