Stacey spent 8 years addicted to gambling and is now committed to raising awareness amongst women like herself, who have struggled with gambling in silence. She has written a memoir called The Girl Gambler and spends much of her spare time highlighting the issues of problematic gambling via TikTok. Stacey is one of over 110,000 women registered with GAMSTOP.
How did you start gambling?
I started gambling when I was 18, while working part-time in a bookmaker. Being so close to gambling every day resulted in me starting to gamble and eventually became a full-blown addiction.
How much did you spend on gambling?
I don’t know for sure how much I lost but I know it’s in the hundreds of thousands. I lost every penny of my wages for 8 years and got myself into huge debt. Even when I did win, I’d just gamble it away immediately.
What impact did gambling have on your life?
Along with the debt, I became so lonely and isolated. Eventually, I felt like I didn’t want to live anymore and made multiple attempts to take my own life.
At what point did you realise that you needed help?
After losing a huge amount of money and trying to take my own life again, I started to realise that my addiction wasn’t just about money. No matter how much I won, the urge to gamble never went away. I knew the problem was in my own mind.
Where did you go to for help?
I tried a few ways to get better but eventually I found the Gordon Moody clinic and also registered with GAMSTOP and finally was able to receive the help that I needed.
Do you have any advice for anyone struggling with gambling?
It’s important that people know that there is support out there. I believed that my addiction had gone too far, and nothing could help me; I was wrong. Whether it's clinics like Gordon Moody, counselling, or self-exclusion services like GAMSTOP, there are people ready and willing to help you.
It’s been 3 years now that I’ve been in recovery and it’s the greatest accomplishment of my life so far. I finally feel free again.
Follow Stacey's journey
How are you doing now?
I’m doing amazing! It’s been 3 years now that I’ve been in recovery and it’s the greatest accomplishment of my life so far. I finally feel free again.
Over 400,000 people have used GAMSTOP to take back control of their gambling. You can read about the experiences of real people who have found self-exclusion helpful here.