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    • #11868

      Hi everyone, new member.
      I’m a 30 year old male with a serious problem.
      I’ve been gambling for about ten years and it’s no longer fun. It has become a serious addiction and I simply can’t keep a handle on it any longer.
      My big downfall is fruit machine betting, but I’ve gotten to a point where I can’t walk past a bookies without sliding a few notes into the roulette machine if I have money on me.
      My first recollection of gambling is with my father aged 17 or 18. He was a great dad, but he and my mother separated when I was a child so I only saw him every couple of weeks. Once I came of age we regularly used to meet on Saturdays for a couple of drinks and I was quite drawn to the fruit machines. He wasn’t a fan of them, but threw halves in with me if I was playing and between us we’d usually we’d dump £5 or £10 in before calling it a draw.
      We went to Devon on holiday when I was about 18 and just as we had almost run out of cash on the last night, I won close to £100 on a machine (£25 jackpots in those days). It paid for a superb night out for us both and made me feel great – that is the first real memory I have of winning.
      My father passed away in 2006 and I went into a serious spiral. I quit my job and spent every penny of my inheritance on gambling for 6 months, out every day in the pub feeding hundreds of pounds into machines.
      My now wife sent me to a couple of GA meetings, but I just couldn’t take to it. The religious aspects were a huge turn-off, and I decided to go it alone. That worked for a while, but it crept back in gradually until I was spending most of my spare money gambling unknown to my wife.
      I am now working again, but the urge to gamble has returned with a vengeance. Yesterday I spent over £300 on an afternoon out, which was money earmarked for Christmas.
      I have resigned myself to quitting altogether, but I need some support. None of my friends understand my urges; they are happy to spend pocket change in the fruit machine and walk away whether they win, lose or draw. I still feel that GA isn’t right for me, but I need something for support and I’m hoping that this forum will fill the void.
      I have banned myself from all the major online casino sites, and have casually hinted to my wife that we consolidate our bank accounts. My thinking is that I need to give her firmer control over my money without admitting that I’ve lost thousands of pounds over the last year.
      I have no idea what is expected of me as a member of the site here, but I feel better just getting some of this off my chest. I’ve had some very dark thoughts of late, but I have a little girl now and she deserves much better from me so I’m willing to try anything.
      I am going to attempt to quit gambling for a week and hopefully take it from there. We play the lottery as a family – £3 per week – and I don’t think I can just stop playing out of the blue, but it’s an online auto-play thing so I don’t actually have to go to the shop and place the bet. Aside from that, nothing whatsoever.
      I often put a £5 or £10 football bet on at weekend and I play a little low stakes online poker, those are the two forms of gambling which I still get enjoyment from and have kept under very strict control, but I’ll stop everything for the time being. If I find that I need to stay away from all forms of wagering then I will, i suspect that will be the case.
      Thanks for reading this anyone who has had the patience.

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