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Hi - I am new and looking for similar situations  


Good Evening,

A bit of background - I’m a mum of 2 - married.. my children are 16 and 8 - my oldest has Autism and severe anxiety issues. This last few months have been tough on us all - but has hit my son hard, not being able to control his anxiety. He does have a mental health assessor in college which helps, but when we are in lockdown, the anxiety builds up again, I am also my mums carer and been looking after her more as she had Covid just after Xmas while juggling with my children and a full time job. I am now on the sick due to stress - my son developed chest pains and after tests, the anxiety is causing heart issues and on heart medication.. 

I have always enjoyed going to Bingo, playing a few slots on payday. Sometimes I win sometimes I don’t - never bothered me.. however these last few weeks I have been too afraid to sleep, incase my son had heart issues or even worse tried to hurt himself.. I tried tv, mobile games etc but still wasn’t keeping me awake as long as I wanted so my escape turned to slots, it’s kept me awake especially if I had a win.. it got to the point after new year that I was topping up using PayPal as that was the only way for instant cash to play, I noticed payments left a day or 2 later from my bank, always making sure I could pay mortgage and bills. However I am so exhausted I didn’t keep a track on spending or what’s left bank and still to come out not realising sometimes it can take a few days longer. On Friday I was left £1000 in an unauthorised overdraft - instantly I have excluded myself from all gambling sites and contacted the bank - they understood and arranged a payment plan to pay off the £1000 over 8 months.. was thankful.. however I sat down and worked out what has to still come out and it’s another £3000 and will leave me £2000 in unauthorised overdraft again.. I know these will bounce back to PayPal, but I don’t know how many times they will try to take the money from bank and what happens then ?? 
I am day 4 with no gambling and it don’t bother me and I’m happy I could turn away from it all i know I found a really stupid escape to stay awake and need to pay back every penny , and now taken up jigsaws believe it or not! 
wondering if anyone else have had similar situation with PayPal debt? Allowing you to spend when you don’t have the physical money in the account ? 

thanks for taking the time to read 


This topic was modified 1 month ago by Forum admin
Posted : 24th January 2021 7:29 pm
Forum admin

Dear Sarah,

First of all, welcome to GamCare and for sharing your story here on the forum. It sound like you are going through a particularly difficult time at the moment, and have to manage and care for a lot of differing needs, and with the ongoing lockdown the pressure of these responsibilities have only increased for you. 

Well done for addressing the gambling so quickly, although I understand that your reasons for gambling are still very much a concern; and I can appreciate your concerns around the outstanding payments. If you have not already done so it could be useful for you to contact the National Debt Line or Citizens Advice who will be able to look at your options and advise on the best course of action with you. 

As well as the support you will find here, I would also encourage you to get in touch with our helpline either on 0808 8020 133 or via the live chat option for a chat with one of our advisers; we are available 24 hours a day. 

Wishing you all the very best Sarah,


Forum Admin


Posted : 24th January 2021 9:40 pm

All I would is that is a lot of money to spend ‘passing the time’

sounds like you have an issue to address. Regardless of whether PayPal were allowing it you were the only person doing it.

nit trying to be harsh however as a cg I know the ‘i can stop now’ ethos.

the money is gone, don’t chase it and be careful

Posted : 24th January 2021 10:21 pm

Hello, I'm a friend of someone who has recently confided in me regarding his gambling addiction. I am just looking for advice on what to say and what not to say to him. He has already recognised that he has a problem and has just blocked all the transactions that are associated with gambling through his bank account. Can anyone please advise me off the next step as i am really worried about him...

Posted : 24th January 2021 11:06 pm

Hi Sarah 12345.

You have been going through a lot of stress which is totally understandable.

For many people gambling becomes their drug of choice because its a powerful draw to the human psyche all wrapped up in the feeling that its going to be good to you.. make you forget for a while...ease your pain...your discontent and make you feel better to face tomorrow.

Its such a complex addiction that I also had feelings that it was sensible thing to do to pass the time...a money earner if you like....NOT!

I can be very careful with money even a bit of a skinflint so it shows how the gambling addiction completely takes over and plays on your mind that this shouldnt be happening so one more go will put it right and then has to put it right as the cold desperation sets in. Such a powerful drug addiction that it creates false hope until the last of your money is gone.

So we understand and nobody is going to judge you here. Its not a stupidity or greed issue. Instead its a complex drug issue based on depression stress and circumstances creating a situation where you reach out for a false idol or false hope

You can build a strength and a pride in small steps to start with by building a foundation of openness and honesty. I hope you can talk to people close to you and build a support network. There is no shame in reaching out for help and talking it through.

The call from paypal will come. Again you can build a pride by being ready for the call because there is a way to deal with this and you will make the addiction history with the right support.

