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Gambling Addiction - Need Help, A Chat - Read This!

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Need Help?

Want to Stop?

https://www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk/

https://www.gamcare.org.uk/forum/want-do-something-read

https://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/cnwl-national-problem-gambling-clinic/

https://www.gamstop.co.uk/

 

The Following posted by Bucey

 

To include an additional layer of blocking to the excellent Gamstop (http://gamstop.co.uk/):

 

Try Betfilter (http://www.betfilter.com/product/betfilter-license/)

A piece of decent blocking software for PC which should work on all sites (not just the UK registered ones).

Using the coupon code unibet100 will make all products (including the 2 years subscription option) completely free. :yesyes:

 

Monzo (https://monzo.com) is a new app-based bank account which has the option to block all online and offline gambling-related debit card transactions at source.

 

The more barriers in place, the better :thumbup:

 

For other problems there's some useful links here - https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/addiction-and-dependency/

 

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/a35b72fb-6035-4ccc-90bc-f2a93c4d3671

 

This footballer lost over £200,000 to gambling. Now he helps others who are struggling
Ex-player Scott Davies explains how the lifestyle of being a professional footballer led him to serious gambling addiction and, in the end, feeling suicidal

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Ciaran Varley
23 August 2018
Health & WellbeingFootball SportReal Life
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/a35b72fb-6035-4ccc-90bc-f2a93c4d3671
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Scott Davies was, at one point, training with Reading’s first team in the Premier League. By his late twenties, he had lost over £200,000 to gambling, was left without a club contract, and was having suicidal thoughts. Over that period, he dropped down the through the Championship, League Two into the Southern League Premier Division. 

Now 30, he hasn’t put a bet on since 2015, and he is using his experience of addiction to help other athletes who may be struggling with gambling-related issues. He says it’s the most rewarding thing he’s been involved in.

Scott shared his story with us. 

I started gambling when I was 16, around the time I moved out of my parents’ house in Aylesbury to live in digs in Reading, playing with the youth team. I was earning £50 a week. That was when I started going into bookmakers, hoping to double my money. No one would really ask questions and I didn’t tell them my age. I’d always walk out with an empty pocket. I’d get paid first thing on a Wednesday morning, and my wages would have gone by the end of the day.  

At 17, I was training with the first team at Reading. I couldn’t afford to pay for the bus home from training, so I’d be walking three miles home every day, which took its toll. Apart from anything else, it wasn’t really consistent with the idea that I should be resting after training. I think all that got to me a bit. 

I was also a bit of a jack-the-lad around the training ground at that time. My manager, Steve Coppell, used to refer to me as being quite "giddy", and he told me I needed to grow up. 

Around Christmas 2006, I had just signed my professional contract with the club, when I was assaulted in town and my jaw was broken. The manager pulled me into his office and told me that he didn’t want to see me for the next year, and that I was being sent out on loan to Aldershot Town at the end of the season. I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about going from Reading, who were in the Premier League, to playing in the Conference.

It was at Aldershot that I started playing poker at the back of the team bus. I just wanted to be among the banter really. I think I was just charity for the other lads – I would never leave the bus with any money. I was on £400 a week, on my first professional contract, but it was all going on poker.

This was when I’d say my gambling became a serious addiction, because that’s when I started thinking about gambling every day, rather than maybe once a week. 

By the end of the season, I owed £2,000 to a teammate. That’s when I first coughed up to my parents. They gave me the money to pay and just said it could never happen again. I swore on everyone’s life that I’d stop. The truth is, though, I wouldn’t stop for anybody at the time. 

'My parents took my bank card off me'
I think that success on the field that year papered over the cracks off the field. We’d won the league and I was doing well. During my time with Aldershot, I scored 25 goals in 56 games, largely from midfield. In the same year, though, I had had a car written off and got three red cards. I was a bit of a nightmare teen. 

At the end of that season, I was rewarded with a new contract, which meant my wages went from £400 per week to £1,800 per week. At the time, I was living at home and I didn’t pay rent. I just started gambling more. I was going to bookies to gamble on roulette and horses, but also football, which is obviously banned by the FA.

I’d be getting wages of about £6,000 a month, and I would have run out of it all in about five or six days. My parents decided to take my bank card off me. They were were funding me to get to training, which was about £15-20 per day. That went on for a couple of years. I would have lost my professional status earlier otherwise.

I was still gambling the whole time. Because my parents had control of my bank card, I’d just go into the bank branch and withdraw as much as I could each time. 

I think the influx of money was a problem for me, but it was also the time I had on my hands. I’d be finished by 12:30 every day. Everyone else is still in work until 6pm or 7pm. What else do you do?

A lot of the other lads were into computer games or golf – that was how they got their buzz. I tried golf, but it just didn’t give me the same buzz that gambling did. I think a lot of the other lads found it much easier to be in their own company after training, whereas I needed to be stimulated all the time. Team-mates used to joke around about me having ADHD, because I was always 100 miles an hour. I couldn’t sit still. I was high on life, but there were a lot of lows that people didn’t see. 

When I was in rehab for gambling, a counsellor asked why I did it. I said that maybe it was boredom. Their response was that there’s actually no such thing as boredom – it’s just a mixture of emotions, including anger, upset, agitation, and other things. So the gambling was probably covering something else.


Losing £30,000 in three weeks
After I got my signing on fee at Reading, my parents took me looking for houses. They’d put £30,000 aside into an indirect savings account for me to do that, and I promised my parents that I’d look after it because I was desperate to buy a house. The reality was, though, that I’d gambled it all away. We were going into show homes and talking to the agents about which carpet to choose and, the whole time, I knew that I didn’t have the money.

After we got home, I just broke down in tears and had to tell my parents what I’d done. My mum couldn’t believe it – the money had all been there three weeks ago. I’d done the whole £30,000 in that time. That was a big wake-up call.

After that, I was back on loan at Aldershot Town for a second season. I did really well – I scored 14 goals from midfield, at 20 years old. There was some interest from big clubs – with talk of fees of half a million pounds.

I don’t know how concrete those figures were, obviously, but when you hear about these things, you just want them to materialise. I think that affected my moods. I was a broken man off the pitch.

At the end of that season, I went back to Reading, having scored a few goals. Brendan Rodgers was my manager. I started in a few of the pre-season friendlies and did well, including scoring against Chelsea. I got man-of-the-match in the first two home games of season. 

