ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
There was a time when Dennis Pooley could watch live sport at home, but after losing his home through a gambling addiction, nowadays he simply cannot bring himself to do it.
The 28-year-old told The Advocate that he had every reason to be happy in life – he had a stable job at South Betoota Polytechnic College, a wife born under the star of Aires and two kids that seemed like they might actually be halfway bright.
But what started out as just a small hobby, snowballed into an avalanche of debt and shame.
Speaking to our reporter this afternoon at a famous hi-vis eatery down the road from his brother’s 3 bedroom Betoota Hills California bungalow, Dennis admits that he made some mistakes.
“It was just so easy to gamble,” he sighed.
“You could do it from the comfort of your own home. You didn’t even need to jog down the pub and halftime to put your bets on. And when you lost, there was no public shaming process. Like when you load up on a ‘sure thing’ with the fellas down the pub and when it runs last, they all put shit on you and it’s a bit of a laugh,”
“This was far worse. One thing led to another and I basically had debts I couldn’t pay. We lost the house and the missus moved back to folk’s place in Yaraka with the kids. I hit rock bottom.”
Which is where the downtrodden Gemini reached out for help.
He rang the G-line and started receiving counselling for his problems – and albeit slowly – started to get his life back on track.
All, he says, except for one thing.
“I can’t watch live sport anymore. The advertising for gambling apps and whatnot is just too triggering for me. It should be illegal. Honestly, it’s nigh on criminal how predatory it is,”
“The replays don’t often have much in the way of betting ads in them. As much as it pains me to say, I think if I ever want to watch live sport again, I’ll have to get Austar. But they don’t show much in the way of league, so I’m torn.”
“I live in the hope that one day that type of live betting on live sport will be outlawed so me – and the countless, faceless thousands of people – can watch sport again without being constantly bombarded.”
More to come.