I think as well, that when we try to gamble more responsibly, we gamble often, but we do smaller amounts. So we might gamble each day but lose less, but over time, the losses may still be the same, because we don’t stop for a period like we do after a heavy loss.
We lose big when we bet large amounts and binge on gambling, but we often then take a time out and tend not to gamble at all for a length of time afterwards, because our heavy loss hurts and the damage we have done is much more evident.

When I was gambling ‘responsibly’, I gambled every single day without a break, but I bet if I were to add up the losses, they would probably be the same as the periods of infrequent heavy bets, since each heavy loss was followed by a period of abstinence.

This is why I say that control is an illusion.

All the best to everyone.


Day 7 for me, I really wished I didn’t start gambling again it was going so well I was on the 6 week mark and recovered money now its all over again, every time I gamble it sets me back even if I win I lose the winnings plus my own money, I have a winning streak then I think I am in control built up some cash then one day its all gone and I use my own money to chase the losses and 99% of time I am f….. by the machine I think they recognise a betting pattern of an addict, 30 losing spins in a row where I bet 1/3 of a table on roulette seems impossible yet it always happens there is no way these machines are random as they claim. This time I must quit for good I will not be dragged down by these things no more. I have been working 7 days in a row to try to cover my losses, it will take me another month to go back where I was. My story so similar to others the gambling industry has us where it wants a mindless zombie addicts using their own hard earned money for so called ‘fun’ where it destroys us month after month until we wished we were dead.
Good luck to you all.


Mat, same for me too. I typically used to bet the same 10 numbers on roulette, and I didn’t get a single win the last time I bet and I lost £3,000 all in all. I was betting big, £20 on each number, so £200 a spin. I recall the days when I used to just put 50p on each of my 10 lucky numbers and I would get win after win, sometimes, 4 or 5 hits in a row. It would annoy me then, that I hadn’t put more on.
I think ‘they’ know when you bet big, and the numbers go round you. I don’t know how this could be possible, or how they could get away with it, needless to say though, every time I bet small, I win often, but bet big, and it just doesn’t happen until you have already spent an amount almost equal to the win.
Hang in there, Mat, things will get better so long as you leave this crap well alone.


Hi, Kate,
yes, I think controlled gambling is a good way of trying to limit the losses, and it’s better than blowing a fortune, but as you say, it is not sustainable. It just represents a period in trying to control it. As addicted gamblers, we have all gone through a patch of spending less, trying to tone it down. The thing is, that it doesn’t last because the illusion of control we give ourselves, when we try to gamble responsibly only gives us a green light to gamble more.
We tell ourselves that we are going to be sensible this time, and that things are going to be different. They might well be, for a while, but the switch will come. You might not even see it coming, but I think an addicted gambler will always, eventually revert back to dangerous habits, the longer they try to hold onto it.

I think that’s why we do it. We don’t want to let it go completely, we enjoy the escapism, the rush, even though it hurts us…so we convince ourselves that we can manage to gamble sustainably. The thing, I think we have to bear in mind as well, is that we will still blow the £2,000, we will just do it slowly, so it doesn’t seem so bad….just like the mixers in the drink, we will tell ourselves, it is okay because we are doing smaller amounts. The illusion of this control then gives us the green light to actually do it even more often, because we then think that we are making a positive change, so then gambling or drinking in our new controlled way, actually seems like a good thing to do.

Simple truth is, if we need to control our gambling with deposit limits and responsible gambling tools…then we are pretty much admitting that we are not able to exhibit control ourselves.
After all, the occasional gamblers, those that just gamble when they fancy a flutter, do not need to set limits on their gambling because they do not have a problem. So if you find yourself going into the responsible gambling section to set limits on yourself, then it is already a sign that you need assistance in order to stay in control.


