A mother who became addicted to online gambling says her first bet on Wimbledon began an obsession that led to debts of around £60,000.
Jenny Morgan described the ‘drug-like’ experience of betting which caused “crashing” lows, as well as an “irrational” belief that she would eventually win a jackpot.
She told of betting on her mobile phone in a supermarket and slipping away from friends to “check my online bingo numbers”.
Eventually, after realising she had gambled a whole month’s salary in 24 hours, she decided to give up for good and now has not placed a bet for two months.
The mother of two said she first gambled on the Wimbledon tennis tournament in 2006.
Morgan, who at the time was recently divorced, then started betting more regularly online.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said she would start when the children were in bed, but: “The next time I looked at the clock it would be gone midnight. Panic would set in as I realised that within only a few hours I was hundreds of pounds down. But that only induced me to try to win it back.”
When Morgan, a supply teacher, saw she had run up a debt of £5,000 within a month, she stopped betting for a year.
However, later she started gambling on sites which target women, and says it felt “much more sociable”.
Morgan commented: “The sensible part of me knew I’d never win the £185,000 jackpot, but the irrational part of me thought there was a chance. So I kept going until I’d lost every penny.”
She admitted: “Waiting at the supermarket checkout I’d be on my phone placing bets on tennis.
“I’d slip to the loo while out with friends to check my online bingo numbers. I became a bet junkie, plotting my life around my next flutter.”
Earlier this year, she calculated that since 2006 she had run up debts of some £60,000 as a result of her gambling habit.
She has now signed up for Gamblers Anonymous, and Morgan said it “was a huge relief to unburden myself to people who understood.
“I was the only woman there, the rest were mainly professional middle-class men with families. And they all had similar stories”, she added.