Skip to Main Content

Ken's story

Ken Wolf: My name is Ken Wolf. I'm 65 years old. I'm married. I have two grown-up children and two wonderful grandbabies that are the light of my life. When I was 16, I was good enough to play senior football and senior cricket and I was introduced to gambling in that way. I was 16, I wanted to change my identity to a 26 or 28 year old, so I joined in.

And then, after a period of time I crossed the invisible line. And the invisible line is where your gambling takes over everything and you're overwhelmed by it and you can't wait to have your next bet. And you say to yourself I'm lying about my gambling to my parents, my girlfriend. I'm lying about it and worst of all I'm borrowing money to gamble with. And that went on for years and years and years.

There's a lot of money I never paid back. There was always an excuse why I couldn't give it to him. My youngest son - I'd taken money of him as well and his sense of betrayal was very very strong. It's an absolute cycle and it just perpetuates itself week after week. And all the time I had to secret this bloody secret within me in relation to gambling and nobody knew. The gambler holds everybody away.

I was far more relaxed when I was studying a form guide, it fed into my gambling addiction as an escape and I was chasing losses all the time. And I went through the justification process. What do gamblers do? They justify their actions.

The opportunity arose, where somebody offered me money to turn a blind eye to a behaviour that was going on within the municipality, so I ended up accepting money which again lifted my guilt and shame levels to a whole new level. It just went against every grain of my moral compass. The 3rd of November 2010. I'll never forget the day is the day that I heard those infamous words, 'You are under arrest' and I got to tell you I went weak at the knees.

I went to jail I went to jail on the 11th November 2011. I was very lucky, luckier than some. My family stuck by me. My wife was in two minds because her family wanted her to leave but she always said that 'I could always see the good for the bad'.

You tell them. Find somebody you love, find somebody that you trust, and sit them down and tell them. When you are addicted to gambling, that is your life, but living without gambling, it is just chalk and cheese and it just fills you with warmth. You get your emotions back. You get your ability to love and love well back. It's a marvellous time. It's a marvellous time and I wish I had done it years ago but nine years isn't bad effort.

Back to top