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[Help] Gambling: The Unique Addiction?

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Lenny Rider

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2010
4,282
First and foremost apologies if this upsets and offends anyone on here, however it’s a subject close to my heart, and unfortunately but also in a positive way, there may be NSCers who need help and perhaps as a result of reading this thread reach out.

My reason for posting now, in the last 24 hours it’s publicly come out that a colleague, who in turn became a friend, has had to enter a rehabilitation facility in order to address his gambling addiction.

It will be life changing, but as a ‘veteran‘ of rehab myself, it’s not the end, it’s about moving forward with a fresh outlook.

Having ‘palled up’ with a gambler in my time away I discovered in deep chats well into the wee hours that it’s an unique addiction, you reach a point with drink where you can’t have another one, with drugs you become so spaced out you can’t take any more at that point, but with gambling you can keep going and going, until you basically run out of funding streams.

But it arguably ruins as many lives as drink and drugs, but as a society we appear to look the other way, Ray Winstone, bizarrely himself a man affected by addiction, is the face of 365 betting.

Other ads on social media and TV and radio bombard punters with ‘mouthwatering’ offers, and whilst it seems to be tempered in some forms of sports sponsorship, will anything ever really be addressed when the people at the top of the tree are making so much money?

I’ve been awake since early, thinking about my colleague, this is not vodka on his cornflakes or lines off a toilet cidtern, this situation impacts not just himself, but his lovely wife, his teenage kids, his job, his reputation.

I believe he will come out the other side, my pal in rehab lost 900 grand in a calendar year, but now has the love of his children back and the respect of his wife when he felt all was lost, another friend in Worthing lost his house when Tiger Woods lost a golf tournament, but is back on the road to recovery.

Please if this strikes a chord with anyone reading this, go and get help, or if that’s a step too far PM me, we can meet for a coffee, I won’t have all the answers but I will help however I can.

Take care,

Harty
 


First and foremost apologies if this upsets and offends anyone on here, however it’s a subject close to my heart, and unfortunately but also in a positive way, there may be NSCers who need help and perhaps as a result of reading this thread reach out.

My reason for posting now, in the last 24 hours it’s publicly come out that a colleague, who in turn became a friend, has had to enter a rehabilitation facility in order to address his gambling addiction.

It will be life changing, but as a ‘veteran‘ of rehab myself, it’s not the end, it’s about moving forward with a fresh outlook.

Having ‘palled up’ with a gambler in my time away I discovered in deep chats well into the wee hours that it’s an unique addiction, you reach a point with drink where you can’t have another one, with drugs you become so spaced out you can’t take any more at that point, but with gambling you can keep going and going, until you basically run out of funding streams.

But it arguably ruins as many lives as drink and drugs, but as a society we appear to look the other way, Ray Winstone, bizarrely himself a man affected by addiction, is the face of 365 betting.

Other ads on social media and TV and radio bombard punters with ‘mouthwatering’ offers, and whilst it seems to be tempered in some forms of sports sponsorship, will anything ever really be addressed when the people at the top of the tree are making so much money?

I’ve been awake since early, thinking about my colleague, this is not vodka on his cornflakes or lines off a toilet cidtern, this situation impacts not just himself, but his lovely wife, his teenage kids, his job, his reputation.

I believe he will come out the other side, my pal in rehab lost 900 grand in a calendar year, but now has the love of his children back and the respect of his wife when he felt all was lost, another friend in Worthing lost his house when Tiger Woods lost a golf tournament, but is back on the road to recovery.

Please if this strikes a chord with anyone reading this, go and get help, or if that’s a step too far PM me, we can meet for a coffee, I won’t have all the answers but I will help however I can.

Take care,

Harty
Firstly, best wishes to your friend on taking the first steps towards getting over their addiction. As with any addiction, admission to yourself is the very first step in getting help. Having worked in the gambling industry for 30+ years I can tell you that there is nothing that I have not seen nor heard. The support your friend gets from their family and friends will be an enormous help with their recovery. You mentioned that your friend lost £900k in a year, that is one heck of a figure! I hope the gambling companies who dealt with your friend carried out the required affordability checks? or they could be opening themselves up for all sorts of trouble!!!
 

