X Factor winner Myles Stephenson opened up about the gambling problems he experienced in his early youth. In an interview with BBC, the musician reminisced about this dark period of his life, sharing insights into how he got hooked on gambling.
For reference, Stephenson is a part of the Rak-Su R&B group, which won the 2017 edition of X Factor.
Now 32, the singer says that he experienced serious gambling problems between the ages of 18 and 22. At first, Stephenson only played for fun, placing the occasional bet with friends. Eventually, his gambling habits spiraled out of control.
Stephenson told BBC that at his worst he would visit betting shops at 07:00 on his way to work. Eventually, he started gambling online, which is where his serious problems began, causing him to lose a “ridiculous amount of money.”
According to the singer, the convenience of online gambling and the ability to gamble wherever he was is what truly addicted him.
Stephenson Got His Life Under Control and Wants to Help Others
Luckily, Stephenson managed to get his life under control, eventually excluding himself from online gambling. To make sure he didn’t visit any betting shops, the singer started dropping a work colleague at their home, distracting himself from the urge to gamble.
Once the musician put gambling behind himself, he never once looked back. According to his interview with BBC, he is still excluded from all gambling websites.
Years later, Stephenson expressed his desire to help others going through similar problems. To that end, he joined forces with GamCare, joining the charity’s new campaign. This provided him with a platform to speak and give advice to people struggling with problem gambling.
While all British operators are required to monitor the activities of their players and identify signs of harm, this still isn’t enough to fully curb gambling addiction. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission plays an important role in the war on gambling harm, enforcing Britain’s rules and making sure that operators do not violate the player protection protocols.
Myles Stephenson isn’t the only celebrity who has struggled with addiction. Elsewhere, the Italian soccer professional Nicolo Fagioli received a suspension because of illegal bets he placed. The player admitted to having become addicted to gambling and will now undergo treatment.