I probably started gambling at the age of 18, at university. The start was probably the same way most other 18-year-old lads would. Grew up with mates. I play cricket, I play rugby and just them real gamblergenic environments where it’s a normal thing to do.
It’d all be online. Doesn’t feel like real money. It’s purely just numbers in your bank account. It’s numbers on a William Hill account. There was never just one. It was whatever bookmakers I was with. It was just numbers. I could never do cash betting. Once I had that physical money in my hands, it was money then. I couldn’t justify spending that money. It was too accessible online.
I finished gambling with about £16,500 of debt. As a student, you can’t afford that. I’d miss lectures, so it took me two extra years to finish university because my life was just taken up by gambling. I wouldn’t go to lectures. I’d miss deadlines. I’d make up all sorts of reasons why I couldn’t submit something because I’d spent the day before where I should’ve been doing work, I was just gambling.
Everyone was in the same boat. Everyone’s betting every week. Everyone’s losing money. It’s a joke at that point. It’s a laugh. You’re joking about having just put £400 on, lost it. You’re going, “Oh, not again,” and your mates are laughing with you. You’ve sat around the table doing the exact same thing, so if your mates are doing it, how is it a problem? I think that was the issue with it.