Jane – I think you are right – giving up completely is the only way to go. Day 6 for me, and I am still feeling strong. I think though that ‘controlled gambling’ might be a good way to try to cut down before we can stop completely – blowing £200 is still better than blowing £2000 – but I agree it is unsustainable . I have been trying the controlled route for a few months – but it very quickly builds up into another credit card bill. We know that the longer we stay online, the more likely we are to go away with a lot less than we started with – and how many of us can realistically control the length of time we gamble – it is just too addictive for us. So, like smoking, I really do want to condemn it to Room 101 for good – there are no quarter measures . It has to stop.


I can only speak from my own experience, but for problem gamblers, I don’t think controlled gambling exists. It is a lie we tell ourselves, in order to avoid giving up completely. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I was in control, setting deposit limits, self excluding, cool off periods….All work fine when you are on the winning side of things, but as soon as you lose, all that goes out of the window.
I recall a period of so called ‘controlled gambling’…After losing so much money in the past, I decided to limit my bets and have just one gambling session a day. I steadily built up over £2,000, playing this way, over the course of about a month. I had a win one morning, and broke my self made rule. I decided to play again, that day. I lost some of my winnings, and I couldn’t take it. It took me just one hour to blow the entire £2,000 that I had steadily built up because I wanted back what I considered to be mine.

Old habits die very hard indeed. I think the only way to kick this addiction is to leave it well alone. Once the disease takes hold, you just can’t go back to recreational gambling. We are only fooling ourselves, if we believe we can. Control is an illusion. That’s why the gambling companies make such a fuss about it. They are not trying to help us at all. They encourage you to gamble responsibly because they know full well, that for many people, that is just not possible.

My mother in law is a lifelong alcoholic. She is now convinced that she is okay just because she adds a mixer to the drinks. There is a half full glass in every single room. She will not change because she refuses to accept there is a problem. She is also a hoarder, and thinks she is getting rid of stuff but all she does is move things from one room to another. These are the lies we tell ourselves in order to avoid change.


After 2 months of controlled gambling, I lost the plot on Friday. I won’t go into the finer details but the amount I lost has shocked me back to reality. Yesterday, 25th, marks the rest of my life gamble free. On a positive note I will be a few hours behind the lovely LOSER on my journey, so he will always be in sight ! I am not counting days, I shall check in here on the 25th of every month. Until the 25th April, ….. bye


Ok Guest,
25th April it’s a date, I’ll bring the champagne hahah


After a bad few days I am starting to re-emerge stronger and more positive. Haven’t gambled or been tempted to gamble since last Tuesday – so day 4 again for me. I think for us all, gambling is a problem, but there is an emotional cause or causes underlying it …. and the emotional causes are not easy to address. I know my lapse has been directly as a result of difficulties in my life – but these difficulties would not become overwhelming if I had better coping strategies or a stronger core. I know more about why I am this way …and this self-awareness does help – I just wish I were a bit quicker in sounding my own inner alarm bell to say I need to take care. I think some of the methods, like Mindfulness could really help me as it has helped others – I was really surprised the other day when I tried it just how ‘locked in’ I am when in a depressed mood – I just don’t look at my surroundings – I am barely conscious of the outside world … but just paying attention to the sky, the sounds, the texture of the footpath, the breeze on my face really took my focus off me and towards the world outside. I think i had been a bit ‘sniffy’ about Mindfulness because it is quite fashionable – but I now get the point. I was going to say Good Luck to everyone, but this has strong gambling associations, so I will say, Best Wishes


