Former Burnley defender
When I did gamble, there was something within me that felt that I could beat the system.
When I was feeling anxious, fearful, sad or isolated, going to the casino was my sanctuary. It was somewhere I could get away from the world, where no one judged me and I
could while away several hours and feel like a king.
That was the most dangerous part of my gambling behaviour, because the gambling, in itself, wasn’t the problem. I was using that to mask my mental health.
The majority of people would much rather you be honest about what you’re going through and receive help for it in order to be a better part of that team, rather than shoulder the burden of secrecy, and have that impact your performance.
What I had to do is learn new coping mechanisms. But it only came when, first of all, I was aware that I had a problem. And then, second, nobody can do it for you; you have to do it yourself. If I was to give anyone any advice about their gambling, it would be to understand why they gamble. Are you gambling socially? Or are you gambling because you desperately need to win? Are you gambling because you’re avoiding issues in your life?