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David's story

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I have a gambling problem.

I started to gamble from a young age (14 or 15), playing gambling machines. “Low stakes, no harm,” I thought to myself. The jackpot was £3 on a two pence stake. On my first spin the jackpot landed, I loved it and said, “This is easy...”

Did this for a number of months and never managed to win much as it was low stakes, until I looked old enough to get into bookies and casinos and eventually online gambling.

I was always working, and working hard for my money.

By the time I was 17, I blew a month’s part-time wage on one-arm bandits in a few hours. It was like I was zoned out playing these machines, thinking of nothing else. I was also playing higher stakes, going from 2 pence to 50 pence a spin. I was living with my parents at the time. When I had arrived home, I felt sick that my first wage had been thrown away in a short period. I hid this from my family, and the lies began.

So I said to myself, “Don’t let this happen again.”

Didn’t last too long before I was back gambling with bookies and at casinos.

And I started to spend hours on end. Avoiding people and friends just to go these places to get my fix. When I lost, I would sometimes drink to get rid of the pain and worthlessness.

But it was the lies. The lies to the people I love and care about. I got credit and loans without people’s knowledge.

Up until a few weeks ago, it got to a point in my mind. I’ve a baby boy who depends on me and a loving partner, “Do I want to ruin their lives?” I wanted to be honest and took the first steps by being honest. I am now taking each day a step at a time to have a happy and gambling-free life.