Lenny Rider

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2010
4,282
Firstly, best wishes to your friend on taking the first steps towards getting over their addiction. As with any addiction, admission to yourself is the very first step in getting help. Having worked in the gambling industry for 30+ years I can tell you that there is nothing that I have not seen nor heard. The support your friend gets from their family and friends will be an enormous help with their recovery. You mentioned that your friend lost £900k in a year, that is one heck of a figure! I hope the gambling companies who dealt with your friend carried out the required affordability checks? or they could be opening themselves up for all sorts of trouble!!!
Thanks for your kind words 👍

I’m not breaking any confidences here, as it’s part of his story he recounts at GA.

For a time things were very good, ie of that 900k, he had won some of it, during this time, a well known high street bookmaking chain used to take him to the major race meetings in corporate hospitality, they took him to both Cheltenham and Epsom by helicopter.
I think that’s what referred to in addiction circles as an ‘enabler’.

He also recounted that back in the day another one of the ‘clique’ was paid out at a local betting office £19,000 at 11am on a Thursday , because he insisted on cash the bookmakers had to escort him home.


By 9pm the following night, Friday, they had recouped all but £900 of their money, after a number of large bets had gone down along with the £100 a spin roulette machines in the betting shops ( now thankfully reduced by law to £2 maximum spin)
 
I had a gambling addiction which cost me my wife and children as well as my home and its the reason why I now live and work in Birmingham. 20 years ago I was totally screwed up attempted to take my life and stole to feed my addiction. I went into rehab in the west Midlands and been up here ever since. Despite a blip about 8 years ago I now have a new life in terms of partner, home and job as well as virtually being debt free after 20 years of paying it all back. As the OP said, its a silent addiction which shows no physical symptoms like alcohol or drug addictions but causes as much pain and suffering to many people and the addicted person in taking their own lives.
 


Lenny Rider

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2010
4,282
I had a gambling addiction which cost me my wife and children as well as my home and its the reason why I now live and work in Birmingham. 20 years ago I was totally screwed up attempted to take my life and stole to feed my addiction. I went into rehab in the west Midlands and been up here ever since. Despite a blip about 8 years ago I now have a new life in terms of partner, home and job as well as virtually being debt free after 20 years of paying it all back. As the OP said, its a silent addiction which shows no physical symptoms like alcohol or drug addictions but causes as much pain and suffering to many people and the addicted person in taking their own lives.
Roy thank you for sharing👍

I‘m glad you got back on track, your story and many like them help so many people ❤️
 

herecomesaregular

Stay Frosty
Oct 27, 2008
3,510
Still in Brighton
Thanks for posting. Sounds like you have done amazingly well to pull back and get your life back together. From my limited gambling I've realised that it is such a solitary activity (unlike alcohol and sometimes drug abuse) and recognised in myself that my bad losses have only come from betting late in the evening when I'm more care-free about it (as poster above says gambling is now available 24 hours). The crap that the gambling industry comes out with eg trying to make out that online casino gambling is somehow a "social" activity, the pathetic When The Fun Stops Stop taglines (people bet to win rarely just for fun). IT's laughable they get away with this utter nonsense. I've done ok (lost a lot of my profit but never actually been in the red with the bookies) but you really get to recognise that the amount of advertising on tv (particularly the cheap channels like itv4 etc), the shirt sponsorship, the electronic boards around the pitch, gambling is just "normalised" to a really unhealthy level. I had WH call me about some losses and the bull they came out with re concern for my gambling was laughable. Anyway, I've reigned it right in and still healthy up overall despite recent losses. Lived and learnt thankfully.

edit - meant to quote oldboyroy
 

Swansman

Pro-peace
May 13, 2019
21,363
Sweden
For me its been an important part of my income since March 2020, so it is a bit difficult to opt out entirely but I had a short phase when I was betting on everything and that was neither financially or psychologically a good idea. Now, except for the WC, I do betting three nights a week and that is a decent balance for me.

The Swedish regulations for giving companies a license to act on the market here helps a lot I think. Companies are allowed to offer a welcome bonus, but thats all - no special offers, no free bets etc. And all sites need to provide a small banner at the top of the website where you can limit how much time & money you can spend on betting (and when you change this, the change applies to all sites) which is quite useful. No chance to spontanuesly getting around it either, if you want to increase your hour/money limit it takes a month before the changes go through.
 

