Humans of Scotland

Colin’s story – my experience of gambling

"I started to play for money for a bigger kick and that was me, the man who swore he'd never gamble...hooked!"

This story is about: Long Term ConditionsGambling

“As for gambling, I’m in a great place to speak about it. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I was a croupier in casinos for thirteen years and I’ve seen men crying through their losses. They become bad gamblers. They chase their losses and get themselves into all sorts of trouble involving borrowing from friends and family. They don’t know when to stop trying to scoop back what they have gambled away. Me, I’m a bad gambler.

I should know better because I’ve seen what gambling can do. I didn’t gamble for twenty odd years, I’d never thought of it as I knew it was a mug’s game, but something drove me to it.  I sat back one day and wondered why I’ve become like this, especially with my background and knowledge.

Then I came up with an answer to my demise. Up until 10 years ago I had, for most of my life, been in receipt of natural highs through playing football and audience applause when I was a singer. All these rises in my endorphins ended when I had to retire early after a massive heart-attack. I put on weight and I had nothing giving me these natural highs in life anymore. I started to play online poker for fun with no money involved and found I got an endorphin lift when I won, but it wasn’t enough, so I started to play for money for a bigger kick and that was me, the man who swore he’d never gamble…hooked!

That’s one of the problems with gamblers. People get bored and have nothing to do and they turn to gambling as a form of excitement. It’s often not to do so much with the money until they lose and chase the loss.

I’m horrified, horrified with the money I’m spending firstly chasing my natural high then chasing my loses. I’d like to be back in the days when I could play poker for fun with no money. Gambling is a disease that can be caught. The odds are always against you.”