Filling the Void

Day 184: I’m a big fan of Horse Racing but I have always associated gambling with my passion for the Sport. I’ve never had a problem with gambling as such but I do spend a fair chunk of money on it annually. I consider gambling a hobby and something I like spending my pennies on. I have always kept a tracker of my profit/loss so I can keep a view of my overall net spend. In the past few years I have always turned a small annual profit or loss which underlines to me that betting will not make me rich but the enjoyment I get from it doesn’t cost my bank balance either.

For example, in 2020 I made a profit of £334 overall. That was money I withdrew / banked from my betting account. In 2019 I ended the year -£92 but over the course of 12 months that is less than £10 loss per month. Small price to pay for the enjoyment I had surely?!

Oh, there’s more. In 2018 I finished +£129 whilst in 2017 I made a small overall loss of £28. You want more? OK, in 2016 I was +£152.

My point is that my gambling has always been affordable. I have seen so many others become addicted to the lure of betting on horses, football or even bloody tennis. It’s as dangerous as alcohol and drug abuse.

Since I went sober and throughout the pandemic I have consciously been betting a lot more though. I think the void left from boozing has been ever more filled with the adrenaline of putting a bet on. My general betting pattern is a few football accumulators during the week and then I gamble on the horse racing on a Saturday when it’s on TV. I’ve found myself deviating away from my traditional pattern and betting more on horses during the week and subsequently dipping into the bank balance more.

I’d say at a rough guesstimate that my horse racing betting profit/loss so far this calendar year is sitting at about -£700. Compare that with my before-mentioned annual figures and you can see a worrying picture developing. I’ve knocked betting on the horses on the head for the time being whilst still following the Sport I love. I’m putting a few fiver bets on the footy across the week but that is my limit.

As somebody who considers themselves to have an addictive personality (evident not only from my troubled relationship with alcohol) but also with so many other day to day traits I need to be vigilant towards my gambling more than most. Alcohol is no longer part of my life and I am reaping the rewards of that but filling the void with another dangerous ‘friend’ is not going to happen. I’d prefer my addictive personality to focus more on some of my other increased ‘obsessions’ at the moment such as writing, reading and running!

Photo by Mikou0142aj Kou0142odziejczyk on

I will continue to gamble. I enjoy it. But as the gambling industry slogan states ‘When the fun stops. Stop’. Whilst on the subject of Horse Racing though, I look forward to returning to a Racecourse in the not so distant future. In the past a day at the races was largely centered around boozing but when I make my next visit it will be great to solely focus on the sport itself and enjoy the environment for what it is.

I bought shares in a racehorse called CHESTER-LE-STREAK last year for me and my Dad. My brother then bought into it too. The 2 year old yearling is still unraced but is now in training and should be making his debut soon. It is something to get excited about and follow with my family. I’ll no doubt share more about ‘Chester’ in the weeks and months to come!

Author: Happy Daddy

A married thirtysomething Dad of two young daughters navigating my way through life a day at a time

One thought on “Filling the Void”

  1. Looking forward to hearing about Chester. Great to see you have spotted the gambling risk early…who doesn’t love a spreadsheet.

    I was reminded reading your post about the ‘ecology’ check that forms part of the well formed outcome model in NLP. I paraphrase but it encourages us to think about the wholeness of the changes we make and whether the new outcome gives us everything the old, destructive, outcome did. That is, even destructive behaviours somewhere deep down are feeding part of us. Without feeding that part, it is hard to stick with the new behaviour.

    In this blog you have said you turn away from gambling and drinking and towards writing, reading and running.
    Wondering whether adrenaline rush of gambling and whatever you got out of drinking is filled by your new obsessions? Maybe there is another, as yet, untapped and non-dangerous obsession to add in? Skydiving, tightrope walking?!

    Liked by 1 person

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