Gambling Watch UK will lend its support to campaigning for radical change to the way gambling is regulated. There are many changes that are needed but at the time of relaunching the site in December 2019, our priorities for change are:

  • A new Gambling Act that sees gambling first and foremost as a public health issue rather than as a business opportunity
  • A National Strategy for Gambling produced by Government
  • Funding of prevention, treatment and research to be increased and administered by a body completely independent of the industry
  • Greater control of advertising including advertising in association with sport
  • A minimum age of 18 for all gambling and measures taken to control the introduction of children to gambling via social media
  • The introduction of loss limits
  • Banning of dangerous gambling design features
  • Reducing the ease or immediacy of accessing funds for gambling
  • A proper comprehensive system of NHS treatment for gambling problems and support for affected families.

The case for making such changes is spelt out in greater detail in Jim Orford’s book: The Gambling Establishment: Challenging the Power of the Modern Gambling Industry and Its Allies (Routledge, October 2019).

Gambling Watch UK supports organisations which are also campaigning for radical change. They include the Fairer Gambling Campaign which worked tirelessly between 2012 and 2019 to get the FOBT maximum stake reduced (www.fairergambling.org; matt@fairergambling.org) and Gambling with Lives which has been active since 2018 and has been very successful in raising the issue of gambling’s harm to individuals and families and specifically the link with suicide (www.gamblingwithlives.org; info@gamblingwithlives.org).

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My reason for writing this is I have seen a sustained, increased proliferation of advertising on tv that promotes gambling - I find this abhorrent ( those actors that do their bit to support this through their participation in adverts must be...

My reason for writing this is I have seen a sustained, increased proliferation of advertising on tv that promotes gambling - I find this abhorrent ( those actors that do their bit to support this through their participation in adverts must be without a moral compass). We no longer allow ads for tobacco or alcohol (both addictive), so why do we allow advertising for another addition-- oh, yes, i get it - sports promotion. How can an effective campaign be mounted to stop this?

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Cheryl
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I today had to write to the PM office when my 10yr old grandson asked to use my phone to enter a competition to win from good morning tv, his phone had entry text numbers to other Daytime competitions thus credit empty. To me this is the 1st step...

I today had to write to the PM office when my 10yr old grandson asked to use my phone to enter a competition to win from good morning tv, his phone had entry text numbers to other Daytime competitions thus credit empty. To me this is the 1st step in gambling addiction (ie trying to win) Also my other grandsons friend age 16 told my GS he can sell drugs to make easy money so they can go gambling …. talk about slippery slope ! every tv & radio show has competitions, even between shows you get advertised competitions that leads to a need for more money which leads to criminal activity - drugs and theft leading to violence ie knife crime etc. are the government so blind they cannot see the causality. Just because they trying to do away with smoking, thus losing the tax, they now replace the tax loss with gambling tax & create even worse addictions & criminal activity.
Sombody do something about it - I ask everyone here to write to the PM - lets make a noise.

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Danny B
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*****PLEASE READ- THIS CAN HELP FORCE BIG CHANGE-A LONG READ BUT WORTH IT******

I have been addicted to gambling since the age of 11, linked with depression as is common with most addicts. Over the past year, as a result of targeted marketing...

*****PLEASE READ- THIS CAN HELP FORCE BIG CHANGE-A LONG READ BUT WORTH IT******

I have been addicted to gambling since the age of 11, linked with depression as is common with most addicts. Over the past year, as a result of targeted marketing material sent to me after self-exclusion, I began to thoroughly scrutinise all of my past online activity. At the same time I researched the Gambling Act and paid close attention to the LCCP- the rules that the Gambling Commission are meant to go by to govern the licence holders. Upon initially challenging the company concerned, they treated with me utter contempt. As a consequence, I liaised with the Gambling Commission. These guys weren't interested in helping me. So this is when I upped the anti. Being in the profession I am in I was able to collate evidence-based cases against up to 20 licence holders for clearly breaching the LCCP, and thus braking the law.

I gave each company the chance to review the material and engage with me. I communicated with many directors and solicitors but, despite the clear evidence presented to them, they (mostly) continued to show contempt. I did have some meaningful conversations with a few of them. It started to seem pretty clear to me that this whole industry is rigged. I looked briefly at the ADRs (the dispute mediators that are meant to be independent) and as soon as they saw the level of evidence I presented they all ran a mile. So after giving all the licence holders a fair chance to communicate with me to comprehend how all of their individual LCCP breaches had massive consequences in my life on a collective basis, I turned back to the Gambling Commission once more. They now have my cases and I'm awaiting any meaningful response from them.

