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"Britain's Gambling Addiction" – C4 last night

Home Forums Lounge "Britain's Gambling Addiction" – C4 last night

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  • #4686
    • Total Posts 2668

    Fronted by the clearly intelligent and articulate Jake Brindell, a reformed compulsive gambler, this seemed an entirely appropriate program ahead of the proposed industry deregulation (although it now seems that Gordon’s Presbyterian sensibilities may impact on the actual extent of that).

    Once more it drove home the message about how little horse and greyhound racing creates compulsives. The sports are not whiter than white, but compared to the rapid-staking ‘action’ of the wretched fruit machines and FOBT’s they are virtually insignificant in their collateral damage.

    Jake’s case was severe, but by no means unique. He had a lifetime of theft, debt and career and relationship breakdown simply to feed the machines and, more latterly, internet poker. Doesn’t make the proposed ‘wild west’ free-for-all of deregulation look too appealing to me.

    Moreover, the utterly disturbing sight of young children pumping cash into fruit machines at the ‘pleasure’ beaches (which is perfectly legal apparently) seems to imply that more regulation, not less, is required in certain areas.

    Have we truly become a society that is prepared to groom children into hardcore gambling habits to enhance company profits? God help us if so.


    • Total Posts 2924

    I didn’t see the programme but the scenario you describe is totally unacceptable.

    Having worked in a betting shop I would agree that the FOBTs are much more addictive than the nags.


    • Total Posts 1137

    Good post Betlarge.


    • Total Posts 1736

    I blame lack of education in schools.

    There are initiatives to warn pupils about the dangers of smoking, sex, alcohol and drugs. They are also planning to introduce financial awareness to make young people aware of money management and the consequences of debt.

    Of gambling? Not a word. We are still a society that sees the whole business as rather shady, so we are scared to educate our children about this part of life. As a result, there is widespread ignorance amongst young people about how legal forms of gambling are conducted and how to avoid the dangers of becoming addicted.

    • Total Posts 5123

    Good post Mike

    Whilst I’ve long found Brown’s son-of-the-Manse puritanism a tad unsettling, it will be very much a positive trait if aimed at this ill-conceived, botched and dangerous gambling de-regulation.

    Ruinous gambling like ruinous boozing wrecks the lives of innocent third parties; baccy wrecks only those who indulge. ‘Health of the nation’ priorities would seem very much a-over-t

    Maxilon 5
    • Total Posts 2432

    Morning all, (late night). Racing UK goes Richard and Judy today, it seems.

    Good post BL. Drone, what do you think of the persistent whispers that Mr Brown is particularly interested in the activities and income of the large number of "online" professionals in the UK, both on the exchanges and in the card rooms.

    • Total Posts 472

    I saw it Bet Large. Fully agree with your excellent post.

    • Total Posts 3104

    Meant to watch this but missed it (bit busy baling out flood water!) – thanks for the review Mike.

    If anybody knows of a rerun on one of the satellite channels, please let us know.


    • Total Posts 1453

    Agreed, good post BetLarge and although I never saw the programme your post paints a good picture.
    As far as fruit machines go, if kids are pumping money into them, what are their parents doing whilst this is going on?
    Is it really the state’s business to tell its citizens what they can gamble on and when?
    Yes, sadly, gambling addiction is a terrible blight to those involved and their families and the dangers of going down this path should be taught in schools.
    However, beyond that, surely the state should leave it up to adults to do what they want with their money provided it’s legal.
    Addiction to legal substances and activities is always going to be with us whether it’s gambling, cigarettes, alcohol, chocolate, cr@p food, sex, watching television, golf, cricket, bird-watching etc. All if taken to extremes can screw relationships, health and bank-balances?
    When should the state interfere?

    • Total Posts 81

    FOBT are leeches, draining money of the masses.
    The thing is, they’re the most profitable part of betting shops and if they were removed, things would get even worse for punters. If that’s possible, that is.

    • Total Posts 5123

    what do you think of the persistent whispers that Mr Brown is particularly interested in the activities and income of the large number of "online" professionals in the UK, both on the exchanges and in the card rooms.

    Brown’s memorable through-gritted-teeth budget words "so punters won’t have to pay tax on their bets" when repealing said tax clearly marked him down as one who realised that fiscally the move was a wise one but morally – in his belief – was unjustifiable: painful arm-twisting by HMRC.

    So I very much doubt he has any time fore this oft-mooted stuff about the UK becoming the gambling capital of the world, or whatever.

    As such I would think that in theory he’d very much enjoy relieving profitable on-line bettors of some of their ‘ill-gotten’ gains. But hand-in-hand with the taxing of gambling profit walks the spectre of tax-relief on gambling loss, and I’m sure few in the Treasury would relish the idea of a stroll into that quagmire. So a non-runner?

    Where his in-bred dislike of anything that doesn’t involve the prudent, protestant work-ethic will hopefully be better directed is in damping the fire of the ultra-addictive, in-built-house-margin games-of-chance that this cock-eyed deregulation has stoked and fanned.

    Artemis makes a good point about the lack of education about gambling: make it an integral part of the teaching of probability/chance and how the gambling industry manipulates that to their – often insurmountable – advantage.

    • Total Posts 2081

    …prudent, protestant work-ethic…

    Ironically, some of the best punters I know could be held up as exemplars in these respects.

    • Total Posts 116

    The Slots ‘Casino’ at Woodbine is what provides the very high purse structure for the racing side of the business.

    It’s depressing to see these people sat mindlessly, for hours and hours (complete with adult diapers) pumping money, or credit card money into these machines.

    These ‘Casinos’ have spread throughout Ontario and are unbelievably popular. Mind numbing at the very least – give me four legs any day, even a lowly $12,000 claimer.

    • Total Posts 2391

    So, after ‘a lifetime of theft, debt, career & relationship breakdowns simply’… chase the dream of an easy life of fast money, fast women and fast cars no doubt, devoid of any concept of personal or social responibilty…the chump (oh, because he’s ‘clearly intelligent & articulate’ we can’t call him that) the victim has finally wised up. Well good for him.

    • Total Posts 5123

    …prudent, protestant work-ethic…

    Ironically, some of the best punters I know could be held up as exemplars in these respects.

    Indeed, but try telling 99% of the public at large that hard graft, circumspect money management and a sober personality are very much the attributes of many a succesful bettor, I doubt many would believe you.

    Gamblers (nasty word) are chancers, guessers and wasters; it’s a mugs game; you can’t win – so ‘they’ say.

    Unfortunately the possible/probable exponential growth in games of chance (where of course there can be no winners, long term) marketed as pseudo-respectable ‘leisure’ activities will only reinforce the idea that ALL betting avenues are disreputable, as the addiction/problems increase as an inevitable consequence of that growth.

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