A BILLINGE mum who bravely went public to reveal her gambling addiction is fighter for tougher legislation.
When Kelly Field first saw a television advert for a hugely successful online bingo site she believed it was just harmless and painless fun from her sofa.
Today the 32 year old, who admits that the crisis pushed her to the edge of suicide, is battling to break free from more than £45,000 of debt accrued because of the crippling on line bingo habit she went on to develop.
She is now committed to a £265 per month repayment agreement for the next five years.
And wants to launch a campaign with St Helens’ next MP to ban the industry’s adverts before the watershed after supported from now-retired Dave Watts.
While currently working for tougher controls on the maximum amount of cash credit card companies can lend such borrowers.
Kelly is also planning a Leeds to Liverpool towpath cycle marathon over the August Bank Holiday.
With a fund-raising fun day in Billinge the weekend before in to support MIND and “vital” counselling service Beacon Counselling Trust.
Her story - Ms Field was not paid a fee but chose to speak out to help warn others not to fall into the same trap - was carried across the national press.
It also earned her an invitation to appear on Good Morning Britain on ITV to warn others to avoid such pitfalls.
Hard working Kelly first became hooked while she was off for eight weeks from her job as a residential child care worker due to a work related grievance.
Her gambling became so bad she turned to self-harm after worrying about how she would ever escape the addiction.
She first saw an advert for online gambling while watching morning TV.
In the end she had “maxed out” five credit cards and ended up raiding a savings account she and her partner had set up.
She said: “You have to be 18 to gamble so why on earth should they be allowed to advertise before the watershed hour and I want to change the broadcasting rules to ban them before 9pm.
“It is all singing, all dancing, glamorising gambling and is aimed at young children, vulnerable adults and women in particular.
“They target vulnerable people and make them believe they can make money from gambling and this destroys lives.”