It has been really tough for you. Think about all the things you have done right in your life. Gambling is not your life. It forms only a small part of it. It is a small part of you, Kate, but it is not what defines you. You are still you without it, in fact, you are MORE you without it.
It is important to get to the point where we can separate ourselves from our addictions, and know that we can stand alone without them. That is the point where we can learn to cope and stop leaning on them. We are often afraid to let go of addictions, because we feel that we might lose a part of who we are. We have often engaged in them for years and years, sometimes, all our life, and it can be like starting over when we quit…like learning to walk again.
We would do well to remember, that addiction does not add anything to our lives. That in fact, addiction takes over our life, by preventing us from being able to do all the things we used to enjoy. Instead of being a person filled with hobbies, interests and lust for life, we become interested only in gambling to the point where everything else loses significance.
I was visiting the cemetery today, and I said to myself….I wonder how long I’ve got? It may be grim, but I wondered what I might do differently, if I knew what time I had left to work with? Obviously, I don’t know how long I’ve got, so that is even more reason to sort this out. We can coast through life, making the same mistakes, always assuming we will have more time, but you just don’t know what is around the corner. None of us do. What is the point in suffering with this addiction any longer? I don’t want gambling to be the last chapter in my book, so I am going to stay focused, and write myself a new chapter, hopefully, full of far happier memories than the last 6 years.

Thank you for the Mother’s Day wish, Kate, I hope you too, have a lovely day. x


Saw a homeless man, or at least one of those purporting to be homeless, sitting on the floor outside my local Ladbrokes the other day. I wonder if it was Ladbrokes that had caused him to be homeless?
Either way I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy about him being virtually in their doorway.

I think I could easily have become homeless because of gambling. As it is day 68 for me and still feeling strong. It is true the longer it goes the easier it gets as you feel you have more to lose. You overcome that I have lost a few hundred quid so what does it matter if I lose a few more mentality which the bookies want you to have.

Stay strong everyone. Don’t give them another penny. Let them starve!


He should sit with the Lotto ‘It could be you’ sign. Ladbrokes would love that!

Well done, Nik. You are doing really great. I think about gambling, but I don’t think about betting, if that makes sense. It is nice to go days at a time, without even thinking about it. I am seeing some good figures on my credit card bills, and I feel more positive the more time goes on. There is only one way to get rid of this, once and for all, and that is to just stay focused on what we want out of life.

Gambling doesn’t get you rich, we’ve figured that part out. The next part is up to us.
All the best, Nik.


Really sorry to hear about recent relapse. It is really important that we can pick ourselves up and try again. Relapse in itself, is mortifying, but the feelings we experience, are not so much based on the loss of money, but come from a far deeper disappointment within ourselves.
If we can accept, that all the days we do not gamble, be it 1, 10, 50 or a 100, still stand to us when we relapse, then we will be able to bounce back and try again.
It is not like they have been erased and mean nothing. Look at it this way, You are building a house, brick by brick, and every day, you add one more brick…..One day, you fail to add a brick, but all the other bricks you added before, still stand. They are there for you to add to, when you are ready. Just because you failed to add a brick one day, does not mean you have stopped building the house.
I have already mentioned before, in my posts, that the idea of counting days is discouraging, because although they act as a deterrent to stop us from gambling, they also act as a barrier to picking ourselves up again, once we fall. We are never really back to day 1, because we have gone many days without gambling in between. I encourage people not to count the days as such, but instead, to make the days count. That way, you will focus on what matters, all the small changes that giving up gambling brings.
The last thing we need, is to lose motivation, so get that back. We are only ever on the present day, no matter how many days we have racked up. The present day is the one that can change everything. As I said before, our days only indicate how well we have done, not how well we will do…..Days don’t mean much at all. Your attitude is everything, and it is this which will keep you pushing for that ultimate goal… be free from gambling.
Please stick around.

Searching for the sun.

