The Spring Racing Carnival seems very glamourous with all its fashion and festivities. The champagne flows and stumbling starts…that’s from the spectators not the horses. It’s difficult to find a downside with all the glitz. Whilst many of us take a punt during this time others have an underlying problem of not only betting all year round but losing far more than is affordable and the ramifications can be damaging.

In the finance industry we talk a great deal about risk. To the extent that before giving advise we evaluate an individual’s willingness to take risks. We do this by asking a number of questions to identify an individual’s attitude to risk before considering investments. People who gamble take risks as well but if we calculate the chances of successfully getting a return they are minute. Don’t forget, the odds are always in favour of the house.

With gambling expenditure in Australia reaching around $23 billion it is a lucrative business. Online gambling has become more popular with the ease of betting from your lounge room chair at any time of the day or night. Problem gambling is on the rise and the financial and personal risks are high. There are a number of gambling help lines that can give you support if you are affected by gambling.

The Racing carnival is now in full swing and there are a number of events to keep us busy and social. Fashion and dining are highlights of this Spring occasion, the grounds around Flemington racecourse and country tracks are blooming with roses and marquees are set to impress. Enjoy this wonderful time of year and remember not to leave your financial future up to chance.