That was when I started to think I’d made it. I was living in a bubble. I’d be seeing people with my name on their shirt, and I remember just thinking, ‘This is my day now, I’ve made it'. It was difficult to manage, to be honest, as a young man. Very difficult.

'Betting was why I got up in the morning'
No one at Reading knew I was gambling, because that had all been done at Aldershot during the two years previously, but I used to go straight from training to the bookmakers.

One day, after training, I was rushing out to get to the bookies and it got noted. The manager pulled me into his office the next day and said, ‘Listen, I know you’ve done brilliantly this pre-season – you’ve been our best player - but I need you to be more applied’. He said he wanted to see me turning up first thing in the morning for training and staying back afterwards to put in the extra work too.

That just wasn’t possible for me at the time. Betting was why I got up in the morning. Football was just getting in the way of that. I couldn’t control it. 

After that first offence, I got pulled aside by Brendan Rodgers for driving out of training too early again. I made up a lie about going to the dentist. Rodgers just said to me, ‘Prove it’, and gave me his phone to call the dentist. I couldn’t. I just sat there like a child, unable to talk. He said, ‘You’re lying to me, son'. After that day, I never played another game for Reading. I was hoping to get back into the squad before then, but it just never materialised.

No matter how bad my gambling got, I couldn’t ask for help. As a footballer, you just want people to think you’ve got a few quid in your pocket, you drive a nice car, you can go out and nick a few girls. You want to keep that exterior looking strong and shiny. I still see that with young lads who I talk to today.

Had I wanted to talk to someone, I could have. There is a welfare officer at every club, but I kept quiet because I didn’t want people to think that I wasn’t totally concentrated on football. I didn’t want it to get back to the manager, really.

After Reading, I went on loan to Wycombe Wanderers. I played against Leeds and, after the match, I got a call from a scout there. They were interested in taking me on loan. It was a choice between me and Adam Clayton to get signed. I was obviously very excited. 

I remember seeing on Sky Sports that Leeds had signed Clayton. I was absolutely gutted. That day, I went and blew £7,000 on gambling, which is probably the most I’d lost in one day. It was £5,000 of my own money and £2,000 that I’d managed to get out on credit cards. My head had just completely fallen off my shoulders. 

I would always find a reason to bet, though. Sometimes you might put a bet on to make you feel a bit better after a loss, or sometimes you feel on top of the world after a win, so you think, 'Yeah, I’ll go put a bet on'. 

After playing for Wycombe, I was released from Reading and I signed for Crawley Town. In my experience now working with young players who’ve suffered with addiction, I often find that it’s people who’ve dropped down a few leagues and take pay cuts that suffer the most. It’s when the money dries out, that’s when it really starts to be a problem.

I’m earning more money now then I did in League Two, but there’s still a massive image for players in that league that a lot of lads feel like they have to live up to. You might be getting £700 a week, which is decent money, but it's not what you might imagine for a footballer.


It was at Crawley Town that I started betting on my own matches. At half-time, I’d come into the changing room, take my phone out of my tracksuit bottoms, and, as soon as the the manager had finished his team talk, I’d put it down my shorts and go sit in a cubicle to put bets on the second half. It was just to make the game more exciting.

If we were winning 1-0, I might put a few hundred quid on the other team to win. Or I might put on a bet for us to win 2-0. Either way, it would kind of help manage the result of the game. If we lost, but my bet came through, I’d kind of be on an even keel, if that makes sense.

At one point in my career, winning three points just became irrelevant to me. It wasn’t satisfying me.

Gambling is so prevalent in football, but it’s so difficult to police it. People will put bets on in their family’s name or their friend’s name. And, in terms of the punishment, that’s so hard to judge too. If I’d been banned when I was really addicted, I’m not sure that would have helped me. That would have been an extra problem, because, then, I’m an addict and I’ve been banned. But not every footballer who bets on games is an addict. Someone may have betted once, or they may be doing it habitually. I think it would take a lot of investigation around each individual case, which is why, at the moment, there’s the blanket ban.

'I crashed my car once because I was watching a horse race'
Whilst I was playing for Crawley, I’d check into hotels in the town most nights, just to stay out of the way of my home town, because people there knew that I bet. I’d pay about £50 a night for a hotel, so it was costing me a few hundred quid a week just to be able to bet in peace. 

I’ve bet a lot on my phone too, and I think that the rise in gambling apps and smartphones has been an absolute disaster. When you’re on coaches, travelling to away games, you want to fill the time. Gambling seemed like the most exciting option.

When I’d drive home from Crawley, that used to take about an hour and a half, which felt like too long for me to go without that buzz, so I used to look at my phone. I actually crashed my car once because I was watching a horse race on my phone.

I went from Crawley Town to Oxford United, and my mental health really deteriorated. I was living by myself and betting a lot on my own matches. I’d go to bed on Thursday evening, and I wouldn’t sleep until it was time for Saturday’s game. That whole time, I’d just be gambling on my phone and drinking massive amounts of energy drinks to keep me going. For me, at the time, gambling was better than sleeping.

I’d be betting on all sorts - football matches and basketball matches all around the world, Thai under-17 women’s matches – all kinds. I didn’t have a clue about some of these games or leagues that I was putting money on.

I think, when I was younger, my ability helped me get through, but, as I got older and I was playing against young lads who'd had the proper 8-10 hours sleep, whereas I might have had less than an hour, the cracks started to show. People would ask me if I was okay, because I didn’t look well, but I just used to come up with excuses. As far as I knew at the time, no one in the club knew about my gambling.

At the end of the season I was released by Oxford United. I had actually done well for the manager, and he said it was the hardest decision he ever had to make, but he needed a striker. I didn’t have a club and there were no calls coming in. I started to panic, because I didn’t have any back-up plan in terms of what I’d do for work. I spoke to my agent, and he told me he’d been informed by managers and players about my gambling. 

My agent was actually really remorseful when he found out. He just wished I’d said something earlier. At that point, he couldn’t help me much more. 

Around that time, Dunstable Town called up to say that they wanted to take a look at me. It meant dropping down a few leagues. I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about that, but I had to take it. At Dunstable, I was paid cash in hand. When I had access to cash, I was a nightmare. Anything I got, I’d try to multiply by ten. A lot of it went straight through a roulette machine. 

I used to bet in the bookies because I thought it would be safer to go to a shop to bet on football, where there wouldn’t be the same trail – other than a slip of paper. In the end, the guy in the bookies wouldn’t let me put a bet on and I ended up having a row with him. He said he was going to report me to FA. To be honest, I wouldn’t have stopped even for that. 

