Normally the questions we receive relate to how you can win on pokies or where you can go to enjoy specific pokies online or offline, but today is a different type of question. Today we received a question that actually asks how to stop playing the pokies.
With the fact that problem gambling is an issue in a minority of gamblers, we thought it prudent to give information that will help those wanting to know how to stop playing the pokies and remove the temptations they feel. Now, for those of us that only play pokies recreationally there is no issue with overspending on the pokies, but often people say they go to so they can have a game.
How to stop playing the pokies
Step one is to remove the temptation, ensure that you do not go into the vicinity of places housing pokies so you physically cannot get to the offline versions of the game. Also for online pokies, ensure you inform the online casinos of your issue and close your account.
Secondly, look at finding a way of ridding yourself of the credit cards and other financial pitfalls that you could use to fund your pokie addiction, no money means no possibilities.
Change your routine. That is to say, many people who have pokie addictions have a routine they follow for going and playing the pokies. Don’t simply stop going otherwise you will have issues with getting bored, you need to fill the time so you are not thinking of your vice.
Inform family and friends you trust, or seek professional guidance. You can’t solve the issue on your own, you need to be able to have someone to turn to and talk to when you are struggling, otherwise, you may cave into the urge.
Where to seek help if you think you really are addicted to pokies?
If pokies is affecting your health or finances, or negatively impacting on your relationships it’s time to seek help. In some states and territories Australia has specialist gambling support programs providing:
- face-to-face counselling services for people with a pokies problem or their partners and family
- assistance to overcome a pokies problem, review gambling behaviour and the factors which trigger the habit
- support to minimise the harm resulting from gambling and strategies to avoid relapse into uncontrolled gambling behaviour
- financial counselling to address debts, cope with creditors and reorganise financial affairs.
Contact the Problem gambling counselling centers in Australia nearest to you to speak to a counsellor or to book a counselling appointment.
You can call all the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858 for free and confidential 24-hour counselling and crisis support. They also offer referrals to the closest Gambling Help service for face-to-face counselling.
Contact details for the Gambling Help service
- Brisbane and Redlands: Relationships Australia – phone (07) 3423 6955
- Bundaberg: UnitingCare Community – phone (07) 4153 8400
- Cairns and Far North Queensland: UnitingCare Community – phone (07) 4050 4955
- Gold Coast: Relationships Australia – phone (07) 5575 6122
- Ipswich: Relationships Australia – phone (07) 3281 8677
- Logan: Relationships Australia – phone (07) 3808 9235
- Mackay and Whitsunday: Relationships Australia – phone (07) 4957 4542
- Moreton Bay: Relationships Australia – phone (07) 5428 6244
- Mt Isa: Centacare – phone 1300 NQCARE (1300 672 273)
- Rockhampton and Central Queensland: Relationships Australia – phone (07) 4926 9377
- Sunshine Coast: Relationships Australia – phone (07) 5492 7255
- Toowoomba and South West: Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland – phone 1300 991 443
- Townsville: Centacare – phone 1300 NQCARE (1300 672 273)
- Wide Bay Burnett: UnitingCare Community – phone (07) 4191 3100
Seek help online
Gambling Help Online is a free, anonymous and confidential national website that provides live, online professional counselling and email support 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. On this website you’ll find extensive information and self-help tools to assist in identifying, and dealing with, problem gambling.
‘You can control your gambling’ self-help guide can be downloaded free-of-charge. You can use this guide to help identify and reduce the impact of your gambling habits in conjunction with counselling, or as a self-management tool.
If you still think you need to talk more with us about this you can contact us too and we can guide you how to stop playing pokies.