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Hoping to use the winnings to repay his debts, a man placed bets on World Cup soccer matches, but ended up losing $8,000 in a week instead.
The 44-year-old private-hire vehicle driver placed bets on nearly every match, despite being reportedly unclear on the details of the matches or the teams, reports Lianhe Wanbao.
“I will never dare to “try my luck” this way again.”
The man who declined to be named, told Lianhe Wanbao that he was diagnosed with a kidney disease 18 years ago.
He originally worked as a taxi driver, but later switched to driving a private-hire vehicle instead. He said that he fetched home more than $2,000 each month, and was able to cope with daily expenses.
However, he has a habit of drinking when he is troubled, and visits various nightspots at least two to three times a week. Each time, he would spend at least $200.
“When I realised that I did not have enough money, I started borrowing from loan sharks. Each time, the amount borrowed ranged between $300 and $1,000,
“I myself, am unsure how much money I owe, but for these past few years, I have been trying to clear my debts. Every week I’ll pay around $370 to $490.”
With the World Cup fever in full swing, the man later received a message inviting him to open a betting account and place bets on the upcoming soccer matches. At first, he was still a little sceptical and simply wanted to test it out.
When he unexpectedly won money from his bet, he became emboldened. He started placing larger bets, thinking that he was “favored by the god of luck”.
He even planned to repay all his debts with his winnings.
Worse still, he confessed that he did not know a thing about soccer:
“Actually, I don’t know much about soccer at all. I don’t know which team is good or which team is the underdog. I just placed bets on nearly every match based on my intuition.
“The most money I lost on a single match was $1,500, and $2,400 within a single day.”
Within one week of the World Cup opening, the man already lost $8,000. It was then he realised the extent of his folly, and terminated his betting account.
After that, he borrowed from three moneylenders and a loan shark to repay the $8,000 gambling debt.
He said that he now needs to pay $1,095 weekly for the debts and is unable to cope financially. As such he has turned to the National Council of Problem Gambling (NCPG) for help in extending the deadlines for his payments.
A spokesman for NCPG said that the council first assessed the man’s debts when he approached them for help. After making an analysis, the council sent volunteer workers and a counsellor to care for the man and his family.
The man added that he has truly learned his lesson:
“I Will never spend so much money gambling again.”