Hi everyone,

I am new to this site, but have been a little fly on the wall reading many of your posts to one another.
I’ve been meaning to post for a few days and felt the definite urge today after reading your post “Loser”.
For the past couple years I have delved into the ugly world of gambling. Two days ago was my 28th birthday. I guess it took that day to finally realize openly that I have a gambling addiction. On that day though I promised all of who I am I will never gamble again. Never. I called in to the local casino agency and blocked myself from ever stepping foot into another casino, and the same for online gambling. So now there will never be the option. I choose not to, but when and if I feel weak.. which is probable to happen I wont be able to. I take full responsibility in my actions and my downfalls, yet I am also going to acknowledge I made the first decision, the first right decision to not allow myself to ever gamble again. It is a choice, we have all made and if we continue to gamble that again is a choice we make.
Loser, I don’t think you need to leave this site to try and find a more encouraging group. This group of people whom post here regularly seem to have your best interest in mind. I strongly urge you to ban yourself from any and every casino. If you think you spent $600 and it wasn’t bad, imagine what it would have been if the banks were actually open.. how much would you have spent then? rewarding yourself every few months with gambling will only feed the darkness that’s inside. You need to take control of the situation, take control of your life and say no more. no more gambling, no more wasting hours watching a screen, no more feeling embarrassed – just plain and simple. NO MORE. if you aren’t ready for that, then you have only acknowledged you have a gambling problem, and the solution is not one that you want. I am sorry if this is abrupt, but sometimes we all need this. I don’t know if you have a religion – I don’t really, but I’ve read a bit about Buddhism.. basically what I go back to constantly is that we are all given challenges throughout our lives, but the objective it to overcome them. We are never presented with something we cannot overcome if we so choose. So Loser, the choice will always be yours, gamble, waste your money, fail, succeed. If you want something bad enough you will achieve it. I am determined to overcome what I have done, and I will not ever gamble again, and I will one day look back upon this time of my life and know that I conquered this addiction because I chose to. So the choice is yours, all yours.

I have been grateful to you all, your words of encouragement have been powerful for me, and ill continue to use them as so!


I really hope you are able to maintain this positive mindset. Giving up gambling is incredibly hard, but so very worthwhile. If you can keep your focus and remember why you want this, then you can succeed. You have made some really good choices in self excluding. Remind yourself that you want to leave this behind because it is harming you, and you will go far. We often regard quitting as giving up something you enjoy and this makes you resent your decision to stop. I often hear people say, ‘I can’t give up cigarettes, it’s all I have’. We make all sorts of excuses in order not to change and in doing so, we prevent ourselves from moving forwards.
I used to self exclude from one site, and just open an account elsewhere. I kept trying to control it, but I hadn’t properly addressed the reason why I wanted to give up, I seen it as stopping myself from having fun, so it didn’t work. Now, it works, because I know that gambling did nothing for me, and I want to leave it behind. It never really was fun, I just told myself that to justify my decision to gamble again.
I no longer try to undo all the barriers I have in place. I am no longer my own worst enemy. I am happy not to gamble.
I am glad that you decided to post on the site. It is good to be in the company of those who know what you are going through. Let us know how you get on.
The best of luck to you. :)


Loser you have to keep trying to give up gambling, on a bright side you only lost $600 I lost £2000 on Sunday felt really down, now 4 days later I feel a bit better, no urges. I will try to quit gambling for good there is only one winner and its not the player. There might be more steps to be taken, try self exclusions and some limits on your bank account but the most important is the mindset. At the end of the day there are worse things than losing some money which only is a piece of paper. I will try to be grateful for what i have and try minimalist way of life thinking of money, riches and general being greedy is what driven me to gamble, i always gambled with thought of getting free extra money to buy something nice, even if i did win money often i never used it to buy things just more gambling tokens. You have to forgive yourself and move on, look positive and you have to be in peace with yourself and accept what you have. Nobody can make you stop but yourself, I used to drink alcohol daily and stopped now completely, cause i don’t need it, i don’t need gambling too why carry on something that make you feel bad and drags you down.
I know its tough but only because we still hold to that thought of ‘getting our money back’ or ‘free money’ even if its on a subconscious level, brain learned a pattern that after a win comes happiness and we are after it. I was really down but had been thinking for the past few days and my conclusion is i have to move on and change the way i think, stressing will help nothing and will solve nothing . Start counting days and hope for better that’s all we can do.

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