I've had an issue with Gambling (mainly online) for quite some time, around 8 and a half years now! I've popped onto the forum for a couple of years or so now just to have a read through many of the stories, most of which have struck a chord with me, however I've mainly come on here after a loss when I've felt down and never signed up! I have a feeling I'm going to write a lot now so apologies, as right now I feel like I want to let everything out...!
I am coming up to my mid-30s now and feel I'm generally a pretty switched on, intelligent bloke, and I earn a decent salary, but nothing extraordinary...BUT just one thing always lets me down and contributes to a lot of my general decisions in life - Gambling! It's something I really don't get as with anything else money-wise I am often very astute and careful (or as some would say, tight).
I currently rent with my girlfriend who knows I have a gambling problem and has stuck by me after the many times I've had to tell her "I've done it again" over our almost 6 year relationship but many times I've hidden the extent of my gambling, as I can't bear the shame, embarrassment and hurt I know I'll be putting her through! And of course losing her trust in me yet again!
I have tried many things to totally stop... Around 7 years ago I went to a weekly counselling session at GamCare which helped to a certain extent, I've self excluded to every site I can think of (after signing up to every single possible UK registered gambling site over the years) along with signing up to GamStop which has worked for UK websites but over the past few months I have managed to sign up to some European sites and gambled much more than I used to, then lastly I tried a weekly GameChange programme which came to an end a few weeks ago which to a certain extent was successful.
In total I'm just under £10k in debt on Credit Cards/Overdrafts which generally goes down then back up again after winning but then putting even more in! I'm not sure exactly what draws me back to gamble each time other than knowing the debt is there and that it is going to take so long to clear it - at least a year and a half without gambling (and that's being cautious with my money, no holidays etc) and I just want it gone!
The thing is I've found with Gambling is how much of a hidden addiction it is... I can go to work like normal with no-one knowing anything but at times I may have had an awful night after gambling but can't say anything...!
I could go on and on now but to cut it short a bit, Online Roulette has been my major downfall for a long time now. Recently I had gone almost 2 months gamble free until a few days ago where I had a win then tonight just a few hours ago I got greedy I and couldn't beat the urge of the Overseas Online Casino yet again... Basically I received an Annual Bonus at work at the end of the financial year and just like I have done in years gone by at a similar time I have ended up spending it on the website of an Online Casino, so again after a year of working very hard I have nothing to show for it! Everytime I deposit it's not even like it's real money - it's just ridiculous thinking about it - I would never consider spending/depositing the amount I do online in any normal day-to-day situation!
I was up later than usual tonight and my girlfriend noticed I hadn't come to bed and then was questioning me by WhatsApp message and wants to see my bank statements online in the morning... And now I cant just get out of it and can't lie to her anymore... I'm still sitting here in the spare bedroom at 3.30am worried and contemplating how I should tell her again! I just know how much she will be hurt, think I don't love her as it's like I can't beat it for the sake of our relationship (as a lack of money has stopped us doing things in the past) and then there's the trust issue! Yet again I'd be back to square one with how much she trusts me.
I don't feel like I am ready to reveal all to my girlfriend but I don't think I have much choice! 🙁
Mainly I just want to be able to stop for good!!! The only way I can think is to hand over my bank cards to my girlfriend but then that takes away my freedom and what if I wish to buy her something or use one of the cards for a normal reason... We've tried it before but I've always found a reason to need a card then on some occasions, a day or 2 later when I've still got the card(s) the temptation is too much!
Wish me luck, and here's to starting to be gamble free again!
Thanks for reading, and sorry if this really dragged!
first of all i hope you eventually got some sleep ! its easy to neglect such an important biological function but with a good 8 hours everything starts to feel slightly better
we have all been in your position ......deposit after deposit after deposit all aimlessly being dwindled away into a black hole there is nothing more depressing than getting to that point where you realise you are in too deep
you mention in your post that you ever only used to come here when you had lost and that is where a lot of people fall down with gambling addiction
when a gambling addict wins he feels like he is smarter than anyone on earth and there is no reason he should stop
when he loses the world comes crashing down and all of a sudden we want a shoulder to cry on
apart from telling someone in real life you have just lost half a years salary on an online site in 4 hours doesn't really make for good conversation
i think for me to get over the addiction i had to get over myself .....unless you have a virtually unlimited disposable income gambling is a ridiculous concept once i accepted that it helped me to move on
Thank you for replying @givemethebuzz.
Not sure when I got to sleep, but got around 4 hours I think, due to having to get up to start work at 9am, as I'm Working From Home...
Yep, you're right - I just kept on depositing last night and kept thinking at some point that I was going to at least get back to 'breaking even'. I even started off with an amount in my balance of 5 x the first deposit amount, and of course as usually happens I got greedy and the winnings quickly disappeared until I was down to zero and just kept depositing like I had unlimited funds which I most definitely do not have!
Yep, I would read many of the posts and could relate to so many and gained comfort that it wasn't only me but then a few weeks or a couple of months later I'd be doing it yet again!
When I have won, often it's been more relief than anything... Of course some occasions I've had the thoughts in my head telling me how easy it is to win, and then the greed/addiction seems to get to me and whatever I've won goes back to bookies/casino along with more often than not even more money!
Sorry, the amount I'm in debt by is an amount over time but I can never seem to lower it as I'm just stuck in this constant cycle of even when I have a good month or 2 I end up spending half or even a full month's wages in one sitting... 🙁 Basically last night it was my annual bonus which I lost so it was pointless me receiving it!
Yep, I think you're right - on the face of it, it is just ridiculous as it shouldn't be there in my mind as like a money making scheme!
