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Motherwell striker Kevin van Veen opens up about gambling addiction

Motherwell striker Kevin van Veen has opened up about his gambling problems, with the 31-year-old saying he has been addicted since the age of 18.

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As reported by MailSport, the Dutchman suffered from mental health problems and anxiety at a young age due to his addiction.

He is currently playing in the Scottish Premiership for Motherwell, having previously played in England with Northampton Town and Scunthorpe United. He has also played for a handful of different clubs in his homeland, but at the same time as his career, has been battling a gambling addiction.

“When I was 18, I was allowed into the casino and would go with some friends,” said Van Veen. “It started with £10 ($11.90) when I wasn’t earning much. But that would quickly become £50, £100, £200. As I earned a bit more money from playing football it was £1,000 and a lot more.

“I’ve been addicted ever since then. It’s inside my body and is an everyday thing. Sometimes I’d miss training. I wouldn’t turn up because that (gambling) was all I wanted.

“I would wake up in the middle of the night and jump out of bed to go to a casino – because my body needed that kick. I even went for rehab to South Africa where I had to learn about the value of money.”

Van Veen did, however, spend time at Tony Adams’ Sporting Chance facility during his time in England, with that period undoubtedly helping him in his journey to recovery. The forward has now been free from gambling for over two years.

“Over the years I’ve had a lot of help,” he said. “Sporting Chance in Leeds helped me massively. Every Tuesday and Thursday I’d drive there to talk in the group. I had to detox my body from the addiction. It was really bad, especially when I was on medication.

“But I’ve been clean for two and a half years now. Nobody really knows. But my psychologist has urged me to speak up.

“And over time it has worked for me. I didn’t want everyone to know but at the end of the day it’s me. It’s part of me. And it’s still a huge achievement for me to be here, playing at a good level.”

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