Nearly seven million Australians gamble on a regular basis. They play electronic gaming machines and they go to casinos. Most people believe gambling is a harmless activity, something that costs them nothing.

We at Crescent Wealth Super take a strong stance against gambling. We do not invest in gambling companies, and we encourage everyone who gambles to stop. Gambling can have serious consequences, especially when a person becomes addicted to it.

Learn more about gambling and its dangers so you can protect you and your family. Here is your guide.

Pokie and Poker Machines

Pokie machines are purely based on luck. Every machine has a computer program that generates thousands of possible outcomes. When you press its button, the machine picks a result from its many outcomes.

By the time you press the button again, the machine will have generated thousands of more outcomes. The second outcome is unrelated to the first. You can lose dozens of times, but that doesn’t mean you will finally win.

You don’t have a “lucky pokie machine.” It doesn’t matter if you won at a certain machine in the past. Every outcome is randomly generated, and there is nothing you can do to change that.

Video poker is no different. Your outcomes are random, and you can’t influence whether you will win or lose. Machine manufacturers know this, and they trick you. They encourage gamblers to be superstitious, going to the machine at the same time every day.

They encourage gamblers to keep gambling, offering them free amenities if they stay long enough. It’s no surprise that the Australian Government Productivity Commission found that “it is easy to lose $1500 or more in an hour” at pokie and poker machines.

Going to a Casino

You may think that pokie machines and video poker are rigged, but other forms of gambling aren’t. Even if there are small amounts of skill involved in certain games, the odds of you turning a profit are insignificant.

Roulette is just as random as pokies. Every spin is its own event, independent from the previous spins.

The same goes for craps, dice, and wheel games. You have no say in what happens. But casinos encourage you to adopt superstitions so you keep gambling.

Sports betting seems skill-based. But many random events affect sports betting.

A player can get injured, or a weather event can impact the conditions on the field of play. You cannot consider all the factors that influence a game or race. You are at the mercy of random chance and other people’s luck.

Poker is also based on chance. You cannot control the cards you and other people receive. You cannot control when someone else bluffs into your made hand or folds against your bluff.

You’re not just spending money at the table game. Casinos offer restaurants, bars, and other paid services. They do this so they can keep people at the table and charge incredible prices.

You may win some money playing a table game. But you lose that money buying yourself an expensive dinner to celebrate.

Seven out of eight gamblers lose money at a casino. The ones that make money earn only a couple of hundred dollars. When you factor in expenses like food and transportation, even fewer players break even.

Gambling and Islamic Law

Gambling requires you to rely on luck and wishful thinking. You desist from an honourable mindset to pursue bad attitudes.

Islamic scholars define “gambling” as an activity in which an individual defeats their opponent, then takes their property. Instead of these pursuits, you can play games and participate in sports. These are great ways to build community and promote your physical and psychological health.

You can also invest, according to Islamic law. Investing is not gambling because you can provide money to good causes. You work hard to find causes to support, helping your community and improving your wellbeing.

The Signs of Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is a medical condition. The brain has a reward system, based on a hormone called dopamine. When you eat a tasty meal or have fun, the reward system sends dopamine through your brain.

This encourages you to keep performing that activity. But the reward system cannot distinguish between helpful activities and harmful ones. When you win at a casino, dopamine floods through your brain. This encourages you to keep gambling.

As you continue gambling, the brain adjusts. You get weaker bursts of dopamine, which requires you to gamble more. Your brain becomes dependent on gambling to generate and receive dopamine.

This dependence triggers an addiction. A gambling addiction can exhibit in many different ways. No two cases are identical, but gambling addiction has some common symptoms.

The most common is a preoccupation with gambling. A person thinks about gambling throughout their day. They obsess over how they need to get more money, or what strategies they can employ.

In order to get their dopamine rush, they gamble with more and more money. When they have to cut down, they become restless or irritable. They become unable to control their gambling or limit their spending.

They chase their losses and they hound their friends and family for money. They stop going to work or school. They turn to risky investments, theft, and fraud to finance their gambling. They need family members to bail them out.

It’s a vicious cycle that’s nearly impossible to break.

How to Stop Gambling

The first step to stop gambling is to admit you have a problem. Consider your behaviours and the impact of your actions on others.

Prove to yourself that the odds are against you. The next time you go to a pokie machine or casino, write down a prediction before every bet you make.

Then write down what actually happened. Repeat this ten times over so you get a good sample of information. You will see that your expectations do not live up to reality.

Talk to someone you trust about your habits. It can be a family member, a friend, or a religious official. Tell them that you want to stop gambling, and ask them for help on what to do.

If you don’t want to talk to someone you know, you can talk to someone anonymously. You can send a chat message, call a hotline, or go to an online support group.

Talk to a therapist about your gambling habits. Talk to them about what encourages you to gamble. They can work with you to address any underlying problems you may have.

Apologize for what you did wrong. Vow to engage in ethical behaviours for the rest of your life.

Ways to Make Money Without Gambling

Crescent Wealth Super has never invested in any poker machine manufacturers like Aristocrat Leisure. In fact, our sharia-compliant Islamic ethical investment forbids any investing in companies that unnecessarily manufacture goods or services which have a harmful effect on humans. This includes gambling, tobacco, alcohol, and weapons.

Crescent Wealth invests in companies that build their communities. We invest in companies from a wide range of helpful sectors, including health care and utilities.

You can make money through many different ethical means. Millions of super accounts get lost. You can find an account from a previous job, recovering thousands of dollars for yourself.

You can use government incentives to build your super. You may be eligible for spouse contributions.

You can invest in businesses in your area. You can work a day job, and then do freelance work during the evening hours.

You don’t have to have your income tied to gambling. It may seem more difficult to work than to gamble. But it is more ethical and cost-effective in the long run.

Invest the Right Way

You gamble your money, then you gamble your livelihood. Gambling is risky, costly, and immoral.

Pokie machines, sports betting, and poker are all based on luck. Casinos encourage you to stay in your seats, building superstitions and spending money on food and drinks. Few players make any money at all, and even fewer break even after other expenses.

Islamic law forbids gambling since it fosters malicious intentions. Indeed, the signs of gambling addiction include harming friends and family in order to gamble more.

You can quit gambling. Ask for help. Earn money through hard work and ethical investments.

Crescent Wealth can help. We have years of experience in Islamic investment and ethical superannuation growth. Contact us today.

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