Being an experienced, qualified practicing gambling Counsellor & psychotherapist my work in case confidence has exposed me to many of the most dire situations including death by suicide, multiple cases of fraud, theft, schemers, courts, imprisonment, reluctant prostitution, broken homes, evictions, assault, violence, abuse intimidation, AVO’s, domestic welfare shelters, bankruptcy and virtually every other imaginable life down side aspect of desperation due to problem gambling. For every one of these cases there was always a host of first, second, & generational flow on relational parties severely & negatively impacted.
For several years I was fortunate to work as a Counsellor and Intake Officer with a great team of Counsellors at a Surry Hills Gambling Counselling Centre before the Department of Gaming & Racing allocated funding elsewhere. That rather sadly brought an end to what had been an extremely successful Gambling Council centre.
A practice I must add burdened with insane performance expectations set by bureaucratic jockeys riding the system some of whom who actually well knew the truth of the matter about problem gambling but chose for personal reasons to go along for the ride.
At that gambling Counselling centre we were successful in treating many desperate problem gambling cases and their associated relations in the recovery from nigh impossible states of desperation and insolvency.
Virtually every one of the cases, & there were hundreds who attended each year reported that their primary trap of gambling was with poker machines. Poker machines are different to horse & flies up the wall.
Poker machines are scientifically, intentionally & I say wickedly, whilst brilliantly & knowingly designed to directly occupy & electronically intoxicate the central nervous system & in so doing virtually all incoming psychological & physiological stimuli are blocked or cognitively intercepted, hence the player zones out, electronically zeroed, visually, tactually & audibly by the brilliant full spectrum array of reflecting, mirrored colours, sounds, & touch generating a reclusive, private, environmental safety zone, hidden out & away from all of life’s torture & turmoil.
Virtually every one of these gamblers have traumaticised life problems founded in childhood which through life have gradually become insurmountable to them. We found that most were completely unaware to the founding cause of their “accent of behaviour” which has led them into this hellish inescapable place, that is a hellish inescapable place unless they zone out at a poker machine. When the money is gone the problem becomes greater, desperation sets in & the cheating & lying takes then down them down in a never ending spiral of hopelessness & isolation.
Those people who are attempting to resist the move to address this dramatically expanding problem, caused by poker machines simply do not understand the human science beneath & driving the dis-ease, so we need to actually advise the community & seek their support to help release these wounded individuals from their psychological “poker machine prison”.
Ongoing funding for the essential treatment of these traumatised individuals is essential as the problem is more insidious than alcohol, smoking and drugs because problem gamblers look like clean straight normal people with every day jobs they are too ashamed to admit they have a gambling problem.
Of course there are those who themselves become caught by the powers that be with their own individual needs & at times greedy vested interests who will be directed from moguls & controllers “Up Top” who ever they may be. Most of these are of the unkind who will never be convinced but the big dollars they are spending to protect their ill gotten gains certainly exposes their insatiable greed & wicked intentions to live upon the flesh of the wounded.
However the ancient adage about sleeping with dogs and waking up with fleas still applies.
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