Addressing Problem Gambling

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I think we’re all aware of the recent press coverage, addressing problem gambling. Fortunately the government has made baby steps to address this, with limitations on the fobt or fixed odds betting machines.

Even now, it’s difficult to understand how the government licensed these machines in the first place. Considering, that people could lose £100 every twenty seconds, I’m glad that this has been reduced to £2. Unfortunately though, these fixed odds machines don’t provide an edge for the punter, only for the bookmaker.

There’s been a lot of talk of bookmakers not actually bookmaking anymore. I think this has been evidenced by the recent closure by William Hill of 700 high street shops. Did they rely too much on betting machines, probably yes.

Circumstance

Problem gambling can affect anyone, and despite this site steering you to the best and most profitable methods, It’s important that we address “The Elephant In The Room”.

We’re bombarded by gambling adverts, they’re on television, bookies, social media and even by text and email. The demographic has changed. No longer is it just confined to a dingy corner of a bookmakers shop. The problem is now prevalent with students, mothers, housewives and people at work. Problem gambling doesn’t discriminate.

The problem may be happening right in your own home. Betting sites are so accessible, it’s easy to disguise a betting addiction. The problem comes, when it affects you and those around you. When the bills aren’t paid, when you can’t afford to eat, when your wages have gone the day after you’ve been paid. You’ll know the signs. When gambling isn’t fun anymore, it’s time to get help.

Recent statistics for the UK state that problem gambling affects almost one percent of the adult population. The chances are, that you’ll know someone with a problem, whether they admit it or not.

Observations

I find that value bettors, and those that bet for a living don’t have a problem in general terms. The fact that they’re seeking value, means that they’re never enticed into the bookies mug bets. Unfortunately, the vulnerable and lesser prepared punters are fair game to the bookies.

Again we’re seeing a rise in fines to bookmakers and casinos. They have a duty of care to their customers, and must try to help their problem customers. Self exclusion schemes are now a legal requirement, but that’s only useful if someone admits to having a problem. If not, the problems are likely to exacerbate.

Walk into any bookies and spend an hour just watching, and you’ll see where the problems are. You’ll see gamblers shouting obscenities because their roulette bet has lost, or their video poker appears to be rigged. It’s not nice!

Help

At the first sign you notice an potential issue, then get help. Gamcare is the leading national provider of advice and support for anyone that may be affected by a gambling problem.

They’re a free and confidential service that can be accessed twenty four hours a day. The phone number is 0808 8020 133 and they also offer a livechat service on their website https://www.gamcare.org.uk/

Even if you don’t have a problem, the gamcare website is worth a look. Maybe you could help someone else, who knows. The Samaritans are also able to lend an ear and offer advice. Again, this service is completely confidential and their number is 116123 from any phone.

I have a lot of respect for anyone that obtains help, the resources are available freely and without judgement. When you admit you have a problem, then things can only get better.

Government Intervention

In recent days, the government have taken further steps to keep people safe. This time, they’ve withdrawn the facility for gambling sites to accept deposits from credit cards. I didn’t even know that was allowed, and it further reinforces the extent of the problem.

Combined with measures such as limiting stakes on fobt and self exclusion, it appears that the government are starting to acknowledge the sheer size of gambling addiction.

For as long as gambling continues, then the emphasis must always be on the gambler themselves. Services like Gamcare really provide the missing link.

Final Thoughts

I didn’t write this article to be a stick in the mud. It’s genuinely to help anyone that may be having financial worries due to their gambling habits. If I can help a single person as a result of this post, then job done! If you’re still reading, then I make the assumption, that if you need any help, there’s enough information here to find it.

Gambling problems can lead to much larger issues if you let them. Debt, relationship issues, homelessness, spending savings and many more. Many of these can be avoided by early intervention.

As always, you’re welcome to contact me or leave a comment below.

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