Professor Jim Orford

Emeritus Professor of Clinical & Community Psychology at the University of Birmingham

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Welcome to the Gambling Watch UK Blog

Posted by Professor Jim Orford on Monday, 28 May 2012 in Uncategorised 9 Comments

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the Gambling Watch UK blog.

The last few years have seen an extraordinary rise in opportunities for gambling in Britain which were further encouraged with the passing of the 2005 Gambling Act. The evidence suggests that, as expected, the prevalence of problem gambling has risen. It is now estimated that between one third and one half a million British adults have experienced a gambling problem in the last 12 months. We think the dangers of gambling expansion are not sufficiently appreciated and that insufficient caution is being shown by Government.

We therefore decided that a organisation, independent of Government or the gambling industry, was needed to question the present policy of support for the expansion of gambling in the UK and to propose alternative policies which would have the effect of preventing such expansion. Our members believe that the expansion of gambling is harmful from a public health perspective and is inconsistent with positive cultural values.

We hope that Gambling Watch UK will grow over time to provide a necessary corrective to the vested interests and expressions of complacency which support gambling expansion. We hope, too, that this website will serve as a valuable source of ideas and support and for latest news, developments and relevant research on gambling. We actively encourage feedback from our readers and if you want to comment on this blog or on any other aspect of Gambling Watch UK or the website, please do so. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Professor Jim Orford trained in clinical psychology and obtained his PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, London; spent mid-career years in Exeter occupying a joint NHS/University post, including directing the Clinical Psychology programme; and moved to Birmingham University in 1993. He has researched and written extensively about addiction and has a special interest in problem gambling. He served as an academic adviser for the British Gambling Prevalence Surveys of 2000, 2007 and 2010. Amongst his publications is the book An Unsafe Bet? The Dangerous Rise of Gambling and the Debate We Should Be Having, published in 2011. He is a founder of Gambling Watch UK.
Author's recent posts


  • Guest
    Colin Rider Thursday, 01 November 2018

    TV Gambling Promotion.

    I think the amount of TV advertising and sponsoring on TV over the last 5 year or more is a scandal .
    You have programs being sponsored by likes of bingo ,betting companies and Stars of stage and screen promoting all types of gambling have they no idea of how much damage they are doing to peoples lives. And in the case of TV Stars don't they make enough money.
    Its now as bad as when cigarette advertising was on TV over 20 years ago and should be band from all types of advertising.
    I am lucky not to have a problem but I fell sorry for people who are bombarded with the amount of advertising today ,it needs to be stopped.

  • Frankie Graham
    Frankie Graham Wednesday, 29 May 2013

    Very interesting new site, much needed !

    Gambling can lead to serious personal and social problems, yet is so casually promoted and advertised. I am not anti- gambling, but there is not nearly enough information and advice (or indeed treatment).

    Gambling addiction completely warps a persons use and mentality towards the one thing we all need to survive in Western ! Therefore needs to be viewed on a parallel with other dangerous addictive triggers such as drugs and alcohol.

  • Guest
    northbetsportsbook Sunday, 19 May 2013


    Gambling can be more addictive than drugs so I do think your advise to gave to use free casinos is great. You can get your fix at the same time protect your bankroll.

  • Guest
    Northbet Wednesday, 27 March 2013


    Yes, It's really so amazing gaming blog. I would like to read your article about Licensed gaming blog. So nice to sharing a informative gaming blog.

  • Glen McCabe
    Glen McCabe Monday, 21 January 2013


    In Northern Ireland we have just completed a review of gambling and proposals have been put forward.

    The key points are
    Casinos which are not legal will not be introduced.
    Sunday opening is not allowed for Bookmakers shops and bingo halls and this will not change.
    Regulations for gaming machines including FOBT will be brought into line with GB.
    Poker clubs and live poker currently not allowed will not be introduced.
    I have been active trying to get live poker introduced and will continue to do so but I have been totally shocked by the introduction of FOBT's.
    I hope to petition as many politicians as possible to try to get the FOBT legislation withdrawn and have gathered some information to provide an overview. One piece of information I cannot find online is wether it is possible to make redundant bets. With the maximum stake £100 and maximum payout £500 in theory £86 of a £100 bet on a single number would be redundant. Does the machine restrict the bet to £14. If I make cobination bets such as £14 on 25, £20 on red, £30 on odd £30 on high what do I get paid if 25 comes up.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • StopGam
    StopGam Thursday, 09 August 2012

    Moving the issue of problem/compulsive gambling high up the agenda

    The start of the debate that the nation needs to have is here - and supports it wholeheartedly.

    Let's get together a 'think-tank' of academics, politicians, healthcare professionals, recovering compulsive gamblers etc and bring this to the fore.

    Great work Professor Orford.

  • Berridge
    Berridge Monday, 06 August 2012

    Adrian Berridge

    I have watched the C4 documentary on UK gambling and was very annoyed at the complacency it reveals.
    I have sent a comment to the site and shall keep in touch.
    My 25 yo son got sucked into the menace of the FOBT evil and is now heavily in debt to the bookies, to his regret.He also got into a pub online Poker routine that fleeced him, thanks to the publican's encouragement.

  • stephen docherty
    stephen docherty Monday, 06 August 2012

    Great Site

    Thanks for being here (in existence)... the ONLY organisation that actually cares about helping UK people affected by gambling.

  • Shannon Hanrahan
    Shannon Hanrahan Thursday, 07 June 2012

    independence is valued and needed

    What a great site! A credible and independent voice is needed to progress a consumer and public health protection perspective which appears to be missing in current British gambling public policy.

Leave your comment

Guest Monday, 18 November 2019

Why Gambling Watch UK is needed?

Opportunities for gambling in Britain have increased very considerably in the last 20 years and were given further encouragement with the passing of the 2005 Gambling Act. The latest British Gambling Prevalence Survey, carried out in 2009/10, found that between one third and one half a million British adults experienced a gambling problem in the previous 12 months.
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Our Mission and Aims

Gambling Watch UK is an organisation, independent of Government or the gambling industry, which exists to question the present policy of support for the expansion of gambling in the UK and to propose alternative policies which would have the effect of preventing such expansion, which it's members believe is harmful from a public health perspective ...
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Support Gambling Watch UK

We believe there is overwhelming support for the view that there are already too many opportunities for gambling and that this is bad for individual, family and community health, but our voices need to be heard if we are to influence public policy. If you agree with the Mission and Aims of Gambling Watch UK, then please register your support.
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