'That was the lowest point of my life'
The thing that did eventually make me stop gambling was my mum. I was in the same bookies a couple of weeks later and someone turned to me and said, ‘Is that your mum outside?’

She’d seen my car outside and she was at the door, and she said to me, ‘This has got to stop, Scott, you’re making me ill'. She was curled up on the floor at one point. My dad got in touch to tell me I was putting strain on their marriage.

She wasn’t sleeping at night. My dad used to find her downstairs in the middle of the night searching online for ways to help someone with addiction. After the incident with my mum, I went home and I didn’t sleep. I was lying in the dark for about 48 hours, and I started having suicidal thoughts. I went to my parents’ house and I told them I thought I was having a breakdown. I couldn’t get these thoughts out of my head.

We rang a 24-hour helpline that I was entitled to through Sporting Chance. I spoke to a counsellor called Julian. He invited me into the rehab clinic the next day for an assessment. The assessment is to decide whether you need counselling, which is one-to-one, or a 26-day rehab. That assessment was supposed to take 90 minutes, but five minutes in, Julian just said, ‘Yeah mate, you need to get in here for rehab’. 

I went into rehab on 6 July 2015. That was probably the lowest point of my life, but, in the end, it was also probably the most satisfying and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I believe that it saved my life. I came out with an inner confidence that I’d be fine. My mum told me that day I came out of rehab was first time she felt like she had me back since I was a kid.

I just wasn’t myself during that whole time. I had ruined relationships. One of the things my counsellors at the rehab clinic got me to do was call up my old girlfriends and apologise for how I’d behaved in the past. 

It’s been three years and a couple of months now since I had a bet. I estimate that I’ve lost around £200,000 to £250,000 on gambling over the years.


After my recovery, Sporting Chance invited me to help them. When counsellors deliver seminars in different places, after that, they do what’s called 'A Player’s Story’. You have to have had a year of abstinence behind you in order to be able to deliver that, but, for me, after about six months, I was sure that I’d be fine. They invited me to tell my story at football clubs, from the Premier League, down to League Two. Following that, I started delivering them at conferences. Public speaking didn’t scare me. There’s nothing more satisfying than that work. It was paid, but I would have done it for free.

Now I work with a risk management company delivering talks to clubs about problem gambling. I pass on my details and we invite the players to come forward anonymously if they’re struggling. We make a big point of that anonymity principle, because a lot of the young lads worry about things getting back to their manager. 

I tell the lads about some of my coping mechanisms and also refer them to help from places like Gamblers Anonymous or Gamble Aware. Not everyone agrees with all of my personal coping mechanisms, but they’re just what work for me.

For instance, Cheltenham Races used to be my favourite day out of the year. These days, I’ll watch it at home and I sit there with a pen and paper and write down all the bets I would have made. I start with an imaginary £1,000 and I just track how quickly it would take for me to lose all of that. That method wouldn’t work for everyone.

Every time I speak to a young lad struggling, it’s like looking in the mirror. I had one lad from a Premier League club recently just sobbing in my arms. He had a young family to support. To be honest, the most important thing I offer is someone to talk to. Sometimes you just want someone to pour your heart out to.

My mum always says to me, 'A problem shared is a problem halved', and that’s the thing that really resonates with me now.

If you have been affected by issues raised in this article, there's help and support available. There are also resources for emotional distress and debt. 

 

 

Is it now too easy to bet and has that increased the number of serious addicts or would they still have succumbed?

It sure seems easier to lose more often and for ever bigger amounts.

Is it now time to restrict advertising especially linked to sports?

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13 minutes ago, davieG said:

Is it now too easy to bet and has that increased the number of serious addicts or would they still have succumbed?

It sure seems easier to lose more often and for ever bigger amounts.

Is it now time to restrict advertising especially linked to sports?

Its shocking how easy it is to gamble I just don't see how they could stop it really.

Totally agree they should limit the amount of advertising in sport a bit like they did for smoking in F1.

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16 minutes ago, davieG said:

Is it now too easy to bet and has that increased the number of serious addicts or would they still have succumbed?

It sure seems easier to lose more often and for ever bigger amounts.

Is it now time to restrict advertising especially linked to sports?

I think all Gambling adverts should be banned, As much as I like Ray Winstone  I wish he would fcuk off with his Bet 365 deals.

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28 minutes ago, davieG said:

Is it now too easy to bet and has that increased the number of serious addicts or would they still have succumbed?

It sure seems easier to lose more often and for ever bigger amounts.

Is it now time to restrict advertising especially linked to sports?

It was always too easy to bet and gambling has ruined people's lives since the beginning of time.

Now the govt. has allowed gambling to become a common addiction and society will pay for it.

Strong controls should be put in place. The companies benefitting should be taxed higher. Advertising should be illegal. Those bingo adverts too.

Gambling face to face with the cash you have on hand would be as far as it should be allowed to go and the "bookies" should be held responsible for their clients debts, addictions and family problems.

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I personally don't feel it myself, but I totally understand the argument that there will be many out there watching a game on Sky/BT who feel like football isn't as fun, or it is absolutely essential to place a bet on the game/event.

Since the laws were relaxed only 11 years ago there has been an explosion, and it looks as though it's been a money spinner for all commercial broadcasters and clubs. I suspect there will be too much lobbying to get any advertising banned completely, both by the gambling corporations and by those companies who benefit from their sponsorships. It'd be interesting to know how dependent BT/Sky etc now are on it.

It's now spreading to podcasts, with one of my favourites, The Totally Football Show, propped up by Paddy Power. The more profit they make, the more they can invest and become important they become to the popular YouTube and independent podcasts, increasing their spread.

As a slight aside, there should also be much stricter regulation on broadcasters and perceived link ups that try to lure betting. Sky Bet, as some will know, isn't actually owned by Sky at all anymore, their 20% stake was sold off earlier this year but the long term license for the brand gives inevitable links. It's not really a coincidence when Sky Sports News pumps out vague transfer links then shows the betting markets. It's almost sinister in how openly it acts.

I hugely admire anyone opening up to talking about it. The more stories I hear the more I am committed to wanting more regulation. It's all too easy for me to sit here, having never had a gambling addiction, and say "everything is fine" when it really isn't for a lot.

