I was always trying to chase. It wasn’t particularly chasing the money at that stage, because I didn’t really care about the money. It was about going through the routine of waking up, putting the bets on, seeing what the outcome was, and if I won, great, but it would all go back on. I’d never cash anything out. I’d never be left with anything.
When I finally quit, and finally stopped, I relied on social media. I relied on Twitter a hell of a lot. There’s people out there that really, really helped me through it. I suppose it falls in the category of lived experience. I was talking to these people with lived experience, people had done it, they had done it themselves, and given up.
I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and they attributed that to the gambling, direct diagnosis from gambling harm.
I think bookmakers potentially could go down the route of being members only, you’d have a key or whatever, you’d swipe it on the door and it’d let you in. Then anybody who is self-excluded would be denied. For me, that would be key.
I felt a little bit isolated; I left all my friends behind. My family were still back at home. I’d go online, downloaded an app with a particular bookmakers, got numerous free bets. Start off with spending probably £20, £30 a week maximum at that point and then gradually going into the bookies to place bets as well and whilst I was in the bookies I was playing the FOBTs.