I'm new to the site.
I've struggled with gambling for the best part of ten years. I tend to have at times fairly long streaks where I'm in control of it (a couple of months or so). But when things kick off in my life it seems to trigger it off again. I got rid of my iphone a few months ago because i felt it was for the best as i wasn't sticking to the one casino id promised myself id do. When I hit the limits id set id just open new accounts elsewhere and i realized id been triggered again so i got rid of it. Obviously an addict will always find a way and I started spending more time on my laptop playing. I discovered gamban which has helped a lot and ive installed it on everything in the house from my desktop pc to my daughters kids tablet (yes there was a point when id be signed in to Mansion Casino spinning away on her peppa pig tablet :P)
I recently had a big win in a bookies when i was down to my last few quid. I was buzzing. I asked for most of it to be paid onto my card in hope that by the time it went in the buzz of it all would have worn off and i wouldn't be compelled to play with it anywhere else. 3 working days later it came in, i was in the middle of self isolating from work when it came in so i went and got a couple of beers from the shop. Someone I live with had bought a new ipad and i asked if i could use it for a bit once they were done with it for the night. By the end of the day all that money had gone on online casino games and i started doing the rounds asking people to borrow money to get some back. Friends lent me money but i had no success in getting it back. I felt really low and guilty for what id done, asked the owner of the ipad to change the password so i cant get on it and explained why. Why couldn't I have just been satisfied with the money i won in the bookies?, i go round in circles in my head trying to understand why in that moment i thought that amount of money was nothing!, because gambling winnings never feel real despite it being the majority of what my wages are each month. That doesnt come to mind when youre in the midst of it though.
So i decided to tell myself i had a problem and that blocking software isnt enough because whatever chance i get i will ultimately try my luck again and again. So i signed up for Gamstop yesterday. I actually applied to do it just under 2 weeks ago and have had that secure link e-mail in my inbox waiting for me to send the identification documents over, so i sent them over. My salary comes in tomorrow and now with having to work from home im terrified im going to **** up again. I was hoping i would hear from Gamstop today but I haven't yet but im guessing they're probably slow responding due to the virus too, its probably impacted their way of working to get back as fast as they usually might. So i decided to sign up to Gamcare as well to surround myself with some people that obviously get it and hope Gamstop sort me out before I go crazy self isolating haha.
I'm Calvin by the way, who else is here? 🙂
Hi cal welcome to gamcare
Well done on taking big steps and taking control.. signing up for gamstop. It was also great to see you on chat. Hope you pop in tomorrow especially if it's payday just dont give in to temptation give yourself as many blocks as you can and ask your bank if they can block any transactions.
Your doing amazing
Welcome to Gamcare. It is a good place and everyone can empathise with the problems faced by compulsive gamblers in recovery.
I checked out Nat West online and was surprised to learn that customers can put a gambling block on credit cards but not on debit cards. Sorry if I misled you on chat but I was under the impression that all major banks offered the gambling freeze for debit cards.
Wishing you every success in stopping gambling.
If you go here:
You can download a list of banks and building societies and what they currently offer around blocking gambling transactions.
Hey, Calvin welcome.
Gambling is a monster at keeping you interested but it is all about dopamine spikes and brainwashing by media. we are encouraged to stay interested by all the adverts we see and all the buzz there is about a flutter. they don't care if you feel bad they just want you to place another bet.
Being alone is also an enemy because if no one monitoring you but you it is so easy to slip down the wrong path. There is no peace of advice that will remedy self-control immediately. The best of people can fall down the toilet at any given time for any given reason. If anything mindfulness and self-confidence are two important factors to work on. Mindfulness gets you back to present reality when you need to make informed decisions and self-confidence gives you the major tool to fight your addiction. Learning is also good. Find out what makes you tick and decide to come off autopilot will give you favourable circumstances to take charge again.
All the best!
I have only recently been on gamcare but have found it so helpful through everyone's amazing advice. I have been able to block my debit card (HSBC) install gamblock and banned myself from online casinos.
It's interesting when you talk about the winnings I can only talk for myself but the winnings felt like it gave me this strange permission for gambling and that I was doing the right thing or it was ok to lose X amount because I just won X amount. It really boils down to losing the value of money and while it's easy to out the money into an account we must remember it is actually real money and we only seem to realise this once we've lost it unfortunately.
Good luck on your journey though
I went on live chat to Natwest and they put me through to a department to put a block on my debit card against gambling transactions. Maybe you can't do it on the website as such, but I certainly was able to block my card on Live chat. There's no point the banks trying to protect us from scams, fraud and all that if we aren't safe from ourselves but they often look at it that it's our money and we can do with it what we want. However, someone forgot to tell the banks that addiction is not something we want.
Welcome to the forum, my partner is a compulsive gambler so i may not have an insight but i do know how this illness affects the family and loved ones as well.
As someone already mentioned, it would be a good start to get someone control or supervise your finances. Get someone access to your bank acct, credit reports, etc. Someone who will question a transaction if it’s not clear where the money exactly went.
Different banks have different blocking policies. Unfortunately for my partner’s bank they can only block the credit card which he already got rid of anyway. My partner said gamstop is a massive help. He attends GA (online now) twice a week and is also having gamcare counselling. The main thing he said that helped was when he came clean to me as addiction thrives on secrecy. He’s now able to focus on his recovery because he’s out in the open to myself and his family.
As far as i know he’s 43 days gamble free, very long road ahead but i have faith in him. Gambling problem can be arrested. This is definitely a lifelong commitment for both of us.
I wish you well and hope you keep us posted.