Hi everyone. My name is Joey, and this is my experience with gambling. When I was in middle school, I was often alone. I didn’t have many friends, and my parents weren’t around very much.
When I was in high school, I started gambling because I enjoyed it. I liked the thrill of gambling and the idea I could win big money. I played dice. I tried gambling online with in-game currency, and I played slot machines. I won some money and had a lot of fun But soon I couldn’t stop thinking about gambling.
I started gambling every day, and I began to lose more money than I won. I started stealing from friends and family, borrowing money I knew I couldn’t pay back in order to continue gambling. At this point, my friends and family became concerned. They asked me to stop gambling, but I was confident I could win back my losses if I just kept playing. The possibility of winning was so tempting I thought the next time I played I’d win for sure, but I was wrong.
I wish I knew that casino games were rigged against me. The slot machines I love to play are a huge source of income for casinos who keep up to 25% of the money gambled into them. This means in the long run I always lose.
I wish I knew was 200 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to win the lottery. Seeing gambling as a hobby was a big mistake. I wish I had stopped before I lost everything. I was kicked out of my place, I lost a lot of money, and I even lost the trust my friends and family who tried to tell me my gambling had become a problem. Finally, I listened to them.
I realized I wasn’t alone with this problem. Lots of people my age have gambling concerns. In fact 43% of students in Ontario from grades 7 to 12 gamble in some form.
I looked through the resources for teenagers with gambling concerns and found support groups, websites and professionals who cared about me and wanted to offer their help. Thanks to their support, I’m in a better place! Every day, I’m more confident I can manage my gambling concerns. For me, that’s a great feeling. This video is presented by St. Michael’s Hospital’s Centre for Urban Health Solutions and the GREO Knowledge Hub.
Here are the resources available for gambling concerns. For immediate help with gambling concerns, please contact this number. Thank you for watching. For more information, please visit gamblingandpoverty.ca.