'I hadn't gambled for 500 days but relapsed in lockdown' - Cardiff woman calls for more help for addicts

Sarah Grant has said that constant targeting also contributed to her gambling again.

After years of battling her addiction, Sarah Grant from Cardiff thought she'd managed to beat her problem gambling.

She hadn't placed a bet in more than two years, but says the stress of not seeing family and friends, as well as constant advertising on her phone and email caused her to relapse.

Speaking to ITV Wales, Sarah says that: "Up until the start of lockdown I was over 500 days gambling free, I suffered with an addiction for a long time and I had just managed to get my life back on track, the stresses and the strains of lockdown made me relapse."

Sarah, whose addiction previously led her to being jailed, also believes that betting companies have increased their advertising to try and target people who are spending more time at home during the isolation period.

Sarah believes that the targeting by companies has harmed a lot of people in lockdown. Credit: PA

Sarah says she also spent around £700 buying scratch cards.

"During lockdown I gambled and lost around £700, I had to borrow money to eat and pay bills," Sarah said.

"It makes you feel worthless, you end up suffering. You don't want to admit it because it makes you feel shameful.

"I am a lot better now, everybody in lockdown is struggling in some ways. I am trying to use this negative experience as some kind of positive. I really back stopping these adverts."

Sarah believes that the government needs to be doing more to try and prevent the companies from saturating vulnerable people's social media.

Her view is also echoed by MS Mick Antoniw, who says he's concerned other people with gambling problems will relapse during lockdown.