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High Street Betting Shops  



So since the covid-19 restrictions and having to work from home I decided to go through with my Gamstop request and im glad I did as its definitely saved me a lot of money and brain space through potentially punishing myself for losing. That being said I have a question regarding physical high street betting shops. 


Once the restrictions are lifted and the high street reopens I think the idea that Im going to successfully walk past every bookies on the high street (which seem to be every other shop these days!) is quite unrealistic. I might have will power on most days, but I wont kid myself that I wont go into one at all at any point. Besides in my view my only problem was with online slots as the stakes can get ridiculous and you can just sit there sinking beers completely checked out from reality until the next morning. At least in bookies the stakes are capped at 2 quid and you cant consume alcohol or anything in there:P.


Anyway my question is .. with being on Gamstop now and having all my online accounts self excluded. Should I go into a bookies in future and win a nice amount, will I still be able to get my winnings paid onto my debit card or will my debit card numbers flag up on some system telling the bookies that I should be self excluded which may result in them not paying me out all together?. Ive found after a nice win to have it be paid onto my debit card which takes 3 days to go through was better than walking out with all the cash. I just hope I can still do that should the situation happen. After all i only really believe my issue was around online gambling anyway.

Thanks for reading



Posted : 15th April 2020 12:17 am

I will tell you a tale that might help. About 12 months ago I self excluded from casinos in the area for 6 months, one night (after beer - some 7 months later) I went to one and they checked my Id and said although six months - I had to stop the exclusion in writing - 24 hours delay, so I left, the other didn’t check Id and I walked in - I was circa £400 down, cashpoint withdrawl etc, however had a winning spell on machine watching roulette table - I took a winning slip to cashier, they checked my Id and then refused to payout as I was still on the self exclusion scheme, although 6 months over I needed to in writing stop the self exclusion and then wait 24 hours.

this taught me a lesson that the whole system is not to protect the gambler but to protect organisations who don’t give a **** but pretend they do!

i suspect that you may find that cash onto card may show you are self excluded and not entitled to the money.

my advice is the minute they open, walk in and confirm your self exclusion and then enjoy not losing on slots.

some 12 months free from going to casinos - I never sent in writing to cancel. And 124 days totally gf - I am enjoying this freedom


This post was modified 4 months ago by Forum admin
Posted : 15th April 2020 2:20 am
Lost and Found

Hi Calvin, if you don't have a gambling problem with high street bookies, then why do you think walking past them every day would be unrealistic? Don't kid yourself here. This is just the addiction looking for a way out. You've mostly found that betting online is an issue for you, so you have gone on Gamstop, that's great. But now, your brain is searching for alternatives....believe me, I felt backed into a corner too. Now, it is trying to convince you that things will be different in the bookies. Yes, there are restrictions in bookies when it comes to spending, but not to how much time you can waste in there. No one's going to turf you out after 4 hours, 5 hours, 6 hours.  Having lower stakes doesn't mean you can't spend all hours in them, lose your wages and your mind along with them.

I know a guy who had a problem with the FOBT's. It nearly killed him and now he's dropped off the radar, I don't know what has happened to him or if he is alright. If you've decided to go with Gamstop, then you obviously recognise that you have a gambling problem. You think this problem will only exist online and that you can walk into a highstreet bookies and become a responsible gambler just because the stakes are lower. A gambling problem is about how gambling affects you, not how much money you stake. It's about spending too much time doing it, and how your brain is wired to need it. It won't keep you safe from emptying all you have into them, mind, body and soul. 

All you will do is switch your online addiction to a highstreet addiction and you are already self soothing now about the idea of these shops being open again and being able to get your are already thinking about your next bet, what you might win and how you might have those winnings received.....

No, gamstop won't stop you from doing anything on the highstreet. It is for online betting only. No highstreet protection is in place by being with Gamstop. You will need to self exclude from the bookies using the MOSES (multi operator self exclusion scheme) or self exclude individually from the shops. 

