Still thoughts of Matched Betting, particularly at the beginning of a new football season linger on. I’ve been GF for 5 months now but this is the first time I’ve given it much of a thought which is a little concerning. Anyway, my holiday is a few days away, so can switch off for a few weeks.
Halfway through hols. Beautiful hotel, wonderful food, blazing hot weather, everyone relaxed.
Last night the cards came out, joined in for a while, then at the end, my OH decided to introduce the kids to pontoon / Blackjack, and even asked me to get involved - the very game which has been my undoing to the tune of 10’s thousands over 11 years. Thankfully no one was that interested so it only lasted 5 mins. She even started explaining the rules to me. All done in good humour, but although she knows about my past, I never have been convinced that she has truly grasped, nor really wanted to understand the enormity of my battle.
Anyway, a very surreal moment.
Almost 6 months since my last gamble - mostly thanks to Gamstop which has cutoff access entirely, so, barring 2 or 3 days at the beginning of the football season, gambling thoughts have hardly entered my mind.
Financially, still in a bad way, but managing to clear debt, slowly but surely - currently on course to have the CC debt shifted in around 18months.
Anyway, onwards and upwards !
Wow - the days are flying by now. On a 90-day health kick challenge at the moment which is filling my days with training and food prep. Lots of 5:30 starts and with a full-time job, very hard work, but something I cannot quit.
Gambling debts continue to slowly melt away but I’ll get there eventually.
All good at the moment.
My son has in the past month turned 18. For want of a better phrase, I’d say he’s a ‘bit of a lad’. Likes to party, has a few drinks, has a few late nights, but is doing (by all accounts) well at college, works a part-time job, plays sport and doesn’t get in trouble. I guess he’s doing what most 18yr olds do, and most people of my age dream of doing !
Anyway, I’ve recently found evidence of him gambling on football. Nothing more than £1 - £1.50 bets, and at most £10. He doesn’t know that I know, and my means of keeping tabs will be taken away if I confront him.
I know he has a bank account with around £500, and we gave him £1000 for his birthday. He’s fairly sensible at times, but incredibly immature at others.
I started gambling at 37 and it nearly ruined my life. He’s gambling at 18. I’m probably over-reacting to be honest, but scares the s**t out of me.
Understandable how concerned you must feel. Family members & gambling raises worry esp when we been through the mill ourselves.
Lad is 18 years old. We dont know if he is hooked on betting. I always believed that somewhere down the line the bets escalate and troubles begins. On the other hand, how can i know? If i cannot stop and spend every single penny, doesn't mean that the same will happen to others.
Its truly difficult one to speculate on. I understand how worried you must feel.
Am not saying get financial control of him or march him to the nearest GA.
Possibly sitting him down for a chat would be the best approach at this stage. My nephew is 14 years old. I dread to think if he would start dabbling on betting...the thing is, ..the secrecy of it all is very fine line to cross. What if a chat and raised alarm bells makes them hide and do it in secret?
Truly difficult one huh. I truly hope with all my heart that your lad won't catch that bug. A little positive these days is the raised awareness of possible aftermaths gambling can bring. ..however, only he knows how much this affects him.
Maybe try and keep closer tabs on him? Watch his behaviour and maybe spendings. At that age he is still developing and i am sure his character is still in the process of changing. Teenagers brings more challenges than anything in this life and its hard to tell if its friends/ first loves/ social difficulties or addictions is to do with behaviour.
Are you in the position for a honest chat. Even telling him of your own struggles?
I wish you all the best, whatever you decide and how oou deal with this is entirely up to you. Feel your pain and worry tho...sorry i cannot advice anything more on this.
Thanks so much for your comments. They really have helped. I’m not going to “confront him” as such, as I realise that, just because his gambling a few quid, then that doesn’t automatically make him an addict. I might be overly concerned that 2 weeks after his birthday he’s opened a *** account, and placed 10 bets (around £15) in total for the weekend’s football. I’ve actually checked his bets and looks like he’s won around £30. Doesn’t sound a lot, but to an 18yr old on minimum part time wage, it’s a lot and enough for him to come back for more.
To be honest, this probably goes against all Data Protection laws, and I feel guilty for snooping on him. The means I have of seeing this may not be the full picture but enough to know he’s gambling.
Being a college lad, he has a lot of free time so obviously concerning.
I’m off to the pub with him tonight, so I’m going to see whether he mentions anything about his win. If he does, it might be an opportunity to have an initial chat. I don’t propose to be overly heavy handed about it at this stage. My OH doesn’t know about this, and she’s not the subtle type, so might make the situation a lot worse - so at this, she doesn’t need to know.
But yes, very worried.
Returned from the pub with my son. Under the influence of a few pints he excitedly blurted out about his £30 Premier League accumulator win. This resulted in a few groans from the others, with a few words of warning from some members of the group who have had big wins only to lose the lot and some more - I was also quick to chip in. He said he had a “£5 limit” with the bookie which is encouraging - particularly as that he’s at least thinking about keeping it under control. I know it was in the pub, and I know it wasn’t a “serious chat” - but at least he’s said something and I now have an excuse to have a chat about it with him.
We’re on good terms at the moment, so need to seize this opportunity.
Finally managed to have a “chat” with my 18yr old about the dangers of gambling. Only managed to pin him down for 10mins, and he was a bit dismissive about it with a “it’ll never happen to me - so why are you talking to me about it” attitude. He can be fairly immature at times, that’s one of the worries, but at least made my point. It’s now down to him to be sensible with this.
My iPhone app, which I setup with the exact time of my last Bet, has told me that I’ve been gamble free now for 5582 hrs. Considering I was struggling to string 2hrs together before then, I’m rather proud of this achievement.
I’ve also checked and looks like I’ve managed to clear around 10K CC debt in around 7 months. Look forward to the day when the CC debts are completely clear (in around 2 yrs time).