Addicts have spoken out against online gambling and called for a system “which gets in the way of people’s gambling before they break the bank”.
The addicts shared their stories in a Sunday Herald article that shone a light on the multi-billion pound online gambling industry.
The users have now signed up to Gamblers Anonymous Scotland to help tackle their addiction.
Shame and guilt
One member told the newspaper: “My worst day was when I lost £12,000 in one night playing online poker.”
The anonymous user added there was “a warning message from the game” but that was after they had lost everything.
“That was money I’d saved for a deposit on a flat. I remember the despair and the shame and the guilt when the sun came up the next day.”
‘Destroying my life’
Also speaking on condition of anonymity, a second addict spoke of how he turned to online gambling after using slot machines in pubs.
He said his wages went towards online gambling “every month”, adding: “It was destroying my life and the people I cared about most around me.”
Earlier this month, a former Prime Minister’s speechwriter called on the Government to act to curb the excesses of the online gambling industry.
Writing in The Times, Clare Foges pointed to “an explosion of people hooked on smartphone betting” as addicts are now attracted “through pop-up ads on smartphones, TV adverts, social media”.
Foges, who worked as a speechwriter for David Cameron, said: “Addicts secretively chase their losses, digging a deeper hole in the hope of getting out of their debts, handed ever bigger spades by the gambling companies.”