Brit Who Lost £50K to Gambling Encourages Others to Seek Help

Dan Bateman, a 34-year-old man from Carlisle, spent years struggling with gambling addiction. He started wagering as a teenager and eventually let what was at first just a hobby consume his entire life.

In an interview with inews, Bateman explained that he started betting as a teen when he would give adults £1 to place soccer bets on his behalf. Like many people, he was ecstatic when he won his first bet, which netted him £18.50.

From then on, he would become a regular soccer bettor and would even encourage his friends to gamble. By his mid-twenties, Bateman knew he had a problem but had no intention to stop. However, his real problems started in 2019 when he started living on his own.

At that point, Bateman started gambling at work during his breaks and would continue to play when he returned home, sometimes through 3 am in the morning. He told inews that he was no longer just betting on soccer but on a variety of random sports too. When the pandemic came, he would wager on virtual sports since there were no real soccer games being played.

I told myself I’d be able to pay my rent using money from any wins. I tried to justify it to myself. But the truth was that I was gambling with money I could not afford to give away or lose.

Dan Bateman

At one point, he stopped caring about sports and only cared about whether he won or not.

Bateman’s Addiction Worsened

Bateman reminisced about secretly gambling on Christmas Day while with his family and placing wagers on Turkish leagues. He spent between £100 and £200 on that day.

Bateman’s addiction got so bad that he would have spent the wages he received on Fridays by Monday.  In 2019 he asked his mother to take control of his finances, although this didn’t really stop him from playing.

At one point, Bateman’s aunt had to pay off a £500 debt for him while he maxed out a £1,000 limit credit card. Additionally, he would often ask his loved ones for money, lying that he needed new clothing.

In his interview with inews, Bateman said that he regrets breaking the trust of so many people. According to him, gambling had turned him into a worse person.

The Turning Point Came in 2023

The turning point came in April 2023 when he placed a huge bet on Brighton only for them to lose to Manchester. After rethinking his life choices all night, he decided to tell his mother everything.

Luckily, Bateman’s family was very understanding and did not stigmatize his problem. On the contrary, it turned out that his loved ones had known about his problems and were just waiting for him to talk about them when he felt comfortable.

Bateman then began his journey to recovery and started using Gamban to block his access to gambling ads and websites. According to him, the amount of ads people in the UK are bombarded with is “disgraceful.”

Bateman has not gambled since April 2023 and has already started to build up his savings. In addition, he is hosting a podcast called “Be The Best Version of Yourself” where he encourages others to get their gambling habits under control.

 After losing approximately £50,000 to gambling over the years, Bateman is wary of the upcoming UEFA EURO 2024 tournament, knowing that a single wrong step could undo his progress. Despite that, he told inews that he is confident he would be able to enjoy the competition without placing a wager.