A Slot Addiction

reesewardley By reesewardley, 9th Feb 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3fljmb97/
Posted in Wikinut>Gambling>Games>Online Games

How easy it is to get hooked on gambling from the comfort of your own home, the secrecy, the lies, and the addiction that is slots.

A Slot Addiction

I remember exactly, or virtually to the year and month that I started online gaming, I was in a bad place at the time, in a bad relationship and 'trapped' being in a job I hated and I saw gambling online as an outlet, an escape if you like, it was back in 2004, August, ten years ago now.

I was lured into online gambling with the promise of a free 10 pound to new members, I thought at the time, hey that sounds good! Not realizing that this was a 'honey' trap that seduces people into gambling.

On the same levels as drugs, you give out free samples of drugs, and you get the takers and once they try the drug, they are hooked, but when they go back for more, it's not free, and then they have you hooked! Literally...

Sadly, even though I consider myself intelligent and I wasn't a child, I was 32 years of age, old enough to know better right? Or you would think...

So I signed up and wooohooo I got my free 10 pounds which I could use however I liked, I never read the t&c's and of course, but it wasn't my money, so why should I care?

Of course the games I found and started to use, I enjoyed and I started winning, soon enough I had forty pounds in my account, I was winning, winning, winning, I was on a winning streak and it continued, Until suddenly the winning stopped and my account balance was dropping faster than a stone hitting the water and I was left with zero in my account.

But by then the 'wheels were set in motion' I was hungry for more, I was on the slippery slope and they had me exactly where they wanted me!

Soon I was putting my own money in, sometimes it would last five minutes, other times a couple of hours.

I started to justify it to myself, hey, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't socialize, it was my 'little bit of fun' but that 'little bit of fun' started to get out of hand and pretty soon I was munching into my bank account, I had bills to pay and my bank balance started to sink under the weight of all the deposits I was making...

But it was the shame, the shame in admitting I was wasting money on gambling, it became secretive, and I did everything I could to hide it from my partner.

I also knew that the gambling was changing my moods, although I wasn't happy where I was, the gambling added to the woes, I became snappy, irritable and angry. Angry that the gaming site I was using was being greedy, taking all my money, it was everyone's fault BUT NOT MINE. Oh no, it was my partner's fault, it was my job, and yet I still continued to justify my gambling habits.

You hear about people saying that they were trying to win their money back, chasing the money, and you don't realize just how destructive gambling can be, not only on the person who gambles, but the people around them, they all get drawn in by the lies, deceit and the secretiveness nature that is addiction.

My partner never found out, mainly because they were so wrapped up in their own world and anything I did was of little interest. Besides my partner had their own issues and would take their frustration and anger out on me.

The online gambling continued for 3 years and by now I had almost exhausted my savings and I was 'living on borrowed time' I started to get counseling on the relationship as well as the addiction and in 2007 I left my partner and my gambling stopped. I needed money to start again, I couldn't afford to gamble any more.

Fortunately the gaming sites have 'gambling awareness' where you can exclude yourself for x amount of days, weeks, months or a lifetime ban. And that's what I did. I had to...

It was like going cold turkey, and I needed to replace the spare time I had once used to game on something else. I joined a gym and started to burn off my anger, frustration and depression, rather than resort to gambling...

Now ten years on, yes I still gamble, but I can control it, I have strict limits on my gaming, I have put a limit of 20 pound per week, which may sound a lot, but compared to what it used to be is a big difference. Once the 20 pound has been spent I can't spend any more for another week.

It works well, I expect to lose, last year I won 1000.00 on a promo the gaming site was using. The temptation of course was to gamble it... But I didn't for the first time in 10 years I 'withdrew' I put the 1000.00 into my account, severely depleted from years of misuse it was now starting to look a touch rosier...

It's quite harrowing now in the chatrooms on the gaming sites members tell you how much they have lost, and you think, hey, that was me! Thousands and thousands of pounds lost... You wonder if they have family and how is it affecting them. They have bills to pay, everyone does... I have to turn the chat rooms off now.

There is still a stigma attached to gambling. I have never mentioned that I gamble on the slots to my friends or indeed parents, to me it's shameful. And not something I would be happy to speak about.

Only my counselor who I see once a week is aware that I gambled. I did go a whole 6 months without gambling. I blocked my gaming accounts so I couldn't... I was really proud of myself...

I see it as entertainment, I AM IN CONTROL, not the gaming site, I need the limits, because I know all too well that without limit, I would be chasing my losses.

Of course you can change your limits, usually you are given a week if you want to 'up' your limit, so it still takes a good deal of self control.

I never stop and work out how much money I have wasted over the years, probably buy a mansion somewhere hot! But you have to look forward not back.

I always chuckle when you get commercials on the television promoting their gaming site and offering x amount of pounds FREE to join! You wonder how many people are roped into gambling in this way and whether it should be stopped.

After all they wouldn't promote drugs or smoking in this manner? Sign up and get a free bag of heroin, but loosely that's exactly the same principle they are using to get you sucked in...

Oh and one lesson I have learnt, read the t&c's because when you do get free money, you WON'T be able to cash out unless you have gambled an extortionate amount of money to reach that limit!

And it's all from the comfort of your own home! I have never in 43 years of my life visited a casino, or wouldn't want to. I don't like poker, I hate roulette, and bingo bores me rigid, my weakness is the slots. And when you play at home, it's private, it makes it even more secretive, how does anyone know what you do when you do it behind closed doors?

If I reached or helped someone out there who is thinking of gambling online, or is, then I hope you get something out of what I have written...

Thank you for reading my plight.

Tags

Addiction, Gambling, Gaming Machines, Online Gaming, Slot Machines, Slots

Meet the author

author avatar reesewardley
My main two passions are online advertising and going to the gym. Both of which I have years of experience to draw on.

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Comments

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
10th Mar 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Reese, thank you for your candor. As a recovering person, many of your emotions mimicked mine 25 years ago before I got into recovery. It would appear that harm reduction is working for you as well as the counseling that you mentioned. It is people like us who are willing to express to those who do not understand addiction so that there can be more understanding of it, however, just as importantly, how people recover. ~Marilyn

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