Gambling Addiction and Me
For more than 12 years, Patrick Foster lived a double life. A popular young teacher and former professional cricketer, he had a lovely girlfriend and a supportive family - but he was hiding a secret and debilitating gambling addiction from them. Huge debts, thousands of lies and subsequent mental health issues pushed Patrick to the edge of the platform at Slough station, where he was moments from taking his own life. What started out as a harmless flutter drove Patrick (and countless other customers) into financial ruin and worse. Each year, British punters lose more than £11bn to the gambling industry, equivalent to nearly £164 for every man, woman and child in the UK. In this event, Patrick tells his story, from rock bottom to recovery, explores the gambling industry in the UK, and discusses what needs to change to better protect the public.