The Player! A roller-coaster of emotions, anxiety, gambling addiction and sometimes funny stories

By PVM | Art of Happiness | 2 Jun 2020

Gambling addiction or compulsive gambling is defined by the inability to stop gambling when losses are affecting relationships, career and finances. According to the 2019 Gambling Commission statistics, more than two million people in the UK are having problems with gambling or at risk of addiction. The number of over sixteens suffering from gambling addiction had grown by a third in three years. In-Shop Betting terminals allow customers to spend up to £100 every 20 seconds.

The issue is that some can’t keep their betting under control and the problem is called pathological gambling problem. In the USA, an estimate of 2 million adults are pathological gamblers, while another 6 million are problem gamblers. NHS statistics show that only around 5 % of individuals with pathologic gambling problems will seek help and only 1% will get treatment for their gambling problem.

Because of the adrenaline rush associated with the possibility off enormous wins, gambling is highly addictive, and if not tackled, the gambling problem will develop, debts will spiral out of control and people can become withdrawn and depressed, which can affect their professional lives and relationships with other people. The causes leading to gambling addictions are various and people may gamble for different reasons to other people. Some common causes of gambling addictions include excitement, stress or addictive personality.

Gambling is offering excitement and the adrenaline rush can become addictive for many people. When gamblers become addicted, the rush of the gamble becomes a priority over things in that individual’s life and they continue to gamble despite other concerns such as financial troubles or relationship problems. For many people, gambling gives the impression of filling a void, the fake idea of spending time with other people and win some money.

To make it personal, I will share my story and my struggle with gambling, a story I started when I was a child. Nearly twenty years betting and gambling were part of my life. I won some times, I struggled more often, and without even noticing, everything went downhill, into a gambling addiction.

It all started in 1999, when a 13-years old huge fan of football, whom watched more than thousand matches on television and a few hundred live, placed his first bet slip. As a youngster, I was thrilled when the first bet shop opened in my city. It was the newest thing to do so one day, accompanied by few colleagues, I decided to skip school and try my luck at the bet shop. It was 1999, and it was the first day of a 20 year struggle, a roller-coaster of emotions, anxiety, gambling addiction and sometimes funny stories. 

Took me years to realise that the real issue is not how much you put in, or how much you get back but when to stop! Twenty years later, on 15th of October, I decided that all this nonsense went to far and I stopped gambling, just like that!

I am honestly saying that I was fortunate enough to limit the losses to minimal and probably in all those years of sports betting, I broke even. I know others whom were not as fortunate as I was and they lost their savings, they lost their families and spent every single penny on gambling, which often was associated with drugs and alcohol. I had friends who committed suicide because of the gambling and depression, and others who ended up homeless and destroyed every chance for a normal life.

In October 2020, I will complete two full years since I quit betting and gambling. Since then I invested the money I was usually allocating for bets into various investments and the results are visible.

The fight against the addiction and how I struggled with my inner demons had to be shared and hopefully my story will help or motivate others. Those where the reasons behind my latest project: The Player! A roller-coaster of emotions, anxiety, gambling addiction and sometimes funny stories84ccb16446cd3eb9317fef0e318cdb2c4ca26aed64df65908d0e398485c559d4.jpegWhat if? This was the question that put my brain in action and made me wonder how my life will be now if I had made different choices. What if I invested some of the money I gambled? How fat a portfolio can get in 20 years? The good news is that I learnt from my mistakes and started to invest more in shares, cryptocurrencies and properties. Let’s see in 10-15 years if this was a good idea.


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Art of Happiness
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Live simple... enjoy life! "If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more?" Roy T. Bennett

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