“People are drawn in by the chance of winning big, and those first big wins make you think that it will happen all the time. People trying gambling for the first time often experience ‘beginners luck’ which give them a false expectation on what gambling is like.”

Myths About Gambling

MYTH: You have to gamble every day to be a problem gambler.

FACT: A problem gambler may gamble frequently or infrequently. Gambling is a problem if it causes problems.

MYTH: Problem gambling is not really a problem if a gambler can afford it.

FACT: Problems caused by excessive gambling are not just financial. Too much time spent on gambling can also lead to relationship and legal problems, job loss, mental health problems including depression and anxiety, and even suicide.

MYTH: If a problem gambler builds up a debt, you should help them take care of it.

FACT: Quick fix solutions may appear to be the right thing to do. However, bailing the gambler out of debt may actually make matters worse by enabling gambling problems to continue.

MYTH: Partners of problem gamblers often drive problem gamblers to gamble.

FACT: Problem gamblers often rationalise their behaviour. Blaming others is one way to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, including what is needed to overcome the problem.

Myths About Pokies

MYTH: Poker machines are more likely to pay out at particular times of the day.

FACT: The result of each game is entirely random and is not affected by anything going on around you. The game has no way of knowing the amount of money the machine contains.

MYTH: Certain machines are "hotter" or "luckier" than others.

FACT: Poker machines are simply computers programmed to randomly select outcomes. While the odds may change depending on the game being played, individual machines are never "hot" or "lucky".

MYTH: If I'm a skilled enough gambler, I can beat the odds

FACT: Skill has no bearing on the outcome of playing the pokies. Your chance of winning when you sit down are the same as the person next to you.

MYTH: A "close miss" is an indication of an upcoming win.

FACT: Every event or "spin" is random and a separate event. A near miss means as much as any other loss.

Know your facts about betting

If you like to bet, here are some things to think about:

  • The gambling industry exists to make a profit. This is true for all types of gambling, from scratchies to pokies to sports betting.
  • The odds of winning on any game are hardly ever in your favour.
  • It doesn’t matter how long you play, the odds of winning don’t change whether you’re on game one or game 100.

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