You have to take responsibility for your actions but its not all your fault in this deregulated world. Paypal should not be authorising money you dont have and they should not be dealing with gambling dens

You can only pay back what you can afford and there is plenty of help and financial advice. You can not worry yourself ill about these debts and it will all be behind you one day.

What you must do is seek help, tell people you trust and get your remaining money or wages protected. Im hoping you have loved ones that can help in this way and give you moral support

Its an extremely dangerous addiction which is always waiting to put thoughts in your head on a wet Tuesday afternoon and you need the big measures to counter it so you are never complacent about its powers again

You will do this so believe in yourself. Dont just rely on your own willpower though and phone Gamcare as many times as you like. 

Best wishes from everyone on the forum


This post was modified 1 month ago 2 times by Joydivider
Posted : 25th January 2021 12:26 am
Forum admin

Hello E.Stevens21

Thank you for posting on the Forum regarding information and support for a friend.  It is positive that your friend has put in place Blocking/Self Exclusion from gambling sites.  However, it would also be very helpful for your friend to get in touch with an Adviser as we can support your friend through the early stages of their Recovery Journey.  

Please encourage your friend to get in touch either by our Helpline on 0800 820 133 or via our LiveChat option.

In order for you to continue to support your friend, you may find it useful to have a look on the Gam-Anon website which is  This is a Fellowship specifically for family/friends of the problem gambler and may give you some useful information.

I sincerely do hope that your friend gets in touch, as there really is a way forward as you will see by reading some of the posts of our Forum Users who are awesome and moving forward a day at a time.



Forum Admin

Posted : 25th January 2021 6:39 am

Hi Sarah

Thanks for sharing your story.

First of all, under no circumstances try and win any of it back. Read some stories on here and you will see that it doesn't work and it will make your situation 100x worse. Of course it looks and feels terrible now, but it could be so much worse.

Regarding Paypal, what will happen is they may try to take it from your bank account a couple of times over the next week or two. When they realise there are no funds there, they will just make it into a negative balance on your PayPal account. I also had a negative balance on Paypal a couple of times last year (actually not through gambling but from some bounced transactions). Just to explain it, usually what happens is PayPal will notice the negative balance after 2-5 days or so and then try calling you (they are actually very persistent and probably the most annoying people I had a negative balance with). But don't let that worry you, there is not a lot they will do so don't let them scare you into paying money you don't have or can't afford. The best thing to do with PayPal is to do the same as you have done with your bank, and set-up a monthly repayment that you can afford (however small it is), but don't leave yourself short, because you don't want to be resorting to gambling later in the month when you don't have enough money.

I totally feel for you, like most people here we have all been there (and many including myself have worse debts than you from gambling - which is what happens when you chase losses by the way), but self exclude yourself from all sites you use or put on a gamble aware block so you can't access those sites anymore (it's easy to get complacent after a few weeks otherwise).

I wish you and your family all the best and try not to think too much about what is lost, and made a plan for getting out of the situation and making it better.

Posted : 25th January 2021 7:57 am

Thanks for all your lovely comments.. I have blocked all gambling sites.. removed all Facebook ads etc and read thru loads of posts. Day 5 and I just need to put my silliness right. I am in no way saying I don’t have a problem - my chain of thought was never let’s try win some money or win some back but of course if I had a win it drawn me in to keep topping up.. my main focus was being able to stay awake to make sure my son was ok with any distraction possible - and I’m not saying I won’t want to at some point, but for now I really do not want to play. I am taking it day by day and I know there is all this help available too 

I will speak to PayPal and set up some form of payment plan 

Best wishes to everyone 

Posted : 25th January 2021 9:54 am
 X M

Hello. I don't think there is anything you can do about the PayPal thing. 

Also it's good that you've addressed the problem. You obviously live a very stressful life and gambling can really help forget all that as your mind is almost in a tunnel vision. But it doesn't take away the harsh reality of life forever. 

Posted : 25th January 2021 11:26 am

Ok Sarah12345 thats good but I just want to make you think that you have to be very focused why you tried it and why you chased to those losses.

It addicts people fast so talk it through and protect any other money. I'm not being funny but if you can tell someone like a friend or your parents it sets up another level of people who you can talk to...and who can help you in important ways.

Gambling is often a cry for help from people with a lot of troubles on their plate. Its understandable but gambling is not and never was the answer because you are being sold a lie or a very temporary escape drug. The monumental scandal is that its destroying people and making their problems far worse.

There is no shame in getting yourself a health check and making sure you have the strong roots to realise its not for you and abstention is the only way.

Its the sort of addiction that confuses us into thinking we can leave it when we choose. If only it was that simple. You mention silliness but please be aware it goes deeper than that...addiction is your mind and body craving harmful actions.

Best wishes from everyone on the forum




Posted : 25th January 2021 8:34 pm
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