Like I said, my big, big thing is for betting companies to take their duty of care much, much more stringently than they ever have done before. All right, people get addicted, but the gambling, the betting industry doesn’t help anybody who’s getting deeper and deeper in. They’re not in some respects, they encourage it, and I’d love to see them stop doing that.
These websites, they’re all very flashing lights, a lot of deals, a lot of appeals, free bets… I remember at the time in the early days, a certain specific website would actually give out free bets if you spent a certain amount of money. Before I was really chasing losses, to a certain extent, I was using money, and if I did run out, I would end up with a free bet anyway. The gambling company was able to keep me gambling perhaps till I next got paid and then I was able to carry on gambling again. There was, again, the flashing lights, the fact that they could draw me in, the way it was all labelled, and the upcoming events.
I’ll be honest. It started off, like I said, social fun thing that just found its way into just grasping you and becoming a more consuming evil that took grasp as time went on. The more time you would spend on it, the harder it became to come away.
That was that, and again, on the weekends, it became a more prominent thing. It was more and more football. That’s where the vast majority was. Then he started taking up the weekends and that’s when you start to see go from a hobby to– and again, this is all something you enjoy littered with losses that annoy you, frustrate you. Has its own pitfalls, but it was still in the stage of being fun, still in the stage of you kind of have that money to lose. This wasn’t at the point where overdrafts were being spent or loans were being– I was getting loans from loan companies and things like that, or emptying my bank account at this stage, but the gambling itself just became more prominent just over weeks, which to some might seem a long time, but it’s not. It can all spiral very quickly.
It turns you into someone you’re not and keeps you there until you’ve got nothing left. At that point, being back to your normal self, you then try and rebuild your life. When you’re doing it, time and time again, it can drag you down mentally and physically. That’s when people start committing suicide and having suicidal thoughts because they can’t see a way out. The person that they’ve become is someone that they don’t want to be and never thought they would be… They think it’s best that they just commit suicide and be done with it rather than speak to people.
I suppose it became from somewhat very recreational, very like a one-off to something a little bit regular. It became regular and ended up becoming like a hobby in a way. It became something that I enjoyed doing and could pass the time. If I did have a break or if I was watching something I wasn’t really interested in, I could have something going on in the background that seems to be more fun and could potentially make me maybe some money at the same time.
I was meant to go and visit one of the lads in question recently. Well, about a month ago now. Maybe month and half ago. I’d said, yes, originally, and then I remember texting him saying, “I can’t make it. Look, I’m working all hours at the minute.” Which I still am to pay off me debts. I’m working a lot of overtime, things like that.
It’s something that only recently I’ve been able to acknowledge and get the right type of help for. Back then at the start, it was a case of, “Okay, I’ve messed up.” I did it wrong. I did it wrong. I went about it the wrong way and then not too long afterwards, I did it again with the acknowledgment of, “Well, I did it wrong last time. I’ll do it right this time. Things will be different,” but it doesn’t work like that and it took, I think another relapse, another stay at gambling 2017 where I got into that again and needed help to pay off the debt again.
I have lied to her, and I’ve done a whole manner of horrible things, not directly to her, but things like lying and not being truthful in that sense. Now, not gambling, and previous years, you would never have thought I’d be like that, and I would never have thought I’d be like that. Never in a million years would I have dreamt of doing the things or saying the things that I’ve done to my wife that I have done. I’d never in a million years. I take all the blame and responsibility for my actions that I’ve done with gambling, but I would– sat back, looking back at it now, I would think, “Wow, was that you? Was that the same person? It can’t be. It can’t be the same person.”
I’ll never get my trust fully back and I can live with that, deal with that. She has to now manage the finances, so what bills come to where, so I, effectively don’t have a bank account, which works for us both but I feel like she feels like she has an added pressure now because she has to pull that going on as well.