Don't kid yourself about this. Don't think you will have any more control, you won't. These machines take £2 every 20 seconds and your losses are not limited to how much you wager per spin, but how long you spend in there. Remember, addicts are addicted to gambling as much as they are to the idea of winning, so you will want to spend hours in there getting your fix and hours more trying to get your money back. Believe me, the least of your concerns is how you will get your winnings out because they may as well just pay you in game credits because it's all going to go back in again.

Stay safe.


This post was modified 4 months ago by Lost and Found
Posted : 15th April 2020 9:19 am

Go into ALL your local betting shops and ask to be self excluded! Or look into MOSET which is where you register with your picture and details for exclusion and select Coral, l*******s etc all around where you go day to day. It helps mate. Just do it!

Posted : 15th April 2020 10:25 am

Maybe reading some of the horror stories on here and on the GA forum should give you an indication that the addiction knows no limits and has no preference about who it takes.

Read the diaries from people who came here five years ago, disappeared and came back worse than ever. If only they had hindsight....

There's a saying in addiction. I don't have a problem with xy or z....yet.

Unless you accept that all gambling should be off limits, all you are doing is kidding yourself that you don't really have a problem. You can control gambling in the bookies, you don't really have a problem. You're even talking about that big win that needs paying out. Do you think that's really you talking or your addiction? Your addiction is starving at the moment and is desperate to keep you down.

Fxxk the addiction. Put stops in place now to starve the addiction. MOSES, as mentioned above, will help with the high street bookies.

I'm tempted to say if you don't think you have a problem then keep going, but it's experience and hope that my wasted life can help one other person not go through what I've been through. 

Be honest with yourself. You never have a better chance than now while everything is shut.

I mentioned above if only we had hindsight. Actually in this case you can use everyone else's hindsight. 

All the best coming to your own decisions.


Posted : 15th April 2020 11:18 am

Good Afternoon Cal,

The good souls above have taken the time to offer you some good advice and support. Personally, in addition to the advice you have already received, I would ask yourself at the end of the shutdown if you have been better off mentally, physically and financially through not gambling.

Take an honest view on how you felt pre- shutdown in terms of what gambling did for you compared with a month or so without gambling. If you’re worrying less, sleeping a little better and losing less money in the space of a month then just imagine how well you’ll be doing in a years time without gambling.

The benefits of not gambling are endless. Experience this and focus on each and every positive regardless of how big or small and perhaps you may never want to gamble ever again.

The people who have left messages for you, like myself, have probably experienced some very dark and horrendous experiences through gambling. Each and every one of us hopes that you dont go through your life experiencing the same things.

Stop now. You’ll never regret it.


Posted : 15th April 2020 1:40 pm

Hi guys 



Thanks for taking the time to read my upload and to respond to it and sharing your stories 🙂

I agree I probably am kidding myself to a certain degree that I have any form of gambling under control, I suppose maybe a massive part of me wants to believe that im in control of it and not the other way round. Since the lock down ive found myself watching people play online slots on youtube quite a lot. I cant decide whether watching others play them is filling the gap in a healthy way or whether its merely fueling the flames for when the restrictions are lifted. 

I dont feel like I want to gamble after watching his uploads, whether thats because my devices all have Gamban on them and ontop of that im on Gamstop so I just accept I couldnt if I even thought for a moment it was a good idea. I dont know what draws me to sitting there watching someone else play them though, or whether thats something that probably isnt wise or healthy and I should address that too before the lock down ends.


Ive read many stories on here on all the forums and stuff, and i relate to so many of them in so many different ways. The problem is in that moment of reading someones story you feel connected to that person in a small way because theyve just spellt out exactly how you know youve felt yourself, so you know for a small moment, youre not alone with it. But then the next day happens and you jog along and join the rat race and all of a sudden that human, real momentary connection you made to someones upload in a forum is the furthest thing from your mind in an impersonal world.