The mad thing is, I've been stupidly using overseas websites which put restrictions in place which are totally in their favour! i.e. Having to stake under 30% of your deposit and if you go over on 1 bet the whole withdrawal gets cancelled and they will always find a way to cover themselves with the usual 'Refer to our T's & C's'! The bookies/casinos will always end up winning, but I still go back - so sad really!
How long gamble free are you now? Did you get any help from elsewhere?
Thanks and good luck also!
Hi, I was in ur situation too, I now once I get paid after bills transfer all my money to my dad (its the only way I've succeeded) and then even then I've sometimes used my overdraft to gamble. Then I get money off him when I need it. I don't take cards out with me unless I going away and then I can only lose in one day the cash I have on me. If u want to buy ur girlfriend a present just ask for enough cash to do it (its ur money isn't it). Then when u give her the present shell be even more happy. Trust will come after time when this is working trust me it will. You have to tell her about the debt as then u will feel much better as everything is out in the open plus trust with saving you can get rid of that in a year. With this plan in place and exclusions to local betting shops (trust me after a while gamble free these will become tempting) u will stand a good chance. All the best adam
I've just had to do the same thing this morning with my wife. This the 3rd time I've relapsed and everytike she's stood by me. I'm also in a lot of debt, not just from gambling but it certainly didn't help. Your best course of action is to speak to her. If you hide it your only going to end up eating yourself up.
Were all here for the same reason mate and to help one another. I hope everything goes OK for you mate and you'll nail this!
Best of luck
So just an update, for a month I did really well and ended up telling my Girlfriend and she tried not being too angry although deep down I knew she was!
But then around mid-May the temptation kicked in after the lack of routine with working from home and I was betting on another new foreign casino website, and this time the deposit amounts were high straight away €200 which later increased to €500, but although winning and winning, and feeling like I was in control, recently after having a nice amount of funds sitting in 2 casino websites' accounts as 'Pending Withdrawal', the dreaded 'Cancel Withdrawal' button was clicked at the end of last week! After feeling in control and glad with what I had won and almost had in my bank account, it was all gone in a matter of minutes!
Then today I stupidly chased by depositing and depositing like I had unlimited funds, wanted to win back what I lost but ended up losing a few thousand more once again! I feel absolutely awful but once again the bookies have won and I was sucked in to cancelling the withdrawal and lost even more! (This option should be removed, so many people fall victim to it, of course just gambling full stop the worst thing!)
In a time when I should be able to save more money with not going out socially or paying for travel to work, I have ended up losing a considerable amount.
I'm not sure what writing all of this will achieve tbh as everything I said I wouldn't do previously, I've ended up doing and I'm not going to get all of the money back! It's put me in such a bad mood and my girlfriend keeps asking what's wrong and I just can't tell her this time as it's the same old rubbish! It's my birthday next month and she wants to do something and travel somewhere in the UK and spend a fair amount of money on me and I just feel ashamed when she's so good to me etc!
How can I moan about spending certain amounts on things when out or the cost of shopping etc when I have wasted thousands, it's just so contradictory. I know exactly what I've done and I'm not stupid, but still I do it all over again - just why?! All logic goes out the window when gambling, it's just ridiculous!
Even when I have won it's not enough! I'm not a greedy person normally and appreciate what I have and the value of money BUT with gambling it's so different - I hate it! Once again I see no way out as it's going to take a long time to get rid of the debt!
I hope everyone else has been able to resist the temptations of online gambling whilst in 'lockdown'!
Back to Day 1 again from tomorrow for me!
Ended up telling the girlfriend and initially I thought it would make me feel a bit better but I've stayed in such a bad mood and it's hard to snap out of it as I feel so bad!
My girlfriend's so upset and disappointed with me. Tells me I've got to sort it out for good otherwise I'm going to lose her! To be honest, she's right as I can't keep going round in this vicious cycle, which then ultimately affects us saving and doing nice things together!
I'm really finding dealing with the losses and just the regret of gambling again the hardest thing to overcome. Occasionally I think, what if could win and have the thousands in my casino account again, it would clear my debts and this time I wouldn't cancel the withdrawal, BUT I have to quickly wipe those thoughts away as I just can't go down that road again of being in my own little world spending (credit card) money like it's monopoly paper money!
I guess I need to take it 1 day at a time. Or does anyone else have suggestions for overcoming the regret/ houghts of all of the money lost?!
I was reading your post and wondered how you are feeling now? It sounds like you have had a difficult time and experienced lots of ups and downs due to your problem gambling.
Have you spoken to our Advisers? I think as you mention that you are still thinking about gambling but that you are determined to stop and want to make positive changes then I know that we help.
Please get in touch, either using the netline or by a calling the helpline on 0808 8020 133. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I see you've not posted for awhile so either your winning or you've managed to kick the habit I hope it's the later. Its a horrible addiction plus the amount you can lose in such a short period of time is out of this world. It's a mugs game my friend and only one winner and it'll take everything you've got and come back for more
Hi Kev & Jo,
Thanks for your messages.
I've not gambled for the past 3 weeks, which is good, but me & my girlfriend are going through a tough time due to my stupidity once again!
I have actually got an assessment appointment booked in for this Wednesday so I've taken the first step to getting some external support. Just overall it seems like such a long road ahead to clear all the debt which is constantly in my mind 🙁
All about taking things one day/step at a time I guess.
Sorry to hear your struggles and can relate to contradictions in logic and personality
I have just started here and managing to contain myself but still feel stress and guilt of debt and lunacy in wasting money but then again I have a dislike of money as it was a cause of much pain
Hope the counselling helps