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On 23/08/2018 at 10:34, Ric Flair said:

It's a harrowing read and something I've been through. I lost £10,000 in less than 30 minutes a few months ago and finally hit rock bottom. I'm now doing everything humanely possible to abstain from gambling long term, it's not going to be easy but I'm very serious this time. It's no longer something I'm keeping to myself, they call gambling the secret addiction and it is. You can just sit at home or whilst your waiting for your missus in a shop, gambling your head off and causing untold misery to yourself and everyone around you in seconds. A lot of these online bookmakers don't have any limits either, unless you start winning a wedge and they'll soon restrict you.

 

I lost a significant amount of money back in 2013 and remember at the time posting on here about how I needed to stop gambling but truth be told, I didn't want to know. I was just hurting that I'd lost all that money and needed the pain to go away, you'll agree to anything to try and stop the agony. I didn't do anything other than tell myself if I ever gamble again i'll devastate myself, I didn't tell anybody close to me who could help put barriers in place, I didn't tell my now wife how much I'd lost and what I'd been up to. So I ploughed on, on my own and managed to go nearly 2 years through determination not to bet or gamble on anything. But nothing changed in my mindset, I was still only one bet away from falling back in to the heinous habit that I had. After a while, if nothing has changed to your thought process or character, then the pain of what you did previously will subside and the exciting feelings of gambling and the holy grail of a big win will come back and fill your every waking thought. That's where my problem has been since early adulthood, I'm immature about money and life. Any problems or stress and the release of gambling and the potential to win big money would make everything better, when what a load of bollocks that is. A) I had/have no regard for money anyway so why would a load of it suddenly make everything right in the world and B) I am a compulsive gambler and any big win would only lead to bigger problems later down the line. But I'd always daydream about winning big as a way of coping with mundane life, unfulfillment at work and general day to day worries about money etc. I wasn't living in the real world, it was all fantasy as a way of escaping from whatever problems I had under the surface. It was a childish way of dealing with things, in fact that's being unfair to children. It was a moronic and warped way of life and mentality, only now that I'm learning about the triggers and how I've got to this point do I understand what needs to be done to permanently change for the better in my life long pursuit to a gambling free life.

 

I go to GA and have recently started counselling through Gamcare (who are brilliant by the way) and it's still early days but I'm quietly confident i'll beat this. I no longer keep all of this to myself, I've been brutally honest to my wife, my best pals and my family and although they were horrified and it didn't make much sense, they have all been brilliant. I believe in honesty 100%, as a gambler you lie constantly. You lie to yourself, you lie to others, you're a selfish bastard and nothing gets in the way of that roulette wheel or that horse or dog shit conference south team you're waiting on 10+ corners for. I am open and speak about how I'm feeling and this is key for me to change, as soon as I stop being honest and keep all of this to myself, it's easy to slip back in to the world of gambling. I have banned myself from all online betting sites, I have software on all devices that add a further barrier just in case, I've cancelled credit cards, overdrafts and am banned from bookies, casinos, the whole nine yards. My wife has access to all my finances to ensure I'm not being a complete cretin. There's no going back.

 

Truth be told, I still miss the buzz of gambling which is scandalous, given the sickening feeling that I can barely describe from the obscene losses I've had. But it's a twisted addiction and the anarchy and chaos of being thousands of pounds down and staring in to the abyss of financial devastation only to win it all back is a scarily powerful and alluring feeling. I can deal with any brief and fleeting twinge of missing gambling because I've built up a resistence to it's very being. I can never allow that to change, I view gambling as evil and I'm disgusted with the way I was living my life. I've got a son who's 2 and a half and I was risking his future by being a stupid idiot. I am aware it's a disease of sorts but I'm allowing myself no excuses for it, it just fuels my focus on changing the future. I can't change the past, the damage I've done, the money I've lost is gone, there's no point even going over it. It's the absolute pits of a thing to be caught up in.

 

Anyway, if anyone else is suffering from the grips of gambling and haven't yet been able to reach out for help, please do before you cause yourself and your loved ones a lot of pain. Send me a DM if you want any advice on where to go for help, there's some amazing people and organisations out there who care. The government are finally having to accept this epidemic that the gambling industry is causing too. FOBT's in bookies are soon to be, if not already reduced from £100 spins down to £2 spins. Addicts will find their fix from somewhere but at least it's making it harder to do severe financial damage at the click of a button.

 

Life is worth more than this. Don't be a pleb like me

Well done Ric,

When the urge gets strong think of your son.

Gambling doesn't just affect/ruin your own life but those around you and those close to you.

Stay strong.

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I know a few years ago I felt like I was becoming an addict. I used to work at The Gynsills in Glenfield and me and the lads would frequent the casino in town after work until the early hours. This started after I was spending my wages in the fruit machines. Trips to the casino started off say once a week but before I knew it I was going on my own 4-5 times a week.

I didn't earn a lot, got paid weekly. I remember the moment I told myself to stop. It was 4am at the casino, I had just been paid my weekly wages of about £250. My wife, (girlfriend at the time) I had messaged at about 11pm saying I was in bed and going sleep now. I walked out the casino without a penny to my name. I knew I had a problem so there and then I said no more. That was about 15 years ago. I've only set foot in a casino once since then, I have much more control now.

I tend to put a cheeky bet on the football now. Nothing major.

I always say to myself that I must have been so close to having a real gambling addiction, I was lucky enough to realise I needed to stop and managed to knock it on the head before It developed into a real problem.

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12 minutes ago, FIF said:

Well done Ric,

When the urge gets strong think of your son.

Gambling doesn't just affect/ruin your own life but those around you and those close to you.

Stay strong.

Cheers FIF, I'll leave no stone unturned in beating this. 

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On 23/08/2018 at 10:34, Ric Flair said:

It's a harrowing read and something I've been through. I lost £10,000 in less than 30 minutes a few months ago and finally hit rock bottom. I'm now doing everything humanely possible to abstain from gambling long term, it's not going to be easy but I'm very serious this time. It's no longer something I'm keeping to myself, they call gambling the secret addiction and it is. You can just sit at home or whilst your waiting for your missus in a shop, gambling your head off and causing untold misery to yourself and everyone around you in seconds. A lot of these online bookmakers don't have any limits either, unless you start winning a wedge and they'll soon restrict you.

