Like I mentioned before, the GamStop or whatever it is, you self-exclude from everything, nothing like that existed back then. You could self-exclude from somewhere but there’s so many places. You self-exclude from one, and there’s another popping up every five minutes and it’s like there’s just no escape from it. And the advertising, everything is in your face 24-7. I like watching football and you put that on, and you just can’t avoid it. It’s on every advertising board, on every shirt. It’s just like it’s everywhere.
The cross-selling of products is unreal. You can’t just go on a site and have a bet on the football. You go on there and it’s in your face, roulette, slot machines, casino. And yeah, like I say, even if you win, like I used to do quite well on the football and yeah, even if I’d win a couple hundred quid, you just go straight to the casino, and it would all be gone.
It’s horrible. It’s just the nastiest thing ever. I’ve tried all sorts of things over the years. I wasn’t a very good kid, I dabbled with drugs and drink and all sorts years ago, and nothing comes close to the damage gambling does. Compared to anything else, it’s horrible. It’s the worst thing ever. And it’s so readily available. It’s like there’s no hiding from it. It’s like you just can’t. Every time you turn on the TV, the radio, it’s just everywhere at the moment. It’s just, there’s just no escape from it. And yeah, it’s like, it’s like living in hell. Honestly, it’s horrible. It’s not nice, but yeah, hopefully it’s behind me now. But yeah, I know I’ll always have this battle.
I think it’s vitally important if we can make people realize that you know, someone’s got a problem with gambling addiction, it’s not because they’re a bad person, they’re not evil or whatever. They’ve got a problem which they don’t want. They don’t want to have this problem. And believe me, they’re suffering. They’re not enjoying it. So, yeah, I mean, if people are more understanding about it, then people would be more free to open up and talk about it, and then it won’t get as out of hand.
I’m still not completely open because I know most…I mean, they can’t understand, and I don’t blame people for not understanding because it does seem absolutely crazy. People say to you, just stop. Like, they just don’t understand what it’s like. So, I don’t, I’m not completely open with a lot of people about it.
It’s all you can think about. It takes over your brain 24-7 and you do awful things. It doesn’t make you a bad person, honestly. And in your heart, you don’t want to do these things. But it’s like, I say, it’s like being hijacked. Your brain is hijacked, and it makes you do stuff, even though you know there’s so many negative consequences. And you know when you’re doing it, you’re there feeding the money into the machine. I used to call myself an idiot all the time. Like, you idiot, you idiot. And you’re still doing it like, you’re unable to stop yourself.
I kept it very much to myself. A lot of my mates had – they knew I had a problem with it, but they didn’t quite grasp how bad it was, I don’t think. And yeah, it put me off talking to people.
It’s awful and it takes some getting back as well. I like to think I’m starting to get it back now, but I haven’t been able to enjoy anything else for years, really. I do stuff to pass the time, like I say, I go and watch football and stuff like that, which is it’s OK, but I don’t enjoy it like I used to. Since I used to have those highs of playing roulette or whatever, I’ve had very little interest in anything else ever since.
But then obviously lockdown, the shops had to shut and there was no way I really wanted to continue that because there was nothing to do. I was stuck in the house. They started having sport on the telly. They started playing football again and again all the adverts start, and I just wanted to just do what I did before. Just have a bet and it was fine. So, I thought I’d be able to do that and I’d found a loophole where I was sort of able to go around [block] and start betting on my phone
Compared to anything else, it’s horrible. It’s the worst thing ever. And it’s so readily available. It’s like there’s no hiding from it. It’s like you just can’t. Every time you turn on the TV, the radio, it’s just everywhere at the moment. It’s just, there’s just no escape from it. And yeah, it’s like, it’s like living in hell. Honestly, it’s horrible. It’s not nice, but yeah, hopefully it’s behind me now. But yeah, I know I’ll always have this battle.