I feel like ive gambled for all sorts of reasons but i definitely think one reason that never left was loneliness. Whenever i felt alone in a world where there seemed to be people around me yet I felt so isolated, the machine would always be there. Like any relationship youd take the rough with the smooth with the machine, it would always be there though, meet you at the same spot each afternoon and chill with you. I dont feel as ruthlessly lonely as i know i have been, like i say i know ive gambled over the years with a myriad of reasons and justifications for it. 


I just wish the stories typed on to this forum and the things I read on there could be etched into my short term memory like a tattoo that is constantly there to remind me when things get rough.







This post was modified 4 months ago by Forum admin
Posted : 15th April 2020 8:01 pm


Just a few things to add.

1. Beware of those videos on YouTube. I used to watch them. In particular, some geezer who always seemed to win at roulette. I couldn’t stop watching for a while and it led me back to playing roulette. I heard a rumour that the videos are fake. They show big losses quickly turned into turnaround wins. It plants a seed in our addicted minds. I never, ever watch that stuff now. No good can come from it.

2. Myself and the guys who messaged you weren’t part time gamblers. I couldnt get through a single day without roulette. I though I loved it and my life was nothing without it. This is an illusion of addiction. Once you quit and replace it with something else your life improves exponentially.

3. I’ve ran over 70 miles this month in only 15 days. I dont gamble now but I run almost every day. It keeps me fit and does wonders for my mental well being. I run in the morning and I’ve never returned from a run and not felt brilliant. Even if I cant be bothered which happens I force myself to go because its like my medicine. Find your healthy, happy thing and take your life in a different direction.

4. All things worth doing in life takes effort. It is challenging at the start but gets progressively easier. I haven’t thought once today about gambling. 

Take care.


Posted : 15th April 2020 10:02 pm
Lost and Found

Calvin, you write beautifully. What on earth are you wasting your time gambling for? You should be using those fingers for better use than spinning reels. I have a writing background and it is great escapism to be able to write. Having said that, it's like I wrote your post too. I really feel like that as well and I hate myself for the fact that I still carry a torch for gambling after everything it has put me through. I have often likened gambling to an abusive relationship. You hate it, and it hurts you but it is always there for you and welcomes you when no one else will, comforts your troubled mind and you forget all the pain and the suffering you have gone through and go running back to it again, only for it to hurt you again.

I totally get that and if I am honest, really really honest. I want to bet right now. I can't and I won't but I want to. That troubles me. I have had a difficult few days and found myself thinking about gambling. It's weird for me, it's not the winning that draws me in, it's just a safe place for my mind. I have anxiety and it was always a place where I went just to switch off, where I didn't have to think. I have people around me, a loving family, but I always feel different, like only gambling really gets me. Somewhere along the road, I disconnected in life and it was gambling that I found a connection to. I suppose some of it comes from feeling judged and criticised by people and wanting my own space. I am sociable but at the same time, I used to prefer to spend time alone on the casino's just spinning and detaching myself from reality. The world is not always a nice place and I have always been down the rabbit hole so to speak. I don't connect with people all that well and gambling cut me off from the last few remnants of my life that meant anything at all. Before I knew it, all I was was a gambler. I didn't even know what I was about anymore. 

I realised pretty soon that I was not addicted to winning but to risk. I seem to have been on a path of self destruction these last two decades and it has cost me dearly. To think that I would still answer if gambling called is insane. I hate it but I am still drawn to it. I hate myself for that, but that is what I have trained myself to do. I am conditioned to want it now, but I just don't bet any more. I will be 2 years gamble free come May and I have had the worst time lately with urges, probably due to all the stress out there, and so I come on here to remind myself why I stay strong and remain a non gambler. 

I totally get what you are saying, you read the horror stories, you relate, then it all goes out the window again. That is the nature of addiction but also the nature of human beings. We bounce back, we forgive, we move on but we must learn from the mistakes of the past otherwise they will be part of our future.

