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Gambling addiction

phoneAlistair Lloyd went through a period of card playing for high stakes some time ago and he lost £8000 in poker games with Matt Crawford and Stephen Chalkman. It was the start of a run of bad luck, which also included losing the dairy herd vet work at Brookfield and his relationship with wife Shula inevitably suffered.

More recently, Alistair became addicted to online gambling and he returned to Matt's gaming table to try to reverse his losses. In hock to Matt to the tune of £60,000, and with credit card debts of £40,000, he became inveigled in Matt's insurance scam, and he resisted putting down an injured racehorse.

Shula grew increasingly distressed at his erratic behaviour and began to think there was a problem in their marriage - she thought it was her fault and that Alistair didn't love her any more.

If you would like to talk to a trained listener about the feelings arising from Alistair and Shula's story, or if you know someone who would like to do so, you can call the BBC Radio 4 Action Line: 0800 044 044

There are a number of organisations offering support and counselling and you may find these links helpful:

Gamblers Anonymous
A fellowship of men and women who have joined together to do something about their gambling problem and help others to do the same.
Tel: 08700 50 88 80
Tel: 08700 50 88 81 (Scotland)

National Association for Gambling Care. The national centre for information, advice and practical help relating to the social impact of gambling.
Tel: 0845 6000 133

Gambling Therapy
An advice e-helpline for problem gambling run by the Gordon House Association. If you've got a problem with gambling, or are worried about someone with a gambling problem you can speak live to advisors/counsellors.

For advice about debt:

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
Offers free advice about credit and money issues from 700 local Bureaux. Search for your nearest CAB online.

Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS)
A free confidential advice service for people in debt. They can help you to prioritise debts and liase with creditors on your behalf.
Phone: 0800 138 1111
Address: Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG

Credit Action
National Christian charity, which aims to help people educate themselves about money.
Phone: 01522 699777
Address: Howard House, The Point, Weaver Road, Lincoln LN6 3QN

FCL Debt Clinic
FCL is a free, confidential helpline offering advice and solutions, including supervised arrangements with creditors.
Phone: 0800 716239 (freephone helpline, open 9am-9pm, Mon-Fri)

National Debtline
Phone service offering advice and self-help information packs to those in debt.
Phone: 0808 808 4000 (free and confidential)

The UK Insolvency Helpline
An online resource with a freephone helpline which gives advice to people in debt. The website has a section devoted to student debt - and how to avoid it! Phone: 0800 074 6918 (freephone helpline, open 24 hours - all year round) Email

A recent Radio 1 One Life documentary about gambling.

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