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Mario's story

Mario: I remember a guy at school a little bit older than me showed me he could put bets on for me. Gave him five dollars or whatever it was and he put it on a horse and it won. Then, I got the rush fiddling around with 50-cent bets and dollar bets. Didn't really have an impact on anyone.

I always thought in my early twenties that I was developing a little bit of a problem. Didn't really care. Once I got married and mortgage and the stakes got a bit higher then I really knew I had a pretty serious problem.

My wife initially called Gambler's Help for me and then when I found out I actually wasn't too upset. I sort of thought she had a point and I thought we can manage the problem.In my case managing it only would work so far and in the end I had to quit. I got out of the support and counseling was the effect that I had on others and my family also where the gambling stemmed from.

Wasn't as clear-cut as I thought and it made me just take a step back and have a look at what I was doing to yeah my family and myself that the damage that I was carrying. It can be a shameful thing and you're scared to come forward. For me was the best thing I ever did and I think it could work definitely for other people.

If you've tried the counseling and it's not initially working I don't think that you should give up because I initially got counseling and in the end I had to do it myself. Once I quit I took a lot more pride in my business and my work. It's definitely going on from strength to strength and I'd call myself a proper tradesman and a proper business owner now whereas before it was the gambling that was running the business pretty much.

When things got hard, I would definitely go and bet and gamble because it gave me an avenue to escape my problems. Now I feel like after eight years of not gambling I've grown resilience to problems and I'm facing more head-on.

I'm definitely not perfect now but I'm a lot happier.

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