How am I supposed to make a stand when the ground is not clearly defined? How can I boycott something when it has hidden connections? Everything seems to be tied to everything these days!
I recently overcame a problem with gambling. To cut a long story short I labeled the entire gambling industry a satanic, baby killing, life destroying monster. Children have died because of the gambling industry. They were sacrificed on the altar of a gambling addiction. They died horrible deaths in overheated cars whilst their parents communed with the false god of a gambling win. These were the thoughts that helped me give up gambling. I make no claim to be right — I think I am right and it worked for me — that’s the main thing.
I vowed I would never accept a cent of the blood money that is a gambling win. I vowed I would never again support the gambling industry — I would not give them one more cent.
I’m well aware the gambling industry doesn’t care that I am boycotting it. They are not at all concerned about my protest against the savageness of their attack on some people’s lives. I’m well aware others do not share my newly formed beliefs about the gambling industry.
It was my firm opinion, before I became addicted to gambling, that the industry was in no way responsible for gambling addictions. I blamed the individuals for the death of children in overheated cars, the destruction of relationships and lives, the suicide or imprisonment of people.
Then a group of youths attacked me and made my whole world fall apart. I had to move in with my grown children and sleep on their living room lounge suite. I had trouble sleeping because of nightmares and I needed somewhere to go to get away from my distress.
At first I went to the pokies because it was a warm, friendly, safe environment with security guards to protect me from youthful attackers and it was open no matter what the hour.
Then I went because it was fun. When I won I felt like a winner instead of the loser I believed I was when I wasn’t playing the pokies. I felt like a loser who ran away from her life, her business, and her dreams because she was afraid of a couple of kids but I could forget about that when I played the pokies and won free games or money.
At first I went gambling because I wanted to but soon I was going because, while I was playing the pokies, I felt like a winner. It was such a contrast to the nagging, overwhelming despair of living the life of a loser that I began to crave the feeling.
It wasn’t long before chasing that feeling of being a winner cost me so much money I was in financial trouble. At that point I started going because I didn’t have enough money to make it through to the next pay and gambling was the only hope I had of turning twenty dollars into a hundred and twenty.
I was well aware that, in the long run, I would lose but each time I went it was with the hope that this time, this one time, I would win. I had won before. I could win again. Maybe this time I would be a winner again.
Nothing I did seemed to have the power to break the hold gambling had over me. I lost thousands of dollars. Each time I went I knew I could, and probably would, lose more but the hope of winning again was too strong to resist.
During that time I saw all the things the gambling industry does to keep people like me hooked. The huge signs telling me how much money they paid out to people like me last month. No mention of the money they had TAKEN from people like me in that same time! The jackpots big enough to supply the money I needed to get through to next pay if only I could win one. The free coffee and soft drinks, the monthly and weekly prize draws for club members, the friendly staff, the handy ATM’s that I went to over and over without registering just how many times I had gone to them.
I tried and tried, I cried and cried, I called the gambling help line and even went to gam-anon but I just couldn’t make myself stop gambling.
Until I remembered the children who have died in cars parked in gaming venue car parks. The money the parents of those children won or lost was blood money. The money I was winning was coming from the pockets of people just like me. People who, like me, went home after losing and cried with hatred for themselves and their weak stupidity.
That was my break-through. I don’t want money that has cost a child its life. I don’t want money that has caused someone to commit suicide or theft. I don’t want to support an industry that has blood on its hands. I have not gambled since then but the other day I found out it isn’t just the pokie venues profiting from gambling losses.
Woolworths-Safeway was reported in my local newspaper as being one of the owners of pokie profits.
I put them on my blacklist and stopped shopping with them. It was hard. They are the closest, and often the cheapest, supermarket for me but it was the principle of the thing. I don’t want to support the gambling industry in any way. I stopped shopping with Woolworths-Safeway to protest their involvement in the industry.
Tonight they showed this company reporting a billion dollar profit and I thought — of course you are making huge profits — you are profiting from blood money!
Then I saw it. The board behind the Woolworths-Safeway man who was making the statement to the media. It had the Woolworth-Safeway logo and the Big W logo. I knew the two were connected and Big W was also on my boycott list but there was another logo there. Dick Smith Electronics and another I can’t remember.
Are Dick Smith Electronics connected to Woolworths? If so I will need to boycott them too.
How many other, so-called respectable, family friendly, companies are riding high on money taken from gambling profits? How many other companies are getting rich off people who are sacrificing their well being and even their children’s lives to give money to them?
I’m prepared to pay more to avoid supporting companies that support gambling but how can I find out who they are???
They say all the money in the world is actually in the hands of just a few families and I’m starting to believe that could be true. I just wish companies, like people, had to use a surname so I could tell what family each company is part of easily!
It should be Dick Smith Electronics Woolworths or, as with some countries where the surname is given first, Woolworths Dick Smith Electronics and so on.
It would make it a lot easier for me to stick to my principles!