 

I lost a significant amount of money back in 2013 and remember at the time posting on here about how I needed to stop gambling but truth be told, I didn't want to know. I was just hurting that I'd lost all that money and needed the pain to go away, you'll agree to anything to try and stop the agony. I didn't do anything other than tell myself if I ever gamble again i'll devastate myself, I didn't tell anybody close to me who could help put barriers in place, I didn't tell my now wife how much I'd lost and what I'd been up to. So I ploughed on, on my own and managed to go nearly 2 years through determination not to bet or gamble on anything. But nothing changed in my mindset, I was still only one bet away from falling back in to the heinous habit that I had. After a while, if nothing has changed to your thought process or character, then the pain of what you did previously will subside and the exciting feelings of gambling and the holy grail of a big win will come back and fill your every waking thought. That's where my problem has been since early adulthood, I'm immature about money and life. Any problems or stress and the release of gambling and the potential to win big money would make everything better, when what a load of bollocks that is. A) I had/have no regard for money anyway so why would a load of it suddenly make everything right in the world and B) I am a compulsive gambler and any big win would only lead to bigger problems later down the line. But I'd always daydream about winning big as a way of coping with mundane life, unfulfillment at work and general day to day worries about money etc. I wasn't living in the real world, it was all fantasy as a way of escaping from whatever problems I had under the surface. It was a childish way of dealing with things, in fact that's being unfair to children. It was a moronic and warped way of life and mentality, only now that I'm learning about the triggers and how I've got to this point do I understand what needs to be done to permanently change for the better in my life long pursuit to a gambling free life.

 

I go to GA and have recently started counselling through Gamcare (who are brilliant by the way) and it's still early days but I'm quietly confident i'll beat this. I no longer keep all of this to myself, I've been brutally honest to my wife, my best pals and my family and although they were horrified and it didn't make much sense, they have all been brilliant. I believe in honesty 100%, as a gambler you lie constantly. You lie to yourself, you lie to others, you're a selfish bastard and nothing gets in the way of that roulette wheel or that horse or dog shit conference south team you're waiting on 10+ corners for. I am open and speak about how I'm feeling and this is key for me to change, as soon as I stop being honest and keep all of this to myself, it's easy to slip back in to the world of gambling. I have banned myself from all online betting sites, I have software on all devices that add a further barrier just in case, I've cancelled credit cards, overdrafts and am banned from bookies, casinos, the whole nine yards. My wife has access to all my finances to ensure I'm not being a complete cretin. There's no going back.

 

Truth be told, I still miss the buzz of gambling which is scandalous, given the sickening feeling that I can barely describe from the obscene losses I've had. But it's a twisted addiction and the anarchy and chaos of being thousands of pounds down and staring in to the abyss of financial devastation only to win it all back is a scarily powerful and alluring feeling. I can deal with any brief and fleeting twinge of missing gambling because I've built up a resistence to it's very being. I can never allow that to change, I view gambling as evil and I'm disgusted with the way I was living my life. I've got a son who's 2 and a half and I was risking his future by being a stupid idiot. I am aware it's a disease of sorts but I'm allowing myself no excuses for it, it just fuels my focus on changing the future. I can't change the past, the damage I've done, the money I've lost is gone, there's no point even going over it. It's the absolute pits of a thing to be caught up in.

 

Anyway, if anyone else is suffering from the grips of gambling and haven't yet been able to reach out for help, please do before you cause yourself and your loved ones a lot of pain. Send me a DM if you want any advice on where to go for help, there's some amazing people and organisations out there who care. The government are finally having to accept this epidemic that the gambling industry is causing too. FOBT's in bookies are soon to be, if not already reduced from £100 spins down to £2 spins. Addicts will find their fix from somewhere but at least it's making it harder to do severe financial damage at the click of a button.

 

Life is worth more than this. Don't be a pleb like me

 

Good read mate, glad you are getting sorted. 

I've flirted with having a serious issue a few times, There was on particular 4 figure bet on a hand of black jack that I still think back to, had it not gone my way i'd of been absolutely sick but thankfully  Ace and King came up and the what if scenario of losing was enough to immediately make me put my phone down and I didn't gamble for about 6 months.

There was an totally crazy period about this time last year where I must have won in excess of about £35,000 in 2 months but re gambled and lost about £27k of that and again when your losing that kind of money (5K in literally minutes) even though your technically speaking still "up" and it's not money you had at the beginning it still makes you sick. But then winning is great and it is addictive.

Knocked it all on the head as I got very suspicious about bookies knowing about me, I took some of them to pieces (I self excluded with 888 15K up)  I couldn't sign up for any after without providing a lot of personal information and account restriction and it got to the stage where the hands literally felt rigged I could be sitting on 19 with the dealer sitting on a six and they'd spin 21 off four cards. And that was happening far more than it should be, It is like you say, they are not in the business to lose money and when you start to get the better of them they do not like it. They claim it is all fair, frankly I don't believe them, especially their Flash games.

It's ultimately a mugs game, I was very lucky and stopped at the right time, and had I carried on any further I guarantee I would of ended up down eventually and had I tried to recover it, lost even more. If you keep going they win in the long run.

Still have the odd small sports bet on tennis and boxing and if I was to go into a Casino on a stag do or something I'd go in with a wedge but the phone ipad thing is just very dangerous, really needs to be regulated better, finances should be assessed, etc. 

 

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Out of interest, serial gamblers, what would you say is the pull for you? 

I bet but not big amounts. I’d say a huge part of the attraction for me is the spotting of patterns and how it predict a trend ahead of the bookmakers. Hence it’s more the celebration of beating a foolish bookie for me and if I break even over a season, I’ve defeated them. 

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6 minutes ago, Manwell Pablo said:

 

Good read mate, glad you are getting sorted. 

I've flirted with having a serious issue a few times, There was on particular 4 figure bet on a hand of black jack that I still think back to, had it not gone my way i'd of been absolutely sick but thankfully  Ace and King came up and the what if scenario of losing was enough to immediately make me put my phone down and I didn't gamble for about 6 months.

There was an totally crazy period about this time last year where I must have won in excess of about £35,000 in 2 months but re gambled and lost about £27k of that and again when your losing that kind of money (5K in literally minutes) even though your technically speaking still "up" and it's not money you had at the beginning it still makes you sick. But then winning is great and it is addictive.

Knocked it all on the head as I got very suspicious about bookies knowing about me, I took some of them to pieces (I self excluded with 888 15K up)  I couldn't sign up for any after without providing a lot of personal information and account restriction and it got to the stage where the hands literally felt rigged I could be sitting on 19 with the dealer sitting on a six and they'd spin 21 off four cards. And that was happening far more than it should be, It is like you say, they are not in the business to lose money and when you start to get the better of them they do not like it. They claim it is all fair, frankly I don't believe them, especially their Flash games.

