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Shelley's story

I have always been the uber-competitive type. I started refusing to play video and board games because I always had to win. Online gambling was just deemed legal in my state, and my boss told me about a promotion to match up to $250 that after playing for a certain amount of time would let you cash out. I ended up making an account and winning $400. I cashed out and thought that was that.

The following week, I decided to try another casino’s promotion thinking it would go just as well...and it didn’t. I ended up losing $500. In my head, I justified it as a net loss of $100 so it wasn’t that big of a deal. I told my fiancé about it and they were not happy at all. They began telling me how gambling is the dumbest thing ever and that if I talk about it more they would leave me. This began eating away at me now. It was no longer a fun one-off thing, it became “I have to win that $100 back so my fiancé wouldn’t be mad anymore.”

In my attempt at chasing my losses, I “won” $600 back, but in reality, I spent $5000 of our wedding fund in 4 hours to say I “won.” I ended up calling the Gambler’s helpline before it got worse. Now, anytime I feel I need to keep cashing my losses because I am still so ashamed to let my fiancé know, I call the number instead.