Have any of you ever asked why nobody has taken these companies to court? Well here's why:
- gambling addicts that complain are not thinking straight- they/we are likely to complain at times when we have lost a lot and feel at our worst. We get brushed off on this basis and generally accept it.
- gambling addicts suffer from a multitude of mainly undiagnosed mental illnesses. I want to enlighten you that we can simplify this diagnosis. My own research has led me to discover that this diagnosis ALREADY EXISTS. IT'S CALLED 'GAMBLING DISORDER'. This is an internationally recognised diagnosis (as can be found in the 'bible of psychological disorders' called the DSM). Ask yourselves why you've not heard of this before? Ask yourself why you've not been diagnosed with this? All I can suggest is that there are forces at work that want this diagnosis to remain hidden. So my advice, as I have now done, is to insist with my GP and other medical professionals that they diagnose me with this. Let's get this out there.
- The Gambling Commission are not interested in helping- The very body that is meant to protect the vulnerable is not doing so. They have tried to brush me off by saying that they won't deal with individual cases but I am not accepting this. This is not acceptable.
- Lawyers I've spoken to about presenting cases to court initially are interested but then all disappear. Well we are taking about a multi-billion pound industry so I'm not surprised lawyers are warned off.

So to summarise where I am in life- after suffering all of my life from this illness I'm turning my experiences into forcing change. If you read the latest report from the GC into ADRs- this is great and I suspect communications from persons like myself has forced their hand to do this. This should have been done many years ago. I mean basically they're asking ADRs to be neutral and fair! This is because I can tell you that the ADRs are linked to the industry- at best they'll get you a refund for the most blatant of issues.

I am soon to leave the career that I have always been in, basically because it's far too much of a job that I can continue to be able to deal with. So I am considering setting up a business where I can collate cases similar to mine on behalf of fellow addicts. I want to enlighten people that aren't thinking straight how they've been manipulated into losing again and again with the same companies. This isn't about blaming companies for us being addicted to gambling/having gambling disorder. It's about pointing out to companies that they've clearly breached rules that are in place to try and protect us more. I want you all to understand that collective power is massive here. I know that most of you won't have the clear heads to comprehend a lot of this- I understand because I've been there many times. But think of this- If I was to present the Gambling Commission with numerous cases, they would have to deal with it. Furthermore, the GC do not deal in compensation. That's OK. All we need is for them to confirm the LCCP breaches we present to them and hey presto- job done. Then we have two choices-
1. We approach the relevant licence holder and request fair compensation (this will more evidence relating to how gambling has affected you- part of the case building).
2. We go to court. I don't fear this whatsoever, I also know I have the experience and knowledge to do this myself.

Ask yourself- if the GC rule against a licence holder, they fine the licence holder- is the case simply not just open and shut? The answer of course is yes. So together we can have massive power and influence.

I look forward to anyone contacting me about anything I've written.

Feel free to contact me, you may be wise to seek a secure email account (I use proton mail).

Thanks for reading,

Alex
alexmacey@protonmail.com

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Alex
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Gambling has blighted my life for probably over 20 years, I used it as a prop to forget family problems and a sense of no worth, outwardly I do my best to keep sane and help where I can, I have never lived close to family since a young adult and...

Gambling has blighted my life for probably over 20 years, I used it as a prop to forget family problems and a sense of no worth, outwardly I do my best to keep sane and help where I can, I have never lived close to family since a young adult and never had support. The self loathing is relentless. I wish

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Jane
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As a parent who has just found out her son has a gambling addiction and I am devistated.
I was naive to the pull of so called free gambling apps that entice children in with virtual wins. Children then get jobs and have real money and this is how...

As a parent who has just found out her son has a gambling addiction and I am devistated.
I was naive to the pull of so called free gambling apps that entice children in with virtual wins. Children then get jobs and have real money and this is how it starts.
More needs to be done in education of parents and children of the horrors of gambling. My son doesn’t come from a well off home but wanted to have more money like his friends did. Thus the problem began.
Phone apps are the worst for young