For many years, I was addicted to FOBTs in the bookies, which I wrote about here a couple of years ago. In 2017 I managed to kick my FOBT habit but unfortunately replaced it with arguably much worse online gambling. I would estimate in 13 years, gambling has cost me a six figure sum. Although it's been a while since I've taken out any new debt to fund gambling, I'm still paying off what was around 25k, now down to about 11k and will be continuing to pay this off for probably about another 18 months. Credit score is so bad most payday loan sharks wouldn't touch me now.
But I'm really, really pleased to say I finally registered with Gamstop. Wasn't easy; for some reason the online identity check on their website kept rejecting me, telling me I'd answered questions about myself incorrectly even though I knew I was giving the right answers. But I spoke to them and was able to send in some photo ID and proof of address to get registered manually.
The confirmation I was registered came through today and within an hour, I checked to see what would happen if I tried to log in to a few of my various online casino accounts - all blocked.
I'm so happy right now. If it weren't for Gamstop, it would take me only days to give in to the temptation to have "just £20" on a few slots. If it weren't for Gamstop, every future pay day I'd be depositing a couple hundred quid, convincing myself for the thousandth time that this month I'll be able to control it and stop when my budget runs out, knowing I'm lying to myself even as I do it.
FOBTs hold zero temptation for me, even moreso since the £2 stake limit came in a few months back. Haven't walked inside a bookies in about 2 years now and not remotely tempted to try. What got me hooked on online slots was ironically that they're actually a lot better than FOBT machines, higher RTP percentages and bigger jackpots at much lower stakes. £2 a spin for a maximum £500 at RTPs as low as 88% is utterly insane, wouldn't stake a fiver on those odds let alone hundreds or thousands like I used to when they had the £50 mega spins.
What I'm trying to say is besides online slots I can no longer play and FOBTs I no longer want to play, no other form of gambling has ever been a problem for me; I have not for example ever been to a land based casino or bought scratchcards. Weirdly for a gambling addict, I've always thought of those things as a mug's game (guess I'm a selective addict, haha!)
So I'm finally free. Can't play online, don't go in bookies...for the first time in well over a decade, I'm really looking forward to getting paid knowing I'll have money to spare at the end of the month. My debts will go down and I'll be able to start saving money that would previously have been blown gambling. And I can do this safe in the knowledge that when I get paid, there's simply no option for me to give in and scratch that little itch, because I have made the decision to have that choice taken out of my hands.
Day one and I already feel like a massive weight has been lifted off me. I spent £3 in the supermarket today on a four pack of glass bottles of coke. Crazy to think that until now, I wouldn't have done that, I'd have thought oh no that's expensive and extravagant, I can buy 2 litres of cheap cola for 40p. But the stupid thing is whenever I thought like that, what I really meant inside was "that's £3 I won't be able to gamble later". It's like so much stress and anxiety is gone now - and it's really making me think how much of that I'd just got used to, like being on edge all the time was just my life. But it doesn't have to be.
So yeah, use Gamstop - unlike software you install on your computer/phone, it's on the casinos end so you can't get around it.
Well done! I'm the same as you 😝 just playing online slots.. No interest in any other gambling. I registered myself and it feels good. You sound just like me! I'm also looking forward to my payday when all that money will be for my family and me.. I won't be able to put 30 on for a few spins and end up 200 down. Then chase that and lose more!
Luckily my mum and dad lent me a few hundred (I lost 90% of my wages won it back then lost it again) I've been posting on here and trying to help out with advice.
Good on you for blocking I was reluctant at 1st thinking I can win one more time and walk away.. But we can't! We'll always chase that next win. They can b******s if they think they're herring any more money off me. Take care and keep me updated on how u get on.
My only regret is that I tried to register for Gamstop two months ago and just let it slide when it rejected my answers on the ID check. Since then I've lost another 6 or 7k. I'd be in a much happier place right now if that registration had just worked the first time. But I am happy today. I'm so happy knowing that I don't have to lie myself any more, or plead with myself not to gamble, knowing that I'm going to give in and do it anyway. I can start building a better future. In the past, even when I self-excluded from individual casinos, I'd just go and open an account with another one. With all UK licensed casinos blocked through Gamstop, I have no way to remove the block or regain my access or open any new accounts. It feels great. This time, for the first time in so many years, I know I can do it now. The doors of my gambling vice are closed to me and there's nothing I can do about it except enjoy repairing my finances and having money again 🙂
Hi... and yes you have got a real opportunity to be able to stay stopped. Be cautious though. Remind yourself that addiction can evolve and change and that your addictive side can be very sneaky and find a way to gamble. That's been my experience anyway. years ago I only gambled in arcades and never thought i'd go in the bookies, until the day I went in the bookies. Then I thought i'd never gamble online until the day I gambled online. Then I thought i'd never go in a bookies I was banned from until the day I did and nobody said or did anything. Then I thought i'd never buy scratch cards until the day I did..... you get the drift.
But anyway well done... sounds like your life is going to get better and better. 🙂