I gambled £40k after watching daytime TV bingo ads

19 May2015
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When Kelly, 32 from St Helens was off work with stress, she used her time to play bingo…

In 2012, Kelly who works in a children’s’ home was off work with stress. The mum of one (son, now 15) was signed off for eight weeks.

After a few days she was bored and saw an advert on the Jeremy Kyle show for Foxy Bingo, so she thought she would give it a go. It would kill an hour or two, she thought to herself.

She was hooked straight away and played for eight hours straight, but her money soon ran out. She got numerous credit cards to fund her addiction and to hide it from her partner Ian, 37.

Quickly the total she had spent on gambling rose to £40k. She would gamble from the second her family left in the morning until they came home at night, when they were home she would sneak off to her bathroom and bedroom to play. The idea of visiting a bookmakers would never appeal to Kelly, but simply logging onto her laptop and playing bingo was easy…too easy.

This went on for a year and it lead her to have suicidal thoughts. She even self-harmed one day, as she didn’t see any way out of the mess she was in.

Eventually she had to come clean and tell her partner. He was totally understanding, but couldn’t believe the amount of debt she had built up using credit cards to gamble on bingo.

In Sept 2013 she built up the courage to go to the doctors for help, unfortunately the counselling didn’t help and she continued to gamble.

She has more control of her gambling, but she last gambled only two weeks ago and lost £150. She has now managed to get some free counselling with a gambling counsellor and hopes she can stop once and for all.

She says,

Drugs, alcohol and sex would NOT be advertised before the watershed but why is it okay to advertise gambling? They target vulnerable people and make them believe they can make money from gambling.

I understand some people gamble and have no issues. But many people have a problem and this destroys lives, families and even drives people to suicide. It destroys people and leaves them with long term debts, depression and stress.

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