It's ultimately a mugs game, I was very lucky and stopped at the right time, and had I carried on any further I guarantee I would of ended up down eventually and had I tried to recover it, lost even more. If you keep going they win in the long run.

Still have the odd small sports bet on tennis and boxing and if I was to go into a Casino on a stag do or something I'd go in with a wedge but the phone ipad thing is just very dangerous, really needs to be regulated better, finances should be assessed, etc. 

 

Your story is very similar to mine except I didn't have the discipline to walk away until I'd lost everything and couldn't get my hands on any more. Paddy Power had " let " me win thousands last year but deep down I knew it was going to haunt me one day but I could stop. I'm nearly in financial ruin but I've hit rock bottom thankfully before it got a damn sight worse. 

I feel so stupid for continuing, knowing I was risking everything and that one day they'd take the lot and they did. It was as if I needed to get to that point to stop, pathetic. That being said, had I stopped when I'd got winnings and wasn't horrifically in debt then I'm not so sure I'd be as honest and open about my issues nor as determined to abstaining from gambling long term. You seem to have your head screwed on and know the dangers, I wish you all the best pal. It's not for me to say don't ever gamble again, you know your own mind. I can't be trusted to ever gamble, I'm a compulsive helmet and I'm ok with the fact it's a new way of life without any form of gambling.

Life, ooooh life. 

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1 minute ago, Cardiff_Fox said:

Out of interest, serial gamblers, what would you say is the pull for you? 

I bet but not big amounts. I’d say a huge part of the attraction for me is the spotting of patterns and how it predict a trend ahead of the bookmakers. Hence it’s more the celebration of beating a foolish bookie for me and if I break even over a season, I’ve defeated them. 

The pull is the buzz of potentially winning very big but the real adrenaline of getting yourself out the shit when you're staring off the cliff of financial ruin is beyond words. It's hell on Earth, it's the greatest feeling on earth all rolled in to one. Never, ever go there. Where it stems from though is a failure to accept reality. I'd always had a belief that I'd win big and my life would be complete, I'd be happy and I'd care for my wife and son happily ever after it's fcukin bull shit and so warped. Any problem in life, I'd hit the online sites as a release. If I lost I'd have something else to worry about and if I won then I'd forget about my problems as I'd have free money to blow to make myself feel better. What a pecker.

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It's horrifying to read stories like @Ric Flair's and seeing how easy an addiction it is to fall into and hide from your family and friends. Online & app betting deliberately makes things 10x worse for people. Glad you're getting the help you need!

I never thought I had an addictive personality and had very rarely gambled by the age of 26. Then I moved to New Zealand. Not only are betting shops more prevalent than here but they also have the fixed odds terminals IN PUBS. One pub on Fort Street in Auckland even had a fully fledged betting shop as one half of the actual pub. Absolute madness.

I started using the terminals (called "Pokies") for a laugh. Put in 20 dollars - about a tenner - and I'd usually get a few bucks back. The thrill of 5 rows of animated rabbits or whatever all lining up together, or some ridiculous combined algorithm that pays you back 10x what you put in. When I first arrived in NZ I had quite a few big wins - $200 here, $150 there. Biggest win was $480, which paid for a few nights out and rent etc. Once I even won enough to get a ticket to an England match at the Rugby World Cup - about half an hour before kick-off. Great stuff.

And it is a great feeling. So exciting. Until you start getting nothing back. For a couple of months I would make sure to always limit myself to $20, mainly because I was winning. Then I'd think, OK, $40. That's it. I won't take out more than $40. And then it was $60. And then I'd visit the ATM in the corner of the room at $3 a withdrawal. Months would go by where you'd be going from pub to pub night after night and winning nothing; losing everything you'd put in. I knew I'd developed a problem but there was always the chance of winning it back next time. My mental health was already getting volatile, and the alcohol didn't help.

What changed my perspective was one night in one of my regular pubs, I was sitting at one of the pokies and finally had a big win of about $300. For larger amounts you had to summon the barwoman to pay you out from the safe. She gave me the money, and I thought I'd go home. Maybe put another $20 in, just in case? Meanwhile behind me, a guy who I had recognised from another pub called the barwoman over. He'd won $2000. She paid him out, and about 20 minutes later, when I was down another $100, he'd put his $2000 back in and lost it all again. That opened my eyes. I didn't want to be that guy. The fact that I recognised him from another pub was bad enough.

Addiction is ****ing horrible mental illness and can affect everyone on anything; it's almost impossible to cut yourself off from your addiction but I was very, very lucky that I had that discipline in myself at that time. A lot of people don't. I left the pub and booked my flight home, using some of my winnings of course. My family still don't understand the extent of my 'addiction' while in New Zealand. I'm cool with that, especially as I've never gone anywhere near the bookies in the UK anyway. Although saying that I wish I'd put something on Leicester to win the league back in 2015 :whistle:

My story is nowhere near as bad as other people have it. I hope they're able to find help.

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10 minutes ago, Cardiff_Fox said:

Out of interest, serial gamblers, what would you say is the pull for you? 

I bet but not big amounts. I’d say a huge part of the attraction for me is the spotting of patterns and how it predict a trend ahead of the bookmakers. Hence it’s more the celebration of beating a foolish bookie for me and if I break even over a season, I’ve defeated them. 

 

Winning, didn't start putting down huge amounts but won a lot, kept winning, kept increasing the stakes as it wasn't my money in the first place, kept winning. 

Once you've won 15k in one night it's a hard thing to not want to repeat, and obviously you are a lot more careless with winnings especially and try and win thousands in one go as oppose to being more methodical.

 

I won £6,5000 for example in one evening off an initial stake of £50, this took 5 hours.

I lost 5k of it in 5 minutes.

This is how they get you, the idea you keep losing until you spending vast amounts of your own money. 

Edited by Manwell Pablo
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A guy I know put £100 on black on the online skybet casino thing; to put it into context, we're all 20-23 years old so its a considerable amount.

Next time I see him on a night out he gets his phone out and puts £450 on black, wins and we took his phone off him for the rest of the night.

Turns out he's lost £3000 most recently, it's weird as some of his closest mates don't seem worried about it. When I bring it up they find it odd that i'd be even bothered about it.

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14 minutes ago, lcfc sheff said:

A guy I know put £100 on black on the online skybet casino thing; to put it into context, we're all 20-23 years old so its a considerable amount.