I definitely wouldn't check out those videos, they are fuelling your fire for sure. Yes, people win big sometimes, that's why we are all here, we've all won sometimes, but we have all lost far, far more. Tell yourself that these videos are just a snapshot in time, that what happens in the video is not a true reflection of what could happen again. What is much more likely is that you will lose everything.

I like to remind myself that the gambling companies are always on the winning side, that they are always in profit, so whenever we win, it is always coming from someone who has lost. It could be their wages, their rent, their Christmas money, but it is never money from the gambling companies. In other words, if we win, someone else somewhere is suffering and has their head in their hands, and soon enough, if we gamble, it will be our turn to lose.

That's all we do as gamblers, we pass money around, one week it's our turn to win, then it is someone else's turn to win and our turn to lose. It's just cycling money around like an endless merry go round.

Remember as well that it is likely that as fast as that money was won on that video, it would be lost again, back in the machine. Money won gambling is tethered to the machine. it is cursed and you can never keep it. Every time I won a fair amount, I would never ever be happy. I always knew that I could never keep it, even if I withdrew it and put it in the bank, sooner or later it would go back again. That's why winning and losing are the same thing. It may take longer but eventually, it will all go back.

I wish I could go back all those years and know what I know now. I only lost a couple of grand but I couldn't' let it go. I spent the next 10 years losing the rest of our life savings, twenty odd grand, then spent the next decade getting in to debt to try to win it all back. Not only did I lose 20 grand but I racked up another 25 grand in credit card debt that I am still stuck with......

The addiction sucks. It has crushed my spirit and stolen 20 years of my life and ruined my security yet I have to accept that I am still drawn to gambling and still feel like it has me in its grip even after 2 years of not betting. Will it ever be over? I don't know, but if I could find myself a DeLorean, I'd go back and make sure I never placed that first bet.

This post was modified 4 months ago 2 times by Lost and Found
Posted : 15th April 2020 10:24 pm

Hi Cal please take a reaad of this, best wishes and good luck

Posted : 15th April 2020 11:36 pm

Hi Cal.j

Your posts are full of the what if ?,delusion and confusion which is understandable.

Its an addiction that does not let people go too easily.

Please do not totally rely on Gamstop type software. Who have you told thats close to you. have you told them the full amount you have LOST.

Have you tried to explain a gambling session to them because believe me it will sound like a story about Aliens abducting you. They will just look at you and think how addicted you are to chuck hard come by money in that way.

The videos are not real because you dont know what they are based on. You dont know how they are funded or what they are losing. You havent seen the accounts no matter what they tell you. They are not an entertainment charity and they are trying for viewing revenue which is often to fund their own addictions. 

Most of them are addicts, a few have a business plan but make no mistake its cynical and it should be banned.

The reason you are searching them out should concern you. You are ignoring the odds because your mind is thinking about dopamine and adrenaline..thats what we get addicted to which are primordial chemicals within our bodies

There is no shame in reaching out for help. I dont need gambling in my life. Its not an income scheme or a lifestyle on those odds.

Bookies are not a soft option compared with online. Fortunes can be lost in them...hundreds..... thousands...everything you have.Its a  compulsive illness of the mind which affects millionaires and people from all walks of life because the addiction is beyond the money

Its about looking at you and finding the answers. Ive been a loner all my life and im still working out why. Its not that I am particularly shy and I have a lot to offer. I set high standards and feel a failure. I wanted even expected the best looking women with my vanity and I wont work at things. Im a dreamer and a pontificator with no aim in life. I have drifted like a leaf on the wind into relationships so what did I expect. Im a leader inside but a follower in my actions.

I tell you something though cal.....Gambling was never the answer to anything and I have forty years experience of the delusion and misery

I still wake up and wonder who I am but my life is vastly better gamble free. I face life! Nobody promised me the land of milk and honey but I dont want to escape life with drugs like gambling.

Best wishes from everyone on the forum

This post was modified 4 months ago by Joydivider
Posted : 17th April 2020 7:54 am
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