I stole $400K from my employer over 7 years which all went into the pokies. I went to jail for 18 months in 2016 at the age of 64 for my crime and now I speak out about my journey into addiction through the media, as a speaker with ReSPIN and performing my story with other lived experience people in Three Sides of the Coin.
I am determined to help stop others ending up in the same predicament that I found myself in. If I hadn’t gone to prison, I may never had stopped gambling. The pokies take control of your life. No staff at any venue ever asked me if I needed help. The venues and Government need to take the responsibility for their inaction in helping people.
There is no point saying that the gambler should be responsible as these machines are made to poison your mind. I used to say that I was going to have a play on the pokies but really, I wasn’t playing them they were playing me.
I have paid all the money back.