Gambling addiction‘When they gave out that card from the bookies, that’s when it escalated… Even a fly, he would back it on going to the wall’

As heard on liveline

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The card in question was a loyalty, or credit card, from one of the major bookies based in Ireland. The gambler in question was the former partner of Liveline caller, Siobhan, who finally came clean about his problem on July 1st last year. The couple are now separated.

Coming clean about the problem is possibly an overstatement, inasmuch as he hasn’t taken responsibility or, according to Siobhan, adequately addressed the fallout from his addiction. This despite losing everything, including thousands of Euro he had inherited, firstly from his father, then from an aunt.

“He was left two lots of inheritance, and I’m talking about thousands. He got this card from Boyle’s, or the other place, Paddy Powers. And a new phone. For about three years, I’m sitting looking at him playing with his phone, saying ‘Jesus Christ, you are always on the phone. What are you doing?’ And he’s say ‘no, no, I just got a free bet’”.

Siobhan has two children and shared a house with her former partner of 20 years until his addiction came to light last July. All things considered, he was still “the nicest guy you would meet”. But now, he lives in a small place on his own, “doesn’t worry about bills, doesn’t care if he’s going to be left with nothing.”

And it all went back to the receipt of a loyalty card from a bookie’s.

“When they gave out that card from the bookies, that’s when it escalated. He was handling it, he would go down on Saturday, do his football bets. But once that card came in, it was anything. Even a fly, he would back it on going to the wall.”

Siobhan was not the only caller to Joe Duffy outlining the problems their relatives were having with gambling and if you’d like to hear the stories in full, you can click here.

If you have been affected by gambling or you feel you have a problem you would like to discuss, you can contact Gamblers Anonymous Ireland on

Dublin: 01-8721133

Cork: 087-2859552

Galway: 086-3494450

Tipperary: 085-7831045

Kerry: 087-4266633

Waterford: 087-1850294

© The Listener 2017

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