I am a huge scratch card addict, always chasing my losses, no matter how much I want to stop or what tactics I give myself to buy these things I keep going back and getting more, I’ve called gamcare and am still awaiting phone counselling but there’s a huge wait to get it, in the meantime the worst thing cones to me that a gambling addict can experience, that summed up in one word is ‘BOREDOM’, wether it’s my downtime at work or days off, boom..boredom hits..off I pop to the shop and usually buy £30 worth of £3 scratch cards, oh but I only get the fun ones (that’s the lie I keep telling myself) the ones that take a while to do, I’ve now come to the conclusion enough is enough, I’d sooner be bored and have money than be not bored and throw £30-£70 a day away on these things, thing is I have had decent wins in the past, lots of £100, but that’s probably the worst thing to happen to me as it fuels the addiction more, I’m sick of working stupid long hours to get money, only to blow it on pieces of card with a chance of winning
even if I win my money back, like £3 off a £3 card that just in my opinion is worse than just losing the money because it’s another trip back to the shop to swap for another card, not to mention sometimes the cost of petrol to get to certain shops if my local shop doesn’t have the cards I like
I just want to stop but Everytime I say I won’t buy anymore I still do, I can go to bed insistant I will never buy another card and then I just wake up thinking today could be my lucky day and buy more, I really need to stop and I need to stop Yesterday
please help me
Hi acorn - What is it about the scratch cards that you like? Just the thought of winning or is it something more? Is it just something to do when you are bored? Think of all those things you could do that would be really fun if you hadn’t wasted it chasing the latest loss or just filling in time in time at work.
When you go to bed st night telling yourself how you’ll kick the habit, write yourself a note saying how you know how the day will end if you buy more cards (sure you might win but it’s just prolonging the wheel spinning) then look at that note as soon as you wake.
Hope my missive helps.
well done for posting on the Forum, it sounds like you are ready to take action. If you identified boredom as a trigger work with that. Often the gambling turns into a lifestyle and it sounds like currently for you it's work, scratchcards, sleep, repeat. That has to change - pick up old hobbies or special interests, start looking for new ones, look at clubs you could join, do some volunteer work. And as odd as this may sound - if possible cut down on the working hours. Often when we work too much and there is no time for us or for fun gambling becomes a 'treat', which it isn't. And the extra time you gain you can spend doing something more worthwhile, enjoyable and fun.
The other thing I would recommend is limiting your access to money. Maybe ask someone to hold your cards/money for you for a period of time. Ideally this person will know the reason why you are asking them to help you with this. Coming clean, to at least one person will also help with the good intentions. With this problem self-motivation is very difficult, it is helpful to have the outside motivation from people around you.
Please feel free to call us on our Helpline or Netline, we are here 24/7 and we can discuss strategies in more detail and also look at 1-2-1 support if you are interested.
Finally, please keep posting, tracking your progress really helps.
Wishing you all the best,
I don’t have Anyone close to my home who can mind my money for me
what I’ve done today is I’ve left my last £80 in my house whilst at work and that money’s purely for petrol etc, can’t spend it if it’s not near me, I really don’t want to buy these things anymore and give the fat cats at the lotto more money, it doesn’t help me when I see these news stories of people winning the jackpot and it’s sometimes people who buy one card here and there, I keep thinking’ that should be my win’ and it’s not fair and it just fuels me to buy more cards
That’s the thing I have signed up for ARA telephone counselling but I’m still on a waiting list and because of the long working hours I’m afraid I’m going to miss the call(s) as I don’t get a set day off and they usually want a set date and time
sadly where I live there’s no face to face counselling, and I need it badly, I’m working as a support worker trying to help people overcome addiction etc and I feel like a right hipacrtic when I’m telling people addictions bad and then going our buying £30 worth of scratch cards that day myself, I need to sort this out as I can’t sit in my house anymore mid month low on food and screaming to myself ‘you could be eating now but you bought scratch cards instead of food’ anymore, it’s getting serious now and I need to stop, it’s now 8:17am on my first day of steering clear from these cards and it needs to get to 10pm before I start feeling a slight benefit
the fact I’ve left my money at my home whilst I work is helping I guess
another tactic I’m using is when I do do my food shopping I shop at the supermarkets that don’t sell the cards, just sell food
Thanks so much for your reply, I’m now on day two of not gambling and buying these scratch cards, thing is the big test I’d tomorrow as it’s my day off work and day 3 (when I quit smoking day 3 was always the hardest) so I’m assuming day 3 of not gambling will be the toughest
boredom will set in, I’ve already got my tactic, instead of spending £30 on these cards, I’ve spent £30 on a game for my console and I’ll play that to ease the boredom and take my mind off these dreaded scratch cards, I do find playing computer games really helps me overcome the urges, also if I lose on a game, I just lose, I don’t lose money, I just lose but I’m still not £30 down like I would if I lost on ten scratch cards, hopefully you get my method of thinking there
today I’ve supported someone all day on a social day walking around Cardiff and it’s really helped me get active and not even think about buying a scratch card, I do find working long hours helps but especially being out in the community with someone helps me so much
I will do this and by my next payday I’m aiming to save the money I would have put on these scratch cards but I’ll be putting in a locked savings account (one where I need to give a months notice to withdraw money but can add money to it anytime) I’m also going to email the lottery to tell them I have a problem and see what they advise from their end too
Well done on your second day! This is a tricky one as it’s not something you can ban yourself from like with online gambling but have you thought about getting a weekly shop delivered from asda or Tesco? And then just not going to any shops at all. I was addicted to Facebook raffles and there was no way to ban myself from those so had a similar struggle! Hope they can help you find a solution as you don’t deserve to work hard all day and go home to an empty fridge 🙁 good luck!
That’s a good idea about online shopping, I’ll try that next month
i like to go food shopping though and once I get this addiction beaten I’ll be able to enjoy it more when I do
I know I can do this, not helping when the lotto are bringing new scratch cards our every week, like today they’ve brought one out apparently and everyone’s going wild for it, something to do with making a picture on it I think, I’m not even bothered now, I am bothered about never giving those penny pinchers another penny ever again
Could be a good solution for now, I think once you realise that you will never win more than what you spend it’ll be easier to quit. It’s hard to take in because it makes you upset at how much you’ve wasted but I think once you accept everything for how it is it’s a lot easier to deal with. It’s good you’ve bought a new game to keep yourself occupied too! Hobbies are a great help aswell as keeping busy! Good luck
Thanks for the replies people, they really do help me so so much so please keep them coming, Everytime I have urges I come on here now, I’m disgusted Everytime I check my bank account at the money I’ve spent
I looked before on my online banking and totalled it all up from last year and it’s got to around £8,000 on these cards I’ve spent, that’s a new car, a holiday, savings, most of my yearly rent I could have used
this scratch card addiction is going and I can safely say the lottery aren’t getting a penny from me again
just got to keep away from shops that sell them