TalkBanStop is a partnership campaign from GamCare, Gamban and GAMSTOP to provide free support and practical tools to help gamblers kickstart their recovery journeys.

Taking part in the campaign is former premiership footballer Michael Chopra and podcaster Chris Gilham talk about their personal experiences of gambling harms, and why it’s so important to get the right support and barriers in place to help.

Chopra: “I would never ever let anything get in the way of my football but as soon as the whistle went my mind just suddenly changed and all of a sudden I was thinking about gambling.’

“The more money I was earning the bigger your bets become and I know it’s ridiculous but I’ve set my alarm for two or three O’clock in the morning betting on games in Brazil that I just know nothing about.’

“Then I decided to speak to Roy Keane and Roy Keane was brilliant. He really took his time away from training to come and speak to me to ask me how I was. It was Roy who really got me the help that I needed.’ 

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, when you’re going through a dark face you don’t think that but people have shown that you can actually become a better person. If you’re struggling like I was and need support head to .’

Gilham: “I started off doing a few sweepstakes at work and then I downloaded a few gambling apps and it just goes from that initial bet to not being able to think about anything else.’

“People didn’t realise that this is like a medical illness, this is an illness for me. My mum said something which was I think he’s ready and that really struck me because she knew like he’s ready, until I was ready I wasn’t going to change.’

“It was the next day that my wife actually asked me again and found out, I hadn’t got around to telling her because I was still too scared and it was at that point I said I’m going to change, I’m going to stop gambling, I’m going to stop drinking and I need help. I haven’t gambled since that day, that was over three and a half years ago.”

If any of the issues discussed have affected you, you can get in touch with Gamcare’s advisers on the National Gambling Helpline for free confidential information, advice and support. We’re here for you 24 hours a day. Call us now on 0808 8020 133 >

GamCare UK launches new initiative TalkBanStop with Michael Chopra