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Alex's story

My story begins at the beginning of 2020, I have never in my life prior to this had any relations to gambling. All my friends consistently visited casinos, but I felt so strongly against gambling that I never saw an appeal to it. I am 22. 

On New Year's Eve, I put 20 EUR on opening virtual containers in a video game. I did it so that I could have fun with my friends as we celebrated New Year's Eve. Later, I won 500 EUR from just 2.5 EUR. I was blown away and I always dreamt of getting this lucky. I felt amazing and as I'd been going through hardship 2 years prior to this moment - struggling with illness in the family and even the deaths of a few loved ones. I also lost a long relationship with my ex-girlfriend. I felt so incredibly happy and swore to myself that this year, would be the best of my life. Little did I know that I would fall into an abyss of sin.

After this thrill, 7 days later I sold that virtual item worth 500 EUR and treated my mates with a small portion of that money. I was planning to take at least 300 EUR and spend it on equipment as I am an electrical and software engineering student. However, I started opening these containers with that money and in a matter of minutes, I had lost 380 out of the money I had. Then, I was only able to get 60 EUR. I took that money to buy a soldering iron. 

3 weeks later, I am again opening these containers, but I didn't have any money and it was eating at me as I just wanted to win back what I had previously lost. I had my mum's credit card information and I waited for her to go to sleep. I then proceeded to take 195 EUR from her bank account. We are from a relatively poor country, where the average GDP is 400 EUR, so as little as these numbers might appear, they were like thousands to me. I was able to hide that I stole money by sneaking into my mum's room at night, taking her phone and deleting all the messages that she got from the bank. A few days later, she found out about this and confronted me. I felt so ashamed that I couldn't face my parents for 6 days. Because I have awesome parents, they forgave me, and we moved on.

Two months go past, and I put another 20 EUR on opening these virtual containers. My friend was doing it as well and I thought it might be fun to do it together. I get so incredibly lucky that I win 900 EUR that night. I couldn't believe it, finally, I caught a break and was ready to pay my mum back and buy myself something nice. 

Days go past, I start gambling that money again and I spend half of it. The other half I save, but in 2 weeks I come back and lose that half again. At this point, I lost over a thousand EUR, which to me at 22 was a fortune as I have never held that much money in my life. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I was telling myself the same thing, I must win it back! 

I snooped around my parent's house and found their wallets. I started consistently stealing money and wasting it all on gambling, again and again. They caught me again, but they only saw a portion of the money that I had taken, and they confronted me. I fell into depression.

Three months later, I start online casino gambling, and I start losing again, badly. I had lost all my savings, so I started stealing money again. Loss after loss, I stole almost 2 thousand EUR from my parents. One day I caught a break. I won 800 EUR on the machines, but I wanted a thousand, so I lost it all. I couldn't sleep again. At this point, I could have used all the money that I got and could have invested it into myself, but I didn't. 

I kept stealing money, and well today I had lost another 200 EUR on machines. My parents do not even know the amount of money I stole from them. I was so angry I smashed my desk. But that didn't change anything. I don't know what's worse - the fact that I am a thief or addicted to gambling, I don't know if I am ever going to be able to recover from this. I had it all and threw it away.