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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 10:34 GMT
'My struggle with web gambling'
Former online gambling addict
Former online gaming addict Vicky Clark gambled away 27,000
As the government promotes plans to better regulate internet gambling, former addict Vicky Clark tells how she went from never playing the lottery to losing 27,000 on a web gaming site in eight weeks.

It is very easy to get into online gambling. Before you know it you are just getting dragged down.

It is just one short click on the internet. The money can go so, so fast. I actually lost 27,000 in just over eight weeks.

It makes you feel totally useless - greedy.

So, it was lose, win, lose - deposit more money and it just escalated

I very, very easily got into online gambling. Before I knew it, I was starting to sink. It is horrendous.

Because the site that I played on had got no regulation whatsoever, I got no deposit limit - it was just a case of I could just carry on, and carry on, and carry on.

So, it was lose, win, lose - deposit more money and it just escalated.

Losing control

Vicky, who lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, played a game called Lucky Star, similar to roulette. But she soon began to realise that she was losing control.

She now urges users to only play on sites carrying information on responsible gaming and player protection systems, which allow people to set themselves gambling limits.

It was only through putting my lottery numbers on that I came across responsible gaming and player protection and I just wondered what it was.

Poker cards and chips
Gambling addicts say it is easy to lose thousands of pounds

I started looking into player protection and basically it was a minimum and maximum deposit level that the customer can set themselves.

If it had been on the site, I could have set a 20 or 50 limit and that would have been it for the week. I wouldn't have been able to go above that amount.

If they (the government) are going to put player protection on, it needs to be at the point of registration. The tools of control need to be at the point of registration.

I have found a lot of sites where responsible gaming is on the homepage but player protection was hidden away. It is like small print on a contract.

Now I wouldn't touch online gaming. I have been very, very lucky because I was recompensed 17,000 back from the site I played on. That I will always be totally grateful for.

If they (players) are going to use them, they should definitely use a trusted site that carries responsible gaming.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
How one woman spent 27,000 in eight weeks



SEE ALSO
UK backs internet gambling rules
31 Oct 06 |  UK Politics
Cash adviser jailed for 2m fraud
30 Oct 06 |  Manchester
Partygaming 'considering merger'
29 Oct 06 |  Business
US gambling law flawed - Jowell
27 Oct 06 |  UK Politics



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