How to Stop Gambling on Pokies

 to Stop Gambling on Pokies

Pokies are a fun game most of us enjoy playing. However, there are some of us who can’t realize when it’s time to stop — And it is those who develop a gambling addiction. In this article, we are finding out how to know if you have a problem and how to overcome it.

Quitting Pokies: Fighting the Addiction

In Australia, we just can’t get enough of Pokies. It seems like every corner you turn, you’ll bump into a row of poker machines. They’re not just restricted to casinos anymore — Walk into a pub, and you’ll see an echelon of people hitting the spin button.

The main reason for such popularity of pokie machines is their simplicity in gameplay and the amount of fun they provide. It’s almost weird how hitting one single button all over again can be so exciting. But some people take it too far. Or to be more precise, the Pokies take them too far.

Playing Pokies on a regular basis needs to come with a dose of self-control not all of us might have. Gambling addiction can result in many financial problems, with people ending up in huge debts and unpaid bills. It can go so far as to cause strains on personal relationships.

The first thing you need to do before you address an addiction issue is to recognize you have one.

Spotting the Problem

So what’s the difference between just enjoying a game on frequent occasions, and having trouble stopping? There are a few telltale signs that show you might have an issue. For example, have you ever lied about it? Pokie addicts are generally secretive about how often they play. If you tell your family you’re going to have a beer with your mates, but instead, you end up sitting for hours by a Pokie machine, you might have a problem. Innately, you’re aware you’re overdoing it, hence the lies.

Also, you should consider how far you go each time you play. Do you gamble until you lose your last dime? Or can you control yourself enough to walk away regardless of whether you’re winning or not? The biggest side-effect of gambling addiction is the fact that players can’t restrain themselves. Soon after they’ve spent their pocket money, they move on to the funds that were put aside for paying the bills. That’s how they create financial troubles and force themselves into debt.

Lastly, don’t ignore your family and friends. If they’re worried about you, it’s probably for a reason. Don’t dismiss their advice just because you think they’re being overcautious and you’re too proud to admit that you have a problem. Once you accept you have it, you have to fight it.

First Rule of Addiction

games' rules

You’ve probably heard this a hundred times —You have to approach your problem face to face. Many find comfort in support groups. Surrounding yourself with people who have the same or similar issues can help you better understand what you’re dealing with. It can also make it easier for you as you will realize that it’s perfectly normal to have a problem. It’s not weakness to require help — It’s a weakness to run away from it.

You have to get to know yourself better. What caused this hobby to become an addiction? If you play Pokies out of boredom, replace it with another activity. Read a book or play a video game at home. If you do it because it relieves you of stress, there are plenty of other ways to do it. Start working out, it will have the same effect and you’ll even feel better.

Don’t think of gambling as a means of making money. The odds are stacked against you, and in the long run, chances are you’ll just keep spending more. Gambling’s supposed to be a fun hobby, not your primary source of income.

Sometimes, there’s a deeper underlying problem behind addiction. It can be a manifestation of depression, anxiety or other psychological issues. You should consider seeking professional help.

Never feel ashamed of your problem. It’s difficult to fight the addiction as it is, let alone if you do it on your own. Your friends and family can provide you with much-needed support, and they’ll help you overcome this struggle.


Most of the casinos, online and land-based alike, offer a program of self-exclusion to their customers. This, essentially, allows you to talk to the casino and tell it to forbid you from playing. Whilst some see this as an act of promotion, as opposed to the genuine desire to help, it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. If it can help you, use it.

Casinos don’t allow self-excluded players to make a deposit in their casinos, and they will escort you out if you come wandering about. This is a great possibility for those of us who are aware they can’t help giving in to the urge of trying just one more spin.

You can also call for self-exclusion for a definite amount of time. This can help you make a pause, step back, and reevaluate your situation. Sometimes, you just need a break.

Fight the Urge

The hardest thing to do is say no when you feel the need to gamble. To avoid it, try delaying the decision until that urge goes away. If you really think it’s smart to gamble, then you’ll feel the same way in an hour. So wait for an hour to pass, and maybe you won’t want it as much.

Provide yourself with some distractions. Go for a run, put some movies on or invite your friends over. Just occupy your mind with something unrelated to gambling and try to forget about it. In the end, try making a plan with the money you have. If you’re saving for a holiday, you’ll be proud of yourself that you fought the gambling impulse in favour of the greater good.


Playing Pokies is fun, and that’s something we can all agree upon. But you should always remain in control of it. If you notice you’re putting too much money and time into it, take a step back. You might have a gambling problem.

With the help of friends, family, and other people who have experience with addictions, you can work on your own, and ultimately, beat it. Once you succeed, it’s paramount you don’t go back to it and always remain in control. Remember — Pokies are a leisure activity, not the focal point of your everyday life.

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