A woman has told of how her addiction to scratch cards and bingo saw her get into serious debt, resulting in her attempting suicide twice. Marilyn Jones from Merseyside said, “I believed I was worthless and my children would be better off without me.” She told of how she had spent thousands of pounds over a period of ten years and feared that her children would end up in care.
She also told of how she has received treatment and, as a result, has not gambled since July 2014. Luckily for Marilyn, she realised she had a problem and sought help; even if she attended her first meeting in a pair of pyjamas straight from an all-night online gambling session. Unfortunately, there are many others doing just as Marilyn did by staying up all night and squandering every available penny on online gambling.
The Attraction of Online Gambling
With Christmas just around the corner, parents are succumbing to mounting pressure to deliver presents worth hundreds of pounds in order to keep the kids happy. Whether it is requests from the children or just the need to ‘keep up with the Jones’, parents are spending more and more every year in an effort to avoid disappointed faces on Christmas morning. This is all well and good if the money is available to spend, but for many in these hard-hitting recessional times, money is tight.
Many people turn to catalogue companies from which they can obtain credit or to payday lenders from where they can temporarily borrow enough money to buy the things required. However, credit is not available to everyone and, when times get desperate, online gambling sites are seen as a quick fix. Everyone has seen the advertisements on the television where these sites promise to double or even triple an initial deposit so patrons can have more money to play with. Moreover, they will proclaim how to win ‘big’. People in desperate situations will often begin by depositing a small amount. They may be lucky and win, which, in many cases, is when the trouble begins.
Why Online Gambling Can be Dangerous
For some, the initial win is enough to hook them. Even if it is not a huge amount, the buzz of winning can be a draw that they cannot escape. However, for most people, the winning will never last and the losing streaks are never far behind. Once they start losing their money, many will keep betting in order to try to ‘win’ back what has been lost; hence starting a cycle of gambling that can be hard to break.
Many gamblers will not admit to having an addiction problem until they have lost substantial amounts and it becomes difficult to hide the problem. As in the case of Marilyn Jones, she knew she needed help but admitted that she was in denial.
Her story will be familiar to a lot of gambling addicts and their families. She tells of how she was in a deep depression and how this led her to try to take her own life twice this year. She has admitted that she could not remember a day where she had not gambled during the past ten years.
Is the Online Gaming Industry Doing Enough?
Many believe that the online gaming industry is not offering enough help to those addicted to gambling, with Marilyn being one of these. She said that, despite telling one of the online casinos that she was using that she was a compulsive gambler and wanted to close her account, they would not do it. We hope that more will be done in the coming months to tackle this problem; however, for many this Christmas there will be dark days ahead as they struggle to deal with their gambling debts.