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

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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.”

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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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