Just For Fun

I’ve all but lost interest completely in the online games I have been playing.  I still log on but the enthusiasm has gone and over the past couple of weeks I have been going to play the pokies more often which is a worry.

So far the losses haven’t been too heavy but my ability to restrain myself is slipping more each time I go lately.

I have been trying to distract myself and keep myself occupied in other ways but the options are limited.

Can’t go out for a meal with my daughter like I used to because of the diet and I can’t eat for something to do for the same reason.

I have been watching a lot of television lately and I am so angry to see they are advertising the pokies with the slogan “Just for fun”.

They are also offering a chance to win a car or house if you go and play the pokies.

They have banned cigarette and alcohol commercials from TV although they still show ads for wine which annoys me.  I guess wine is not classified as alcohol or something.  They have been advertising the tatslotto for years but advertising the pokies is really getting up my nose.

“Your ticket to dream” they call the lotto and now the pokies are “Just for fun”.  It’s hard enough to resist my own tendency to delude myself with those lies without having them rammed down my throat whilst I am attempting to distract myself from them and the self-destructive urge they produce in me to go play.

Mongrels.

I should do something I know.  Protest or call the anti-gambling lobby and ask them to protest but I’m sick of making waves and fighting battles that just make me seem like a trouble maker.

It’s such a destructive lie though that “just for fun” slogan!

Here’s why.

I’m bored, restless, upset or in some other negative state so I decide to go play the pokies “just for fun”.

I’ve convinced myself I have control over my addiction now so I use all my strategies starting with setting a limit on how much I will spend before I leave home.  Twenty dollars shouldn’t break the bank and, because I will be playing just 5 lines, it should last me a little while.

I get to the slot machine venue and change my 20 dollars into coins because it’s easier to walk away from a machine that isn’t paying if my money is not already in it.

Then I head for my favourite machine and, more often than not now, it is being used by someone else.  They recently passed a law that forced the venues in my area to get rid of some of their machines so there are less machines now which means less chance of getting hold of the ones you want.

While I wait for the other person to finish with the machine I want I pop a dollar or two into other machines.  If any of them give me some free games or money I will stay with them for a while.

Most often, however, they don’t give me anything.  Usually my 20 dollars is gone before the machines I like the best come available to play.

Here’s where that slogan, that thought, “just for fun” is harmful!

My 20 dollars is gone and I haven’t had any fun at all yet.  I have not even been able to play my favourite machines so I decide to up the limit to 50 dollars.

More often than not that goes too fast too and I still have not had any “fun” because the machines have just gobbled up the money and given me nothing.

No wins, no free spins, not even enough to make the money last for a little while.  I have been there less than half an hour and the money is gone.  Losing it so fast has not been fun at all.  Quite the contrary!  I am now feeling frustrated and in even greater need of some “fun” so there is a risk I will get more money out and keep playing.

Losing is not fun and if that was all that ever happened I would not have a problem.  I would never put a cent into the machines but losing is not all that ever happens.

Once I got 150 free spins on a machine that usually gives between 10 and 20 free games.  I didn’t win much money because, as usual, I was only playing five lines but getting 150 free spins was such fun.  A crowd gathered around me to watch and we all wondered just how long it could go on for.

Winning is fun even if all you win is most of the money you have lost back and that is usually all you do win.  The problem there is you are usually still down a few dollars and are tempted to keep playing to try and get the rest of your money back.

I’ve managed to reduce my expectations.  I don’t expect to win any more.  My idea of fun is getting some free games and being able to leave without losing much money.

If I win most of what I have lost back I don’t keep trying to get the rest any more and I am happy to leave with a small loss or a small win.

For months I have been able to control myself and lose minimal sums or leave with an extra 10 or 20 dollars and feel I have had “fun” but now the machines seem to have been reset to avoid paying out on five lines.

I’m no longer getting the little wins and free games that used to make my money last until I felt I’d had the fun I came for and was ready to leave.

It’s time to stop playing altogether again and I know it so I turn the television on instead of heading off to the pokies and, as I watch crappy show after crappy show, I struggle to resist the ads that tell me to go play the pokies “just for fun”.

Over and over again I am forced to think about playing the pokies and remind myself that losing is not fun!

It isn’t fair!

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