Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°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

The partner of a shopkeeper at Cloud Nine in Ipswich was grabbed by the throat and dragged upstairs during an attempted robbery, it has been alleged.

Suffolk doctors say their “radical” scheme to reduce spending on prescriptions has pioneered the way for nationwide proposals announced today.

It may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, but patients of the future will be able get medical advice from a digital doctor with Artificial Intelligence.

An Ipswich doctors’ surgery ranked inadequate by a health watchdog in December is improving, a new report claims.

Four new bundles of joy have surprised a goat-farming family in Bures St Mary – and we’re not kidding!

Government officials are hoping to halt an invasion of Asian hornets by encouraging the public to use a free smart phone app.

An Ipswich drink-driver who was nearly three times the limit when he crashed into a telegraph pole after a night out has lost his licence.

A Suffolk nurse has been sanctioned after a health regulator found she put vulnerable patients at risk of serious harm.

A firm under investigation in Norfolk for the “shocking” state of accommodation it housed teenagers in has been awarded a £3.5m contract by Suffolk County Council to look after asylum seeking children.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24