Former gambling addict who lost £500,000 says the impact on relationships affected him the most

A former gambling addict from Colwyn Bay said he lost nearly half a million pounds because of his addiction.

Jordan Lea, 34, said: "I was borrowing, I was stealing money. I went to any length to get hold of money."

But Jordan said it was the impact on relationships that meant more to him than losing money.

"The money, that's not the thing for me personally, it's the cost to relationships. It's the cost to things for your family. You look at all the things that they went through, my partner, my parents, and everyone else."

Jordan said he is concerned about getting a mortgage. And he said the legacy of his addiction means that his phone contract has to be in his father's name.

"When you sit there and think, I'm 34, getting a mortgage is going to be a nightmare. I haven't gambled in five years but you still have that issue.

"I can't get a phone, a car, or anything like that.

"It's more than just losing the money."

Jordan received some treatment to help him overcome his addiction.

He then started his own charity, Deal Me Out, which has been running for three years. There are currently 10 members of staff.

His charity works with Adferiad Recovery at Parkland Place facility to help treat people's gambling addiction.

"It's an amazing feeling to have actually gained some purpose", he said.

The organisation GambleAware said gambling participation has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

It said it is trying to encourage adults to access support services through the National Gambling Treatment Service. 

The campaign encourages adults to access free, confidential support services available. Last year, around 8,500 people were supported through the services. But GambleAware believe that for every one person that currently seeks treatment, there are 160 others that could benefit from accessing the services.

A BGC spokesperson, said: “The Betting and Gaming Council’s largest members pledged an additional £100m of funding between 2019 and 2023 for research, education and treatment services to be administered by the independent charity GambleAware.

“We are encouraged by the latest figures from the Gambling Commission that showed the rate of problem gambling was 0.3 per cent – down from 0.6 per cent 18 months ago. That’s equivalent to a drop from 340,000 problem gamblers down to 170,000.

“Some 22.5m adults enjoy betting and gaming each month, whether that’s playing the lottery, enjoying a game of bingo or a day at the races, playing casino games or having a bet on football and other sports.

“We strongly support the Gambling Review as a further opportunity to raise standards, but it is vitally important it strikes the right balance between protecting the vulnerable and not spoiling the enjoyment of the vast majority who enjoy a flutter safely.”

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