This week I would just like to talk about how easy anyone can get addicted to gambling. I will talk you through how I got addicted and the mistakes that led me to that dark place. I received great feedback on the back of last week’s blog so it seems that this section is something a lot of people want to hear about. Gambling is a sever (but silent) issue in our society and we need to be vigilant regarding those close to us and help them in any way we can with this addiction. So let’s jump in and learn on how I go attached to that sweet excited feeling that comes with gambling “potential” win.
So, years ago when I was in school I used to always pass by a small betting shop on my way into town during my lunch. On the big windows it always displayed the latest odds for the next round of football matches across Europe. I have been a huge football fan from a young age and arrogantly thought I knew more than your average fan. I thought I was special. Since I was under 18 years of age I never even considered entering this bet shop as I would be kicked out as soon as I set foot inside the door. However, I always thought that as soon as I cross that age limit barrier I will bankrupt all the bookies in the area with my football wisdom. Little did I know, I was slowly but surely getting wrapped up with the idea, or should i say “illusion” of getting rich from gambling.
As soon as I turned 18 and got some money in my bank account (put in there by my parents) I quickly calculated that the next 9 months in college will be tough surviving on this money alone. I needed to get a job or figure out a way of earning extra money elsewhere. Getting a job was too hard, I hated going door to door and beg for employment and furthermore I was a student and I had very little time so getting a job was out of the question. I need a better way, an easier way to get money. *Bang* that was my first mistake. I was looking for an easy way out and that’s what bookies love. They love people that are desperate for more cash, they can easily hook you in then. I didn’t “need” extra cash, it was something that would have been nice. You see bookies provide an environment filled with “potential” of getting free, quick, easy money. This is how they lure you in. However, this is just an illusion. They always come out on top. I wish I knew this all those years ago. I was naïve and I was foolish. You see, the bookies hire the smartest people with the wittiest minds that study, analyse stats, figures, history etc. of each sport, each match, each player to a point where they know more about the each sport than all punters do collectively. They set up their odds in such a way that the punter gets back roughly 33% of every bet he puts on, or in other way of putting it, the punter wins 3/10 bets. This forces the punter to come back again and again since he feels he is winning enough so he he keeps thinking that the next bet will be a winning one. You see very few people will keep betting if 100% of their bets end in a loss. That’s why as soon as gambler wins some money (doesn’t matter how much he lost previous to that) he will naturally will want to bet again. It’s a clever game the bookies play. Of course they sometimes get it wrong, or do they, do bookies get it wrong or is it more like a punter threw a ball of money on something he knows very little about and all stars aligned and just for such bet he won. Hmmmm…..this seems like a more accurate explanation to me. When a gambler wins its “luck”, when bookies win (which is majority of the time) its strategically done so. Think about it, when have you seen any bookies close down. Even the dirtiest, darkest, smallest bookies always has its doors open because they know how to play the game and they play it in a way that we always seem to want to come back cause 3/10 bets we have put on came off but the bookies pockets 7/10 times. This is something I didn’t know starting off, I thought I was the special one. Everyone feels the same right? We all think we are different, we all think we can be that 1 in a million individual that has it all figured out. Oh how foolish I was. My ego was getting the better of me.
So because I didn’t want to be “that” guy that is seen going in and out of the bookies on a regular basis I decided to set up an online account. *Bang* that was my second mistake. Setting up account online meant that I can deposit money into my betting account within seconds lying on my couch at home watching Jeremy Kyle or some other “cool” show. I could also place a bet on any sport, anytime anywhere. It was too convenient. You lose a bet, no matter, deposit more money and you can bet again within seconds. Easy. See, if I needed to go down the road to my local bookie I would have had to walk/cycle in a cold/rainy weather and go to the ATM on the way and get some cash out of the bank as bookies don’t take debit card payment etc, etc. So, as a result it was more likely that I would have just decided to stay in and not place that bet and maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have ended up been addicted to gambling. However, we live in a world of technology so there was too many sites to choose from and much too easy to set it up. I ended up choosing Bet365, because they were the biggest and most popular. I deposited some money and started to play around with placing bets for small amount first to get grips with the process and then moved onto betting higher and higher amounts.
After few weeks of betting relatively small amounts I was just about breaking even, I won some, I lost some but I was doing ok. I was getting the hang off using the app and the whole process behind placing a bet. One day I decided I would go for it and placed €100 bet on a match that if I won would return me €327. Of course I didn’t know for sure I would win, but I was hopeful and watched the match with fear and excitement all rolled into one. Sure enough, I did win. *Bang* mistake number 3. That is exactly how you get hooked. You win. Once you win you feel, “yes, I got it now, bookies owes me money now so I can bet with this free money I just won and win even more”. Oh boy! Madness! So sure enough I quickly lost all my profit and some more of my own money within hours and I was back to square one, except I wasn’t, I was actually at a loss now so I was further back than square one. Shit! Well, there was only one thing left to do. I admitted defeat, closed my betting account down and decided to write up my CV and start applying for “real” jobs. Ya right! That’s exactly, what didn’t happen. Instead of being smart about and moving on, I began to bet even more to try and recoup my losses. *Bang* that was mistake number 4. You will never chase down you losses when it comes to bookies. You will always come second in the race for profit. I just didn’t know it yet. I deposited more money, I lost, I deposited more, I won a little bit, I deposited more money, I lost and the cycle went on and on.
So there you have it, 4 simple yet crucial mistakes that resulted in me being hooked on gambling. The worse part is as I was making these mistakes I didn’t realise it. It was that easy. I was making decision without much thought, I just want to win and I wanted the money. I was foolish and blinded by “potential” of winning a lot of money . However, mistakes don’t stop there, oh no, there were plenty of things I did wrong as months passed by and my gambling addiction grew, but more on that another day. Hope ye all enjoyed the blog and I am looking forward reading your comments and feedback. Please feel free to ask me any questions or share any ideas/stories via the comment section. Thanks very much for your support and I will chat to you on the next one.