How To Stop Gambling

Written by Pete Latham

June 20, 2019

Roll up! Roll Up! Calling All Compulsive Gamblers!

If you’re a compulsive gambler/ gambling addict / pathological gambler or whatever term you want to call it, I thought it might help for you to understand how my compulsive gambling brain was working to see if it compares to yours. For my back story see about me  , Gambling Addiction & Me, and The Year That Changed Everything to see how I arrived at the following  analogy.

Advertising Lies Fuel Gambling Addiction

I finally figured out that a big reason my compulsive gambling continued was because it was operating on the premise of a lie. You see for me, gambling was never really about the money until it became about the debt and even then it was more to do with escape. However, it was at the point of significant gambling debt that my brain began to treat ridiculous notions as credible and this is all down to the continuous lie I was being sold on a daily basis without ever really knowing it. It’s a lie that is being hammered home in every medium you can think of.

Have you ever listened to commercial radio recently? Or Checked Facebook? Read the back page of a newspaper…Or in fact any page? Or my personal favourite, have you ever watched daytime television recently?


If you have then you will have been bombarded with adverts for bingo/ casino/ sports betting sites. On television, you probably know that there is currently an absolute stack of adverts and programme sponsorship run by gambling operators. I intend posting about this in another section shortly, but primarily in the daytime it’s bingo sites that are conveniently linked directly to full on casino sites. Typically, these adverts will show a group of people happily playing bingo on their phones or tablets having a whale of a time…

Do you look like that when you’re playing? Are you in a social group having healthy fun with your friends? Or are you alone in a room with nobody else around praying for that win to solve all your problems?
My guess is the latter. In fact, I’d like to know exactly where these fun groups of people hang out but I’m certain they don’t exist. However, if anyone wants to provide me with the contact details of such a group that meet regularly to play online bingo inexplicably in a random field, I will happily retract.
So what’s the lie? Well it’s exactly that of course, and also the fact you will be happy using their product because YOU are a winner!
So unfortunately us true gamblers are already being programmed, and don’t even get me started on evening television gambling or the live casino channels in the small hours. I’ll be sure to rip those apart later too!

So Compulsive Gamblers Are Stupid, Right?

Wrong. But let’s just examine what effect these lies were having on my mind. Well for me the lies told me that I could free myself from gambling debt. Strangely my brain didn’t entertain the perfectly correct and rational concept that it was gambling that got me there in the first place. It would have been handy for it to tell me that before I lost all my money gambling so that I could reconsider my tactics. However, it totally failed to present me with the overwhelming evidence that over 30 years caught in the pointless cycle had thus far failed to resolve my problems or any of my debt. Why didn’t it do that? Simply because I had already been pre-programmed to accept the winners on the adverts as a plausible possibility. I had been well and truly sucked into a big fat lie.

Ah! So Maybe It’s Just Me That’s Stupid?

Okay so throughout my life I’ve never been one to be big headed. In fact, my humour apart from being extremely dry is usually self-depreciating and I will often put myself down. For the purposes of this though, I’ll cut myself some slack, go out on a limb and say that I’m not stupid. I work full time in an exceptionally responsible and demanding job where I’ve had to learn a lot of extremely complicated procedures. I’m not a graduate but have worked myself to where I am today and many colleagues that are university educated struggle with the same procedures that I manage daily. Amongst other things my role includes managing the safety and risk of others. So I’m going to claim that I’m not stupid. But…

The Lie Effect

Once, I believed that the slots I was playing online would be full and ready to pay out by the time I played despite also knowing that their pay outs are governed by a random number generator making this theory impossible. The two concepts simply don’t tally but the lie told me that I could win and be happy.

I once believed that if I played on a Bank Holiday Monday, I would win because I had done so before. I’d played before because of the lie that I could be happy so it was that lie that fuelled the one I’d just told myself.

On several occasions, I have looked up the remaining top prizes left on scratch card games to determine which one to buy. Most recently, I was spending £10 on a scratch card offering a top prize of £4 million. There were 3 top prizes when these cards were released, 12,059,275 cards in circulation during the initial print run, and 2 top prizes left when I started to buy them. My brain told me I had a reasonable chance of success because I believed the lie and believed that I was a winner.

The Truth Facing All Compulsive Gamblers

Of course with all of that, there was a chance I could have been a winner. I could and often did win money, so that part isn’t necessarily the lie. The lie is that you believe you WILL be a winner which of course they can’t actually say in their adverts. This is why they deliver the lie to you with what they infer and show you. Of course they’ll never show you the guy walking home from the field after a good old healthy bingo session who then goes on to have a mental breakdown for blowing the family shopping budget.

So no matter what genius system you might have, or what justification your brain throws up to make your compulsive gambling appear worthwhile, believe me it is not. This isn’t because you’re stupid or lack common sense but rather it’s because you’ve been conned by very clever marketing that has managed to attach itself to you as a truth.

Believe that as opposed to the adverts and you’ll be halfway there.

Find out if you’re likely to be  a compulsive gambler here. For quitting gambling resources, you can read how to stop gambling by using this in-depth guide, or why not join others in the Quit The Casino private free private community!

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