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Baldwin reveals costly gambling addiction

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How gambling addiction lost Wales hooker Scott Baldwin tens of thousands of pounds

Scott Baldwin has revealed he lost “tens of thousands of pounds” while addicted to gambling.

The 31-year-old Wales and Harlequins hooker told the Scrum V podcast that he battled the addiction from the age of 15 until about 2015 when having a young family became the catalyst for him to stop. 

Baldwin claimed his problem started with machines in pubs, poker and online roulette, and it spiralled during a loan spell in Italy at ASR Milano. 

“I went to Italy, I wasn’t on much money,” explained Baldwin on the BBC podcast. “I was there for two or three months. I’d be sitting in my one-bedroom flat on my phone just gambling. It’s so accessible it’s ridiculous.

“You just go online, sign in to an account and just spin. I was like just literally tapping a button. That’s all it is, tapping a button waiting to see where the number lands. If you’ve got the number you win if you haven’t you don’t.

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“Ultimately I’d always lose and no matter how much I’d win, I’d always want more and I’d always know deep down whenever I won I’d always lose. Because when I had a big win, at some point getting that big win I was in a hole.

“I was down (money) significantly. You have to keep increasing your bets, you need to win more so you need to bet more.”

Baldwin’s breakthrough with Wales in 2013 then exacerbated the issue. “There was an autumn campaign with Wales where I’d gone from being on £12,000 a year to all of a sudden your campaign goes well and you get £50-60k before tax or whatever and you’re like ‘wow’ I’ve got this lump sum.

“So you think, ‘If I lose £1,000 that’s alright because I’ve got a lot more’. Whether I lost £10 or £1,000, whatever I had in my bank account, I would go until I got that £10 back or my bank account was empty. I never got into debt gambling. But I lost a lot of money I shouldn’t have lost, due to gambling.”

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How gambling addiction lost Wales hooker Scott Baldwin tens of thousands of pounds
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