After the Scottish Government’s decision to overturn a rejected planning permission for yet another betting shop in the centre of Clydebank, a recovering gambler has spoken of the dangers of these establishments. Martin Traynor told of his shock that the Government has allowed for another Betfred store in the centre of the town, despite the council rejecting the planning application.

Martin, who has struggled with his own gambling addiction for many years, said that there are enough betting shops in Clydebank already and, “In the shopping centre, there are far too many.”

Hell for Problem Gamblers

Martin said that, while those who bet responsibly may not understand the problem of yet another bookie in the area, those who are dealing with addiction would feel as if this is ‘a slap in the face to them.’

Martin told of how his problems began when he was in his late teens. He started by placing the odd bet but this grew into a bigger problem and, before too long, he was hooked on the urge to bet. He said that it got to the stage at which every penny he had would be spent in betting shops; the stress and anxiety of owing money to people made him feel suicidal.

He admits that he never thought he would end up addicted when he first began placing small bets. He said in the beginning he would win some and lose some but was not that bothered and could easily walk away. However, as he began earning more money, he began placing more money on his bets, meaning his losses were greater and so were his occasional wins. It got to the stage where the thrill of winning had him hooked and it was not long before all his hard-earned money was used for betting. He said, “I honestly started hating having money because I knew what I was going to put myself through and exactly where it was going. I was happier without money because I knew I wouldn’t be anywhere near a bookies.”

Compulsion

Martin says that he began thinking about spending money on betting machines all the time. He started borrowing from people and when he did not have enough money to pay them all back, would try to win it by gambling what he did have. If he lost that money, he would make up stories about how he had not been paid from work yet.

He was stuck in a cycle of deceit, which eventually took its toll. He said that life became too much and he thought about taking his own life. He said he felt that there was no other way out of his problems. Luckily, Martin decided to get help instead and he admits that if it had not been for his family, he would not be here today. He made the decision to attend Gamblers Anonymous and attended meetings almost every day.

Whenever he felt like gambling, he would call a family member or a friend from his meetings, and they would talk him out of it. He has been in recovery for almost a year now.

You Can Get Help Too

If you can relate to Martin’s story, then know that there is help out there for you too. Addiction Helper is a referral service working with addicts just like you and Martin. We can provide you with the information you need to make a positive change in your life and can help you find an appropriate treatment clinic for your needs. Call us today for free support and advice.

Source: The Clyde Bank Post

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