Problem Gambling – Elizabeth

Problem Gambling – Elizabeth


I’m in the Wesley Counselling Support Services
which has financial counselling, gambling counselling in that service and we see many
people with a lot of financial and gambling problems. When they get to the stage where the credit
cards are maxed out, they’ve got too many credit cards to get any more, that’s when
they come to us. We don’t actually give advice. We look at
options. First of all we make them feel comfortable and ensure that they know by the way we speak
that we’re not going to judge how they got to the situation they are. Then we have to have a look at their financial
situation. Then we have a look at how far behind they are. Then we do an assets and
liabilities statement. Then we look at income and expenditure so we can see is there any
possibility to put in some repayment arrangement that will fit into that money plan. I often say to people when you get your ATM
slip, you might see $1,000 there. That money is waiting till the bill comes in and you
have to learn that that is not your money. Quite often the person with the gambling problem
has hidden it from the family. They often have a post office box, so that the statements
for credit cards and things don’t come. It’s quite often that the gambling person
is the one who is managing the household money. The partner trusts that to happen. When it’s
found out that there is a gambling problem, the shattering of the trust is absolutely
devastating for that partner. Because you can hide gambling, I mean if you’ve
got a drinking problem or a drug problem you’re not going to hide it as much as you can hide
gambling. You can hide gambling. I believe in financial counselling, I really
do. I’ve been doing it for 15 years now and I really, really believe it’s a very,
very good service especially as it’s free and people can come along and we’re not
trying to sell them anything or put them into any product. And we train so well to know
these options for people. It makes me feel good that that service exists and I’m a
part of it.

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