Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

Ipswich: Gambling took over my life – former addict tells of four-year battle with casino machines

PUBLISHED: 15:55 12 February 2013 | UPDATED: 15:55 12 February 2013

Former addict Matt shared his story with The Star.  Picture posed by model

Former addict Matt shared his story with The Star. Picture posed by model

EVERYDAY for four years Matt’s life was consumed by an urge to bet.

At the age of 16 he went into a bookies to place a bet on a football match.

But while there he played a casino game on a Fixed Odds Betting Terminal (FOBT).

FOBT machines are found in most high street bookmakers and allow bets of up to £100 every 20 seconds.

They include games such as roulette, bingo and simulated horse racing. The Gambling Act 2005 restricts each shop to having a maximum of four terminals.

“I wasn’t id’d, I was just allowed to try out the machines,” the now 23-year-old told The Star.

“I played for the first time and won a bit of money.

“Then I played again.

“I played everyday for the next four years.”

Matt said the urge to play the machines took over his life, leading him to lose £16,000.

“The need to gamble consumed me, it took over all aspects of my life.

“All I could think was when my next bet would be, you don’t make plans for the future.

“You just think about betting and for me, getting on the machines.

“I hit rock bottom when I was about 20, I had no money and no access to any money. I was halfway through university and had nothing.

“It is the speed and stakes involved that affected me.

“Betting on football is different, you have 90 minutes to consider your bet.

“With just 20 seconds, I found I got sucked in.”

Matt urged anyone in a similar situation to seek help before it is too late.

Related articles

1 comment

  • I am fed up of gamblers excuses. Give them benefits on gift cards they can only sue in food shops so they have no access to money to gamble

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A prestigious explorer ship which has travelled to some of the world’s most remote locations will be Ipswich on Tuesday stopping off on its way to Norway.

The family of a baby girl who died just four months after she was born are getting ready to run the Ipswich Colour Dash in her memory.

Armed police have been patrolling Felixstowe Promenade as part of stepped up policing following the terrorist attack on Monday last week.

A keeper killed by a tiger at a zoo in East Anglia has been described as a “lovely lady” who was “absolutely passionate” about the animals in her care.

The Ipswich Star today relaunches a campaign urging every primary school in the area to join the pioneering Daily Mile scheme to help improve fitness and attainment levels among children.

Ipswich football legend Terry Butcher was one of the many crowd-pleasers at a Suffolk fete yesterday.

Conservative Party leader Theresa May was on Channel 4 and Sky News along with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran is backing the We Love Manchester campaign to support victims of the May 22 terorist bombing.

Patients are set to benefit from a £1.5million project to bring new cardiac services to West Suffolk Hospital.

Greshams in Ipswich has been a hive of activity this Bank Holiday as the venue hosted its Family Fun Day.

Most read

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24