An addiction charity has seen an over 80% rise in the number of women desperately trying to retake their lives from the ‘silent addiction’ of online betting
Struggling mothers say betting has left them suicidal, as an addiction charity reveals an 84% surge in women desperate to stop gambling.
Carly McGuinness, 33, bet up to 15 hours a day, waking up at night to check her wagers. When she won £150,000 in an online slots game, instead of buying her council house with it, she blew the lot on more bets.
Now she has been in recovery for a year after her addiction made her “want to orphan my children and take my own life”. Carly said: “I was exhausted and felt like the worst person in the world, my depression and anxiety fed by my secret addiction.”
Carly, of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, and Jayne Smith, 57, from Basildon, Essex, both rebuilt their lives thanks to a rehab course run by gambling charity Gordon Moody.
It has seen a 43% increase in demand for its services year on year – and an 84% rise in applications from women, who make up a quarter of its referrals, in the last four years.
Jayne, a mum of four and gran of 11, could not afford her rent because of gambling. She said: “I’d turned into a monster, a liar, someone I hated more than anyone else could ever understand.
“There’s so much shame and stigma around women gambling, that this doesn’t happen to us, when actually nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a silent addiction that almost took my life. But I’m living proof that with support, you can recover.”
If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or visit their site to find your local branch.