An ex gambling addict creates an App to help others when temptation calls
Jack Symons is a 34-year-old man who overcame a severe gambling addiction and is now using his testimony and talent to save others from the path he was on since he was only 14. He was attracted to the aesthetic and atmosphere portrayed in movies he watched as a teenager and managed to register on online gambling sites pretty early on.
When telling his story, Jack explained that he would gamble every day, and sometimes for 14 hours straight. He also explained that most people assume that the addiction streams from winning money when it’s usually the trill of the anticipation that keeps people going.
It was only when he attempted quick gambling that he realized that he was deep in and would only be able to last two weeks before relapsing. He was a “high functioning addict,” as they say. He did well at his job and had fairly stable relationships, just like any other person. However, he lost time and had a clouded mind. The inability to think clearly led him to lose disproportional amounts of money, although he never went over his £500 bet limit when he gambled.
2014 was the year Jack finally had a realization that he needed to reach out for professional help since, after years of trying to quit on his own, he simply couldn’t do it.
“Online casinos are clever; if you spend a lot of money on them, you are given so many incentives to stay. It took me 32 attempts to close a gambling account in America as they refused to take no for an answer and just kept offering more incentives to stay.” Jack mentioned.
He is not wrong; online casinos can be highly persuasive with their advertisements and flashy bonuses. That very factor sparked a vision for an app that would allow users to block all online casinos and betting sites so that they wouldn’t constantly be tempted to backslide. Jack also mentioned that no matter how many casinos sites he blocked, they would still slither their way into his devices.
Even parental control failed him, as it’s impossible to just block all casinos at once. New ones always surface, and there’s no way in the world he could block every existing casino anyway. Besides, even the mere act of blocking casino sites can lead to relapse.
He came up with a perfect solution - a mobile App he called ‘Gamban’ that would serve as an automatic blocker for all and any casino websites without requiring the user to do any of the dirty work.
He soon got his friends, Mavia Siddiqui and Matt Zarb-Cousin, on board with the idea, and they worked together to bring this idea into existence. Both of his friends were experienced in the field, as one of them was a recovering gambling addict. All went in for this task with passion and purpose.
Gamban is now available on pc, as well as compatible mobile devices. Jack also partnered with GAMSTOP and GamCare to give people in the UK the opportunity of using this service free of charge.