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Gambling - Am I helping or Hurting

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Respi, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. A friend of mine clearly has a huge problem with Poker Machines in particular one called “Indian Dreaming†or something like that because he always goes on about the bloody thing.

    In my searching I came across a leaked file which is 100% what they use in the pubs and bars and runs all the same bells & whistles and stuff, which I think is what sets gamblers off?

    My question is; do you think I would be doing my friend more harm then good by giving him this file for his PC which would keep him from spending real money, but still allow him to get what ever buzz these games give him or am I in a dream land myself in thinking this will help him?

    What are your thoughts on the topic?

    Screenshot of the game enclosed

    P.S My thinking is - same game, same effects,same payouts,same sounds - no crash and burn when it sucks all yoru money in because the credits are fake..

  2. It's the thrill, the chance of walking out with more money. If he can sit at home and play on the computer and still get that thrill, go for it.

    But if he has to play the machine and is spending more than he can afford, he needs help - it is an addiction.

    Next time you go out with him, go to a pub/club/bar with no pokie machines, remove the temptation.
  3. It cant hurt to try.
  4. i thought that at first but then realised he's clearly got a problem, so whether I'm with him or not he's going to keep naling this machine.

  5. If he does that, it is his prob.
  6. True and I know this but a part of me just wants to try and help.
  7. I don't know anything about this stuff really, but is there any chance it could stimulate him into getting into online gambling? That's gotta be even worse than the hardware version, surely.
  8. A very good point!

    i had a go of this thing betting the maximum allowed which is $5 per spin. If this was real world - i would be $600 down.

    I just don't understand how one can be addicted to somethign that seems to always bend you over...
  9. My bizzare uncle, obsessed with poker machines, went to the club all the time blew cash. Then he tells me about these poker machines he's bought for home. I'm thinking, surely the fact there's no money involved means he'll be bored senseless.

    He loves it! Give it a shot!
  10. Being a gambler myself I'd play your game, then go and play the "real" thing. It would be a great distraction for when I don't have the cash to play though.
    I've played that game many times, even though I don't really like it. When it first came out it payed big and you were always getting the feature (free spins) but now its old and isn't anywhere near as good. They seem to let you win when they are new, then pork them when you get to like the game...

    Like most gamblers I have favorite machines - unlike most gamblers I leave them when they seem to have run their course.

    If your friend uses a "members card" btw, they can (not sure if they will) print out his wins/losses for the year - as long as he had the card in the machine when he was playing that is. Maybe that will be enough of a shock...lol.

    I'm about even this year (maybe a little ahead) btw...and I consider myself DAMN lucky. I've learned not to take credit cards, and take only what I'm willing to lose... But its been a long road learning to control myself and its cost me a lot.
  11. Bonkers - remind me to slap you around abit if you decide to catch up!
  12. Why?

    I don't gamble, but I like a drink or 12.

    Plenty of normal people have a 'vice' that seems a poor investment to some, but it's fun for them.

    Motorcycles for example... :eek:

    Spike your friend's food with laxatives so he physically can't stay at the machine, or something.
  13. OK time to come clean

    I work for the Office of the Liquor & Gambling Commissioner in South Australia. In particlular, I work in gambling machine administration. my main job is collection of the montly gaming machine tax but I am also involved in providing policy advice & attending several conferences on harm minimisation.

    NOTE: I am not a councellor & don't claim to be.

    i recently attended a seminar on problem gambling behaviour in Australia, and whether the introduction of a cashless gaming system allowing players to set their own limits for daily/weekly gambling would help address problem gambling behaviour.

    to cut to the chase, the biggest reason problem gamblers go over their own personal set limits are the myths & mistaken beliefs they have about gaming machines. That the 'big win' is coming. That the machine will play the feature soon. That the machine 'owes' them. That the machine is about to pay out cause it hasn't been paying out much.

    Problem gamblers also get more frustrated when free games or features don't come up.

    All these things are a load of crap. Gaming machines use random number generators to determine the outcome when you press the play button. Any previous wins/losses are not counted AT ALL. When you hit that 'play' button, the computer inside the machine randomly generates a number which corresponds to a particular pay out or loss. No external factors have ANYTHING to do with whether a machine is about to win or not.

    gaming machines are set to a particular 'return to player' (in SA it's minimum 87.5%) over the life of the game cycle. WHat does that mean? that means that by the time the machine has played every possible combination of symbols, it will have returned approx 87.5% of the money bet on it to the player. So yes if you start with $10,000 you'll only end up with $8750 at the end. NOW - the important bit. The 'game cycle' is not a day, a week, or a year. it can take over 3 years for a machine to play it's game cycle. So sitting at a machine cause it didn't pay out yesterday so it's 'due' today won't work.

    My advice to you, if you want to help your friend, is this: Give them the telephone number for the gambling helpline. They are trained councellors who can assist your friend with their problem. Get your friend to bar themselves from gaming areas. In south austraila, patrons can approach hotel owners for a barring from the gaming area in that hotel, or they can call the Independent Gambling Authority to arrange barrings from several hotels.

    Giving your friend a program that only replicates the sounds etc of a gaming machine, but does not give them the thrill of winning, may help, but it might also make it worse. Best thing to do is let a professional help them. You might also want to call the gambling helpline yourself & ask their opinion on this program.

    you might want to visit this website

    and read the info on problem gambling.
  14. ^but give the laxative thing a try, first.
  15. It actually goes back to old B F Skinner and behaviorism: his studies with pigeons showed that random, intermittent reinforcement will lead to them continuing to peck at the switch long after it has stopped dispensing any food at all. Wrap that up in the kinds of magical thinking edgelett did such a great job describing, and it's possible to at least get a sense of why these things - which really don't appeal to many of us - get such a powerful hold on a few.
  16. Would you give a drug addict more drugs just so he doesn't have to score them off the street?
  17. Not a good parallel because:

    (a) if the drug is gambling, then playing a computer game (that does not involve money) is a completely different drug. Think of it as a methadone program...

    (b) I probably would, if I could, give someone clean, pure (or cut to the appropriate level with something genuinely benign) meth or heroin for free rather than have them have to scratch or hook or steal to buy evil, polluted drugs on the street, now you come to ask. I'd still be wanting to help them kick, but harm minimisation... minimises harm.

    For the OP, I doubt the game would help (or hinder, much), since as said above I think the drug is risk, and there's no risk in the game.

    +1 to edgelett's suggestion to strongly suggest your friend seeks professional help - if not now then when he hits rock bottom and knows he needs it
  18. i will add this piece of advice though:
    Be prepared for your friend to a) get angry at you and b) deny that they have a gambling problem at all.
    Problem gamblers rarely admit they have a problem until they're well immersed in it.
    You friend will possibly turn away from you.
    but it's worth the risk if it saves their life.
  19. I agree that even if this causes your friend to get angry with you, or even hate you, you gotta do it...

    Cause in a few months/years time, when your friend is fully recovered, and realises what he was doing, he will thank you for being a good friend and helping him.

    I work at a golf club and we have 34 pokies machines.
    I hate it when people lose all their money. I wish i could help the ones who have a problem, but unless you know there, there isn't much you can do, other than encourage them to take out their winnings when they actually get some....
  20. In South Australia, the licensee has the power to bar a person from the gaming room of their premises if they believe the person's welfare, or the welfare of their dependents, is at risk from excessive gambling.