Compulsive Gambler

I first found I had a gambling problem when I went to GA (gamblers anonymous) all the time before that I thought I was just a normal lad putting normal bets on, just like everyone else did. But I was the complete opposite to a normal gambler. I couldn’t just have that one bet, that £5 accumulate on a Saturday. 

The difference between a “normal” gambler and a “compulsive ” gambler is a compulsive gambler doesn’t know when to stop, they can’t stop until all their money has gone and when it’s gone they will do anything to get some money for that next gamble. 

We need to bet every day, our lives are controlled by gambling and we will do anything to gamble.

We will:
Take out loans and credit cards,
Risk our jobs and family to gamble,
Borrow money with no intention of paying it back.

After attending GA for a couple of sessions I soon realised that I had a big massive problem  and everything I had been doing was all being put together like a jigsaw, and the jigsaw was a compulsive gambler.

Money problems


All in all I had 4 pay day loans month after month loan after loan. Pay day would come I would pay all my debts off, gamble the rest of my money in the same day, then the day after payday I would be getting another loan out. This went on like this for about 5/6 months.

Then I moved onto credit cards:

When I couldn’t get any money loans out I had no other option but to get a credit card, I would use these for my normal day to day spending and for shopping all so I could have more of my wages and loans for betting. I also done the same thing with store cards. I had the back up of them for shopping and essentials during the month and lots more money for me for gambling.

Bank loan:

Back In 2020 I somehow managed to get a £3000 loan from the bank, god knows how I got it, but I did. This would be the end of all the day pay loans, credit cards and store cards….. NOPE lost the lot in around 4months. Having this much money in my bank account made me feel that money wasn’t an issue and I could buy what I want, when I want and it didnt matter how much it cost.

The worst loan I got:

June 2022 me my wife and 2 children were going on our first family holiday abroad. Spain 7days all inclusive…. Free food free drink, sun sea sand what more could you ask for. We were all that excited we still had a week before we flew but we had all packed, passports ready, spending money just needed to changed into euros (well that’s what the wife thought) I had lost £900 of the spending money a week before we flew. 

Couldn’t get any loans, credit cards, money from anywhere I had just wrecked my whole families year, we had been waiting for this holiday for years. So I did what we all do and lied to my manager at work and managed to get a loan from work to save my arse.


In the last 4months of my gambling career, I was in £5000 worth of debt. I had managed to win that amount and more 3 times to pay my debts off and to start my life again, debt free and the future was looking very bright.

4months down the line it was the 14th August 2022 and I had just had my last bet for ever which lost (of course it did) and I was £8000 in debt.

You must know when to stop gambling and I never knew when enough was enough. I nearly destroyed everything and everyone that loved me and was close to me.  But now I after months and months of some long and hard thinking and working on myself I have realised that I can never bet again cause if I bet again I will lose everything and everyone that means so much to me.

I’m not a normal person that can go out and have one bet or one small bet. I have to bet and bet till it’s all gone.
I can’t take that risk again cause I know I will lose everything if I ever had a bet again.
Know your limits, and only bet what you can afford to lose.

Sam Irwin,
Recovering Gambling Addict
[email protected]