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Gambling Addict Who Blew His Entire Student Loan Within 24 Hours Says Rehab Saved Him

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Gambling Addict Who Blew His Entire Student Loan Within 24 Hours Says Rehab Saved Him

A man who spent his entire student loan within one day of receiving it thanks to his severe gambling addiction has opened up about how he is now free of his dependence after rehab.

Bray Ash’s addiction spiralled out of control even further after he graduated as he was plunged into debt thanks to taking out loans to pay the betting companies. 

Thankfully, Bray, 28, has now recovered and he hopes to help others battling the same addiction through his charity. 

Gambling has always played a part in Bray's life, as he used to hit the fruit machines when he was child and loved Nintendo casino games.   

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Credit: News Dog Media
Credit: News Dog Media

But the problems really began at university when he found he could legally gamble at the age of 18. 

He recalled: "When I went to university, I had more money and time on my hands. 

"I would miss lectures, and I wasn't even socialising that much. I was sporty as a child too but at university, gambling took over my life."

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Overall, Bray lost a whopping £40,000 ($53,824) betting on horse races, dogs, tennis, darts and basketball. 

His lowest point came when he lost his entire student loan in just one single day. 

"In the January term I got my student loan of £1,600 and within 24 hours, I had bet it all away," he said. 

"I didn't come out my room for two days, I couldn't talk, it was just awful. That was the one where I knew something was seriously wrong."

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Credit: News Dog Media
Credit: News Dog Media

It even became a regular occurrence for Bray to hit the casino after a night out instead of going home with his friends.  

However, he insists it isn't the amount of money he lost that he regrets most: "At school I was sporty, popular and outgoing. But at uni my life flipped upside down and I changed.    

"It took me a long time to learn how to enjoy life again, I’m back now playing football. I don’t care about the money I’ve lost, it’s the time and opportunities. But I don’t dwell on it."

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Reflecting on the lost years, Bray said: "My mental health suffered a lot. It got to the point when I was 25, I went to rehab.  

"I managed to get a place in the only residential gambling rehab in the country and that really helped."

Credit: News Dog Media
Credit: News Dog Media

Now recovered, Bray is a member of the Gambling Commission’s Lived Experience Advisory Panel. 

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He said: "I’m not anti-gambling, I know a lot of people who do gamble responsibly.  

"One of the biggest things that I’m passionate about is there needs to be more money donated for treating gambling addicts and their families.

"The companies are making profits but they’re not giving back enough to the problem they cause."

He continued: "Some of the advertising needs to be reined in also. I don’t think gambling companies should be allowed to advertise on anything other than sport. And it should be past 9pm."

Featured Image Credit: News Dog Media

Topics: Gambling, UK News, Sport

Abbi Murray

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