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“How the night I won $170,000 turned out to be the worst of my life”

“I won over £127,000 in one night (about $170,000). That was the worst night of my life, because that’s when my addiction really started to spiral out of control.”

Lisa Walkera 49-year-old British woman, was a regular at the local bingo and betting halls, but it was after that poker session at the casino that she began to play compulsively and her habit became harmful.

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“The casino wanted me back and they offered me everything I wanted: free drinks, free meals to tempt me”bill.

“Most days I thought about gambling and most days I ended up doing it. I ended up running out of money.”

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But not only he lost all his earnings, also his house after having remortgaged it to be able to continue betting.

And for a time she had to live, along with her 10 and 11-year-old children, in a shelter. She had not turned 30.

According to a survey conducted by data analytics firm YouGov, in United Kingdom it is estimated that there could be half a million women “dangerously hooked” on the game and at risk of falling into a situation similar to Lisa’s.

And many of them may not even recognize the warning signs that they are becoming addicted to gambling or may be too ashamed or afraid of the stigma to seek help, warns the charity Gamble Aware.

24 hour casino

At 45 years old, Lisa was still addicted to gambling.

He chose Las Vegas as the place to get married and she spent the wedding night gambling in a casino instead of celebrating the occasion with her groom and guests.

Back in the UK, she realized that gambling had taken her to a “deep, dark place”, that she couldn’t think of anything else and that she needed help.

So he decided to attend a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. There were 35 men there and one woman, besides her.

Since then, she has attended the sessions weekly, and says that more and more women are attending.

She is now in recovery and has started her own women’s group, as well as volunteering at Betnowmore, another organization that helps gambling addicts.

According to Lisa, it is online gambling that is now a problem.

“We’re seeing a lot of people connecting [a los sitios de apuestas] on-line. You have a mobile phone at hand 24 hours a day, a casino in your pocket 24 hours a day, and in a couple of minutes you can be gambling online.”

Online gambling is a new way for people to get hooked. (GETTY IMAGES).

“The behavior of a gambling addict manifests itself differently in women than in men,” says Liz Karter, a UK expert on gambling addiction.

“We know, for example, that this availability on-line attracts many women games that seem innocent and socially acceptable. They feel safe and familiar, as they are very similar to the free digital games we are all used to playing,” he explains.

“Also, the hope of financial gain can be a powerful motivator. While gambling doesn’t always lead to harm, it’s critical for women to be aware of early warning signs, such as losing track of time, incurring ever-increasing debt, tending to hide activity before others or gambling to forget their problems.

Dr. Ellie Cannon says that the warning signs that the habit is becoming harmful are:

  • Bet more than you can afford
  • Ask for loans to bet
  • lose track of time
  • Feeling anxious or guilty about gambling
  • Keep the activity secret

A spokeswoman for the Gambling Commission, the government body that regulates gambling in the UK, said “campaigns to raise awareness of the risks of gambling harm are absolutely vital.”


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Source: Elcomercio

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