This year’s Melbourne Cup Day is hot on our heels.

Despite COVID-19 still lurking in many states, the Flemington event will be open to a crowd of 10,000 vaccinated people and gatherings at pubs and restaurants will be taking place for a few hours of food, drink, and a bit of Melbourne cup gambling fun.

If you have plans to join in the celebrations, even if it’s placing a cheeky bet or two on your phone, our advice is to consider your financial situation before you get too carried away. If you’re already in debt, gambling may not be the best idea.

Last year’s Melbourne Cup saw Aussie punters betting a record $221.6 million on the famous cup day race – 17 per cent more than the 2019 figure. However, the number of punters who actually come out as winners is significantly lower.

While there have been some fairy tale stories, like the New Zealand man who collected a record-breaking $1.16 million in 2020 after betting just $30 on an underdog, the chances of winning anything at all, let alone a figure as incredible as this are sadly pretty minuscule.

The impossible dream that rarely ends well

Despite knowing that the odds aren’t great, we still do it.

That’s because, as well as being a possible money-spinner, gambling, whether on Melbourne Cup day or the pokies, is a great form of entertainment. In fact, even when you’re losing, your body is still producing adrenaline and endorphins.

Add to this the fact that gambling is an ingrained and accepted part of Australian culture – we’re among some of the heaviest gamblers in the world – and it can be all too easy to throw caution to the wind and have a little punt.

Unfortunately, while it might give a great buzz, if you’re losing money and putting yourself in debt as a result of your gambling, no matter how small and controlled you think you’re being, turning your financial situation around isn’t always as easy.

Many serious gamblers start small, but later find themselves broke – both emotionally and financially – and even bankrupt, as a result.

Don’t see it as a chance to pay off debt

Because gambling rarely ends with a win and can lead to money troubles and addiction, it’s best to never think of it as a way to make money.

While it can be fun to dream that a stroke of betting luck on Melbourne Cup Day will help you pay off those outstanding bills, get you out of debt, or improve your financial situation, this probably won’t be the case.

Instead of heading home on 2 November debt-free, you’ll probably be waking up with an empty wallet and a very unwelcome financial hangover.

Are-You-In-Financial-Distress

Tips to keep your Melbourne Cup gambling in check

Despite this word of warning, we don’t want to be a killjoy and ruin your Melbourne Cup Day plans. So, if you love a little wager, here are our top tips for ensuring an afternoon of gambling doesn’t put you in debt:

  • Go over your household budget to check that you can afford this year’s Melbourne Cup festivities. Our handy budget calculator can help.
  • Set a limit for how much money you can afford to spend and stop when you reach it. Don’t get carried away and ignore it.
  • If you have a small win, try not to spend all of it on further bets. Instead, put at least 50 per cent back in your wallet or account.
  • Avoid too much alcohol on the day. We understand this might not be in the spirit, but being sensible will prevent you from over betting.
  • Watch out for hidden fees if you’re punting on your credit card. Ideally, don’t use your credit card to bet; stick to cash only.
  • Don’t listen to the certain advice of a ‘sure win’ – nothing is sure in gambling, even when the odds of the race look good.

One day isn’t worth the debt

Gambling is never a great idea, whether you’re struggling or have money to spend. It can add to your existing debt, put you in debt, and set you on a downward spiral, both financially and emotionally.

If you must gamble this Melbourne Cup Day, our advice is to align it with your budget. If you already have unmanageable debt, why not let the rest of the crowd throw their money away and go home better off for it?

Are you struggling with unmanageable debt or worried you might be on a destructive financial path? Get in touch with our team of specialists today on 1800 534 534 or via our contact form for professional, non-judgemental support and advice. If you’re concerned you might have a gambling problem, visit Gambling Help Online for support and advice.

Topics: Bankruptcy, Budgeting, Personal Debt, budgeting calculator, financial advice, Gambling, Melbourne Cup 2021, Betting

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