In this story: Addiction / Gambling / Recovery /

“The buzz and getting lost in the moment of gambling was what got me hooked.”

“I started gambling back when I was just a young lad. I wasn’t aware I was gambling as I put two pence pieces in the slots at the amusements on holiday. I never realised this is probably where it all began. The thrill of the lights and the noise of the coins coming down the metal casing.

When I got my first job in my teenage years, I would finish my shift then put a few quid in the bandit in the bar. That led onto going to the bookies and putting a few coupons on at weekends. Yet that wasn’t where gambling took a hold of me.

It was online and online slot games that got my attention. I remember a time before Wi-Fi and Internet was so easily accessible. I was at home playing an online slot game and the house phone rang. The computer screen froze, and the adrenaline lasted longer than usual as I wouldn’t know the result of that spin till, I got reconnected online, waiting for my Mum to get off the phone to see what happened. The buzz and getting lost in the moment of gambling was what got me hooked.

It is very easy to hide a gambling addiction. Although come the end, with the time I was having off work and my moods and tiredness, many knew something was up. Throughout my 20s and into my 30s the viscous circle continued. I would be gambling at every opportunity I got. I would spend hours in my room gambling or sneak to the toilet to gamble. I would risk my life as I drove home from work, with one hand on the wheel and one hand on my phone. Once I bumped the kerb and was lucky to not cause any serious damage to my car, and even luckier there was no pedestrians.

I managed to stop for a month or so just but one day in December 2017, I got a promotional email from a company. I signed up and started gambling again. This is where my gambling binge started and eventually lead me to Gordon Moody Rehab in 2019.”

Read part two of Ross’s story here.

Find out more about the Scotland Reducing Gambling Harms programme at the ALLIANCE.

Read more Humans of Scotland stories.

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