Excesive Gambing Wales 2018 – Speaker – Owen Baily

In his formative years Owen experienced challenges which led him to a path of total destruction. Dabbling in drugs and petty crime from the age of twelve Owen regularly attended Youth Court. His schooling suffered to and was expelled from four Secondary Schools leaving education with no qualifications.

At 17 Owen became homeless. Eventually he was housed only to be evicted and face homelessness again one year later. Now 18 a stay on remand at a Young Offenders then a 6 month stay at a Bail Hostel Followed.

By this time Owen was gambling heavily on Fruit Machines but it was not long till he discovered discovered Roulette. Owens dream of a big win came true one Sunday before Xmas when he went to a casino. Two months later he was in Holland, homeless, no money, no home and no job.

Not long after Owen was back in the UK. The next seven years were tough. Intermittently homeless with periodic stays at night shelters and hostels, he became a Big Issue Vendor whilst battling with alcohol dependence, amphetamine and pharmaceutical abuse not to mention the now newly arrived Fixed Odds Betting Terminals which for Owen proved, with out exaggerating, deadly for him.

Many low points were encountered but what stands out is the lifestyle he adapted in order to survive. Often penniless Owen resorted to routinely check phone boxes, car parking meters, areas outside clubs and bars looking for lost money, tobacco and alcohol.

At 27 Owen was accepted into Therapeutic Community where he stayed for 20 months. A life changing experience Owen came face to face with his past and who he had become and began to make changes to his character adapting an aspiration to become a better person.

At 31 Owen having come to terms with his past, behavioral and emotional challenges as well as his various excessive appetites felt a Moral Duty to draw on his personal experience and use it to help others. 

Change is possible…..