Pevenseagull

Anti-greed coalition
Jul 20, 2003
17,310
Every time I see or hear the phrase 'please gamble responsibly' I wince.

The bookies clearly have highly developed systems to stop you doing so.

If you show discipline and are identified as taking value on a regular basis they will exclude you from offers and restrict your stakes. Yet if you are betting like a suicidal drunk at a roulette table they apparently have no way of spotting you may have a problem.

****s.
 
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amexer

Members
Aug 8, 2011
4,956
Have the occasional fun bet but thankfully can take or leave. In my youth went with friends weekly to Sargent Yorks. Easy not to get into trouble because everything was cash only and no cash machines to take more money out. Have not been to a casino for years but assume now use cards and there are cash machines
 
Every time I see or hear the phrase 'please gamble responsibly' I wince.

The bookies clearly have highly developed systems to stop you doing so.

If you show discipline and are identified as taking value on a regular basis they will exclude you from offers and restrict your stakes. Yet if you are betting like a suicidal drunk at a roulette table they apparently have no way of spotting you may have a problem.

****s.
This nailed on. Obviously at my worse and blowing a month's wages in a single "session" they are quite happy to take it. When you have a little win with the promotions they offer you they then limit promotions or exclude you from them. That was my experience and presume its still the same today?.
 


Whitechapel

A tad aggressive.
Jul 19, 2014
3,442
Not in Whitechapel
This nailed on. Obviously at my worse and blowing a month's wages in a single "session" they are quite happy to take it. When you have a little win with the promotions they offer you they then limit promotions or exclude you from them. That was my experience and presume its still the same today?.

Yep. Still happens today.

About 5 or 6 years ago Bet365 used to do offers where if you placed up to £50 on certain games they’d give you a free in-play matched bet.

I used to stick £50 on Over 0.5 goals at 1/20 or whatever, and then as soon as the game started I’d throw the £50 free bet on the draw @ ~3/1.

Obviously for the Over 0.5 bet to lose you’d have to win the draw bet so you were guaranteed to at least get your money back.

Landed two draws back to back, both making me £150ish profit each and the next time the deal came around I was limited to £2.50 stakes. Obviously they only want people who’d throw their £50 and then freebie on a correct score bet. :rolleyes:
 
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Tom Hark Preston Park

Will Post For Cash
Jul 6, 2003
65,762
I've been lucky enough to be able to go to Oz on multiple occasions. Every pub, every RSL (Returned Services League) has a dedicated gambling area that is basically the size of yer average UK bookie. It's completely ingrained. The profits are absolutely massive, the pokies basically sub the clubs. Taking the scant positives, they also have a ban on in-play betting over there down under
 

CaptainDaveUK

Members
Oct 18, 2010
1,253
Betting advertising should be given the same treatment as Cigarettes. Remove all Gambling branding / logos on any media outlets particularly sports. I used to gamble very occasionally as a way of entertainment, £2 on Zamora to score the first goal type of bet, but having seen a friend get himself £50K in debt, I have changed my view. I now cannot stand betting sites being promoted at Football, either on shirts or during commercial breaks at half time. Elite sports should not be promoting gambling as fun past time to kids.
 

Justice

Dangerous Idiot
Jun 21, 2012
14,722
Born In Shoreham
After an affordability check at my most frequented casino they told me I averaged 20k a year in winnings which surprised me as I never kept records easy come easy go, apart from covid during which I never had one single bet during lockdown. I’ve been gambling for 20 years always the same game and have no idea if I’m addicted to gambling or not as never bet on anything else, certainly would never bet against any form of software or sports betting. Walking away once you are in profit is the hardest part for any gambler slowly I’ve learnt to control the urge and not think it’s my lucky night or whatever.
I’ve seen one lad £30k up and lose the lot in about an hour crazy people are gamblers.
Maybe I’m lucky I can take it or leave it and don’t particularly like other punters or those in charge . I feel for the OP’s friend that is one huge wedge to blow anyway good luck to him.
 

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