A financial counsellor is calling for greater awareness on the issue of gambling in the community.
Alan Naylor, from Mid North Coast Financial Counselling Service, has seen first hand the dire consequences from gambling addictions.
Given there is still a stigma which exists within the community, Mr Naylor said people tend to only seek help when they reach crisis point.
With the emergence of digital technology, gambling has become easier to hide from families and friends.
In this case, Mr Naylor said it's become an issue with adolescent people in the community.
"There was one case where a woman's son used her credit card details to gamble," he said.
"The mother only found out when the card maxed out at $10,000," he said.
Mr Naylor said gambling has become normalised in society and people can bet on almost anything such as horse races and football matches.
He said there's nothing wrong with having a bet, the problem starts when people gamble outside of their financial means.
The government, Mr Naylor said is hesitant to enforce tighter regulations around gambling, as they receive benefits from tax.
"There's no disincentive from their point of view to stop the gambling," he said.
However Mr Naylor said in reality it's up to the individual to stop. He said there can be underlying issues when it comes to their behaviour.
The clubs have also made it easy for people to stay at the pokie machines, bringing drinks to attendees.
Mr Naylor said this encourages people to stay and keep losing, as there is no reason for them to move.
There are common myths that people will tell themselves to justify their continuation of gambling.
"They will return to play on the same machine, or believe if they push the button in the same way they'll eventually win," Mr Naylor said.
"The reality is, even though they might have a win, overall they will lose."
Mr Nayor has seen the consequences as a result of gambling addictions. He said it can lead to debt, insolvency and bankruptcy.
Relationships an break down as a result of ongoing stress on family members, due to the secrecy of the addition.
Mr Naylor said people don't seek help until they reach breaking point because they believe having a win through gambling will fix all their issues.
Stephen Edman has been a gambling counsellor for 20 years and said more has to be done by the government to educate people about gambling.
"So that people can be aware of dangers that might well present," he said.
Mr Edman takes the counselling approach of "one size doesn't fit all".
He said people often have underlying emotional issues which are masked through their addition.
Mr Edman will often ask his clients to write down their goals, as he said a goal without a plan is just a wish.
To seek help please contact the gambling helpline on 1800 858 858.
People can book a free face to face appointment with a financial counsellor by calling 1300 662 540.
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