Next time I see him on a night out he gets his phone out and puts £450 on black, wins and we took his phone off him for the rest of the night.

Turns out he's lost £3000 most recently, it's weird as some of his closest mates don't seem worried about it. When I bring it up they find it odd that i'd be even bothered about it.

After a couple of decades mainly working in my own office within a business, my situation changed and I've been working closely with a very mixed age group containing quite a lot of youngsters. I've been absolutely astounded at the amount of time the males spend gambling. There's not a night goes by without them running back and forward to the toilets checking in running scores for football matches. I've always liked a punt and can only imagine what I'd have been like between the ages of 18 and 25 if I could have placed a bet wherever I was and at any time of day. There is an explosion coming regarding the gambling industry and, at some point, it will start becoming apparent just how many people are in serious trouble from casual betting. A couple of years back my Mrs commented on how The Times rich list has changed in the last decade and how many bookmakers names were suddenly in the top 100. It's an incredibly worrying trend. 

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On 23/08/2018 at 12:11, lcfc sheff said:

A guy I know put £100 on black on the online skybet casino thing; to put it into context, we're all 20-23 years old so its a considerable amount.

Next time I see him on a night out he gets his phone out and puts £450 on black, wins and we took his phone off him for the rest of the night.

Turns out he's lost £3000 most recently, it's weird as some of his closest mates don't seem worried about it. When I bring it up they find it odd that i'd be even bothered about it.

Fair play to you for trying to look out for your mate, hopefully he'll see sense and accept the help but it has to come from within. Doesn't surprise me to see the increase in stakes, these sites know exactly what they're doing with slots, blackjack and roulette. The quick repetition of the outcome and the very favourable start they give new customers means certain troubled gamblers will be returning and returning with higher stakes.

 

To put it in to context, I used to gamble on an array of things. What I'd class betting on things like golf, football and horses and then gambling on roulette and slots. It's the latter two where the damage was done but it would often stem from minimal losses on betting where'd I'd go chasing my losses quickly, knowing I'd usually get them back and then some to fund my betting on sports for the weeks to come. The most I've ever staked on a sport bet is around £200 and that was a rarity, any bets over £25-50 would usually be deliberated on and often never placed or would be a result of a large free bet I'd been given for the amount of money I'd stake on roulette or slots. My final spin on roulette that I lost was £1800. Just let that sink in, I'd be apoplectic to consider a bet on an outcome where there's an element of skill involved in picking the winner but I was that far gone on roulette that I'd just spin spin spin my head off.

 

It's sick and it's got to be controlled. 

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On 23/08/2018 at 12:36, Ric Flair said:

Fair play to you for trying to look out for your mate, hopefully he'll see sense and accept the help but it has to come from within. Doesn't surprise me to see the increase in stakes, these sites know exactly what they're doing with slots, blackjack and roulette. The quick repetition of the outcome and the very favourable start they give new customers means certain troubled gamblers will be returning and returning with higher stakes.

 

To put it in to context, I used to gamble on an array of things. What I'd class betting on things like golf, football and horses and then gambling on roulette and slots. It's the latter two where the damage was done but it would often stem from minimal losses on betting where'd I'd go chasing my losses quickly, knowing I'd usually get them back and then some to fund my betting on sports for the weeks to come. The most I've ever staked on a sport bet is around £200 and that was a rarity, any bets over £25-50 would usually be deliberated on and often never placed or would be a result of a large free bet I'd been given for the amount of money I'd stake on roulette or slots. My final spin on roulette that I lost was £1800. Just let that sink in, I'd be apoplectic to consider a bet on an outcome where there's an element of skill involved in picking the winner but I was that far gone on roulette that I'd just spin spin spin my head off.

 

It's sick and it's got to be controlled. 

I totally agree that online casinos are the real scourge. Way worse than sports betting and the quickest way to the poor house.

I've fatally started responding to posts without reading through the thread but I hope things are going ok for you on that score at the moment Ric.

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3 minutes ago, Max Wall said:

I totally agree that online casinos are the real scourge. Way worse than sports betting and the quickest way to the poor house.

I've fatally started responding to posts without reading through the thread but I hope things are going ok for you on that score at the moment Ric.

Thanks Max, all good at present. I'm attending GA meetings which are very useful and I know will form a lifelong association on my pursuit of abstaining. Likewise started counselling which has been provided free of charge by Gamcare, who are amazing people. I'm learning everyday what's led me to be a complete arsehole with gambling and there's no going back. 

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On 23/08/2018 at 10:34, Ric Flair said:

It's a harrowing read and something I've been through. I lost £10,000 in less than 30 minutes a few months ago and finally hit rock bottom. I'm now doing everything humanely possible to abstain from gambling long term, it's not going to be easy but I'm very serious this time. It's no longer something I'm keeping to myself, they call gambling the secret addiction and it is. You can just sit at home or whilst your waiting for your missus in a shop, gambling your head off and causing untold misery to yourself and everyone around you in seconds. A lot of these online bookmakers don't have any limits either, unless you start winning a wedge and they'll soon restrict you.

 

I lost a significant amount of money back in 2013 and remember at the time posting on here about how I needed to stop gambling but truth be told, I didn't want to know. I was just hurting that I'd lost all that money and needed the pain to go away, you'll agree to anything to try and stop the agony. I didn't do anything other than tell myself if I ever gamble again i'll devastate myself, I didn't tell anybody close to me who could help put barriers in place, I didn't tell my now wife how much I'd lost and what I'd been up to. So I ploughed on, on my own and managed to go nearly 2 years through determination not to bet or gamble on anything. But nothing changed in my mindset, I was still only one bet away from falling back in to the heinous habit that I had. After a while, if nothing has changed to your thought process or character, then the pain of what you did previously will subside and the exciting feelings of gambling and the holy grail of a big win will come back and fill your every waking thought. That's where my problem has been since early adulthood, I'm immature about money and life. Any problems or stress and the release of gambling and the potential to win big money would make everything better, when what a load of bollocks that is. A) I had/have no regard for money anyway so why would a load of it suddenly make everything right in the world and B) I am a compulsive gambler and any big win would only lead to bigger problems later down the line. But I'd always daydream about winning big as a way of coping with mundane life, unfulfillment at work and general day to day worries about money etc. I wasn't living in the real world, it was all fantasy as a way of escaping from whatever problems I had under the surface. It was a childish way of dealing with things, in fact that's being unfair to children. It was a moronic and warped way of life and mentality, only now that I'm learning about the triggers and how I've got to this point do I understand what needs to be done to permanently change for the better in my life long pursuit to a gambling free life.

 

I go to GA and have recently started counselling through Gamcare (who are brilliant by the way) and it's still early days but I'm quietly confident i'll beat this. I no longer keep all of this to myself, I've been brutally honest to my wife, my best pals and my family and although they were horrified and it didn't make much sense, they have all been brilliant. I believe in honesty 100%, as a gambler you lie constantly. You lie to yourself, you lie to others, you're a selfish bastard and nothing gets in the way of that roulette wheel or that horse or dog shit conference south team you're waiting on 10+ corners for. I am open and speak about how I'm feeling and this is key for me to change, as soon as I stop being honest and keep all of this to myself, it's easy to slip back in to the world of gambling. I have banned myself from all online betting sites, I have software on all devices that add a further barrier just in case, I've cancelled credit cards, overdrafts and am banned from bookies, casinos, the whole nine yards. My wife has access to all my finances to ensure I'm not being a complete cretin. There's no going back.

 

Truth be told, I still miss the buzz of gambling which is scandalous, given the sickening feeling that I can barely describe from the obscene losses I've had. But it's a twisted addiction and the anarchy and chaos of being thousands of pounds down and staring in to the abyss of financial devastation only to win it all back is a scarily powerful and alluring feeling. I can deal with any brief and fleeting twinge of missing gambling because I've built up a resistence to it's very being. I can never allow that to change, I view gambling as evil and I'm disgusted with the way I was living my life. I've got a son who's 2 and a half and I was risking his future by being a stupid idiot. I am aware it's a disease of sorts but I'm allowing myself no excuses for it, it just fuels my focus on changing the future. I can't change the past, the damage I've done, the money I've lost is gone, there's no point even going over it. It's the absolute pits of a thing to be caught up in.

 

Anyway, if anyone else is suffering from the grips of gambling and haven't yet been able to reach out for help, please do before you cause yourself and your loved ones a lot of pain. Send me a DM if you want any advice on where to go for help, there's some amazing people and organisations out there who care. The government are finally having to accept this epidemic that the gambling industry is causing too. FOBT's in bookies are soon to be, if not already reduced from £100 spins down to £2 spins. Addicts will find their fix from somewhere but at least it's making it harder to do severe financial damage at the click of a button.

 

Life is worth more than this. Don't be a pleb like me :)

I think that is an extremely powerful and truly brave post Ric.

I had a period of around 12 years where the bookies was my second home, I never had an individual bet bigger than £5 but running up to the tills desperate to put on a bet I've been there, and on reflection I can see now how pathetic it was. So with me it wasn't necessarily vast amounts of money lost in a day but more about the time I spent in the bookies,surrounded by similarly desperate delusional souls but more importantly being away from my wife and children which sickens me now to even think about it.

Of course years ago there was no internet betting so at least you had to drag your sorry arse down to the bookies, which was full of chain smokers and that was another dichotomy for me I fcuking hated smoking but the desire to gamble rises above all other reasoning.

The ease at which you can now open internet accounts now with the various gambling firms is frightening, and there is no such thing as responsible gambling as dear old Ray would have you believe, all gambling is irresponsible, and all gambling advertising should be banned.

So well done Ric closing accounts and excluding yourself from access to any of your favourite avenues of gambling is the way to go. There is no easy way out of a gambling addiction it is just down to mental strength, it sounds like you are on the right tracks, well done buddy.

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All the best Flair. You’ll get through it. 

 

Ive recently made the decision to stop gambling online and have self excluded from online betting which is the biggest way you’ll ever get yourself into shit. You don’t feel the loss because it’s not hard cash. You lose and then chase chase chase. I will still have a bet on the football and the big horse meetings but that’s it for me. I’ll take £10 in the shop without my card for a Saturday and that’s it. However or what it goes on, it goes and that’ll be that. It’s getting harder and harder to win these days, the markets available now are ridiculous as well. £10 a week will be enjoyment. Any more for me, will not be enjoyment and it should be about fun/a bit of interest. 

 

When all is said and done after a big loss think to yourself how much better you could’ve utilised that money. That’s enough for me

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49 minutes ago, Max Wall said:

After a couple of decades mainly working in my own office within a business, my situation changed and I've been working closely with a very mixed age group containing quite a lot of youngsters. I've been absolutely astounded at the amount of time the males spend gambling. There's not a night goes by without them running back and forward to the toilets checking in running scores for football matches. I've always liked a punt and can only imagine what I'd have been like between the ages of 18 and 25 if I could have placed a bet wherever I was and at any time of day. There is an explosion coming regarding the gambling industry and, at some point, it will start becoming apparent just how many people are in serious trouble from casual betting. A couple of years back my Mrs commented on how The Times rich list has changed in the last decade and how many bookmakers names were suddenly in the top 100. It's an incredibly worrying trend. 

With my age group, we've grown up in the era of group chats and being able to put bets on your phone; I feel as though some people put bets on to impress there mates, especially with the guy I mentioned previously. Particularly with Uni students, a lot seem to put their leftovers from student loans on sporting bets or even casinos, its crazy.

I'd like to think their will be a crackdown but it only seems to be getting worse, Skybet recently added a "Group Bet" feature. This is basically where you and your mates add one result each to an accumulator but it is then recorded with a table based on who gets the most wins or the highest average odds! I feel they're definitely targeting my age group. 

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It's that first 'big win' that gets you. Maybe a couple hundred or a couple thousand quid, which seems a lot at the time. Most people are fine, they can withdraw it and carry on as they were. But for a significant minority of people, winning is the worst thing that can happen.

The thing is, you don't know whether or not you are in that minority until it actually happens, by which time it's too late. The stakes escalate. You think 'if only I would have put more on'. You start putting your winnings back in. You know winning is possible because you've done it before. Before long most of the winnings have gone and you tell yourself "I just want to reach X number again / get 'my' money back and then I'll withdraw". But even if it happens, you can't walk away and it all goes back in. 

I started with free bets after the title win because I thought I might as well give it a go with all the 5000-1 talk. Had never bet or even played the lottery before that. I went from betting £5 to betting £5000 on a single outcome within 12 months. My thought patterns regarding gambling are messed up. I get angry when I win (for not putting more on) and am not bothered when I lose. I'm up overall, but it's not been worth the toll it's taken on my mental health. It started as escapism from life issues, as anaesthetic to numb the brain. But it just creates more issues.

Edited by brucey
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