When Kelly Nield first stumbled across a television advert for an online bingo site she thought it looked like a harmless bit of fun.
Just a few years later, the mum-of-one is struggled to break free from a crippling gambling habit which has left her £45,000 in debt.
It’s a vicious cycle as when you win you get the buzz to play again, and when you lose you just want to get your money backKelly Nield
Kelly, 32, first became hooked while she was off sick from her job as a residential childcare worker.
Her gambling became so bad that she began to have suicidal thoughts and even turned to self-harm after worrying about how she would ever escape the addiction.
Kelly, of Billinge, said: “You get to the point where you can’t see a way out.
“It’s a vicious cycle as when you win you get the buzz to play again, and when you lose you just want to get your money back.”
Kelly first saw an advert for online gambling during morning television programmes.
“You can go on and do it in your own home in comfort and to begin with it’s not a big deal,” she said.
She ended up maxing out five credit cards and pilfering a savings account fund she and her partner set up.
Kelly is now hitting back at the advertising of online bingo sites, many of which are endorsed by celebrities.
She said: “They target vulnerable people and make them believe they can make money from gambling.
“I understand some people gamble and have no issues.
“But many people have a problem and this destroys lives, families and even drives people to suicide.
“It destroys people and leaves them with long term debts, depression and stress.”