Woman Spends £45K Playing Online Bingo

Woman Spends £45K Playing Online Bingo

Written by: Glo Wood on 13/03/2015 21:25
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A story published on WiganToday.com revealed the tale of a woman, 32-year-old Kelly Nield, who got herself £45,000 in debt as a result of her online bingo habit.

Nield would play bingo in eight hour sessions and eventually topped out five credit cards and spent her partner’s savings.

At her lowest point, she had thoughts of suicide and began harming herself over the stress which came with her addiction.

Nield said: “You get to the point where you can’t see a way out.

“It’s a vicious cycle as when you win get the buzz to play again, and when you lose you just want to get your money back.

“I just wanted to find a way to make myself stop and when my thoughts turned dark I knew I had to get help.”

She was a residential childcare worker but had been off sick since 2012 when she saw adverts for Foxy Bingo during The Jeremy Kyle Show. It seemed like a nice way to occupy her time.

“You can go on and do it in your own home in comfort and to begin with it’s not a big deal,” she said.

“I’d been to Bingo with friends in the past but not spent more than about £20. It had never been an issue before.

“But they always let you win something to begin with or offer you free plays. In just over six months, I was £10,000 in debt.

“I would gamble from the second my family left in the morning until they came home at night, and when they were home she would sneak off to her bathroom and bedroom to play.

“My partner would come home and comment that the house hadn’t been touched and it was because I’d be sat on it all day, gambling.

“For the first two years I put everything on credit cards. Because I was off and suffering with stress, I don’t really remember it. I think I was just blocking out what was going on.

“I know the difference between right and wrong so now I think what on earth was I doing.”

Nield eventually got additional credit cards , overdrew her bank account and began taking money from savings.

“I’ve ended up with five credit cards in total - one for £10,000 and the others all have around £5,000 on them.

“I’d maxed them all out by the end of 2013 and then until the middle of 2014 I was using any cash I could get my hands on.

“I managed to get a £1,600 overdraft on one of my accounts and I just spent.

“My partner and I were saving around £500 a month and I would just access the accounts and spend what I could.

“Now we’re left without any savings at all.”

She eventually got the courage to talk to her partner, Ian Nairn, about what she had been doing. Nield also is an advocate against the online bingo site adverts that have celebrity endorsement and draw in all ages.

“Drugs, alcohol and sex would not be advertised before the watershed but why is it okay to advertise gambling,” she said.

“Celebrities are involved with it but do they know the severity and stress of what they’re doing to people?

“They target vulnerable people and make them believe they can make money from gambling.

“I understand some people gamble and have no issues. But many people have a problem and this destroys lives, families and even drives people to suicide.

“It destroys people and leaves them with long term debts, depression and stress.

“No-one gives you anything for nothing in this world and something needs to be done about it.”

Dirk Hanson, CEO of Gamcare, said, “We applaud people who come forward and admit that they have a problem with gambling.

“We encourage people to get support either for themselves or for family members or friends who might be struggling.

“There is help available out there either through support groups or through one-on-one counselling.

“We know that women in particular are drawn to online forms of gambling and they are more likely to access these services online.

“We offer an online chat service through our helping where people can anonymously come through and chat with one of our advisors.

“It is a reality that people can get hooked on these websites, and people should be fully aware of the risks before getting too involved.”

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