23 Mar, 2021 @ 17:00
2 mins read

BREAK WITH GAMBLING ADDICTION: Experts Villa Paradiso give advice

Villa Paradiso Nightview

ONLINE gambling has seen a big rise over the last year due to the COVID pandemic with people having more time on their hands.

Marbella-based Villa Paradiso Rehab Spain provides the help and knowledge needed to overcome such addictions that have sadly risen risen during the last 12 months.

Matthew Idle, Villa Paradiso’s lead therapist said: “The last year of restrictions has produced many cases where people who have had drug or alcohol additions that they’ve conquered turning their attention to online gambling.”

A controlled flutter on the internet can be fun but it can spiral into an online gambling problem.


Major life changes and stress like lockdowns over the last year can lead to problem gambling in otherwise  completely healthy, independent people.

Matthew Idle observed: “Boredom and isolation have been big factors and sometimes family and friends don’t even know that this is going on as you can just gamble out of sight on a smartphone app.”

It can happen to anybody as online gambling moves from a bit of a harmless diversion into something that spirals into an unhealthy obsession with serious consequences.

“It’s just as likely to hit both men and women of all ages through a variety of games like bingo or a casino-style card game or fruit machine,“ added Matthew.

“Big companies have invested a lot in all of this with persuasive and aggressive TV advertising and free cash plays to reel people in further.”


Villa Paradiso offers in-patient treatment sessions of no more than five people with specially-tailored plans to help gamblers beat the habit for good like for other additions like alcohol and drugs.

Matthew also observed that online gambling fuels the ‘highs and lows’ of winning and losing by playing on the psychology that fresh gambling sessions will continue that ‘buzz’ as the participants rack up more big losses.

“You’ll gamble whether you’re up or down, broke or flush, and you’ll keep gambling regardless of the consequences?even when you know that the odds are against you or you can’t afford to lose. It’s addictive on the brain and its losing that brings you back. We will help you address that issue.”


Dr. Ruth Arenas Mata is Villa Paradiso’s in-house psychiatrist and has many years of experience in addiction treatment.

She says that there are warning signs of problem online gambling to look out for.

“Gamblers may have erratic sleep patterns or eating disorders, especially if they are going online late at night or in the early morning,” Dr. Ruth observed.

“There are times when they become surprisingly aggressive and that can lead to huge rifts within a family and also trigger the use of alcohol and drugs.”


Dr. Ruth explains: “Anybody who comes to us clearly must want to be cured and the fact they want help is a big start.”

“We want our clients to be totally honest about their problems so that the issues and triggers behind the gambling can be addressed.”

“Therapy is a very powerful tool that we have in our armoury but each person has a different set of circumstances. Addiction is a form of mental illness and we study everybody’s personality and develop an individual programme that they can follow,” commented Dr. Ruth.

“We are looking for a permanent recovery which means emphasising positives in coping as well as setting up personal tailor-made plans for the future.”

Villa Paradiso keeps in close touch with their clients for a full 12 months aftercare which includes one-to-one sessions and online Villa Paradiso recovery support groups.

Villa Paradiso also offer treatment in Tunisia for any Arabic and French speakers in a beautiful, luxurious private villa overlooking the sea.

For more details about how to detect the signs of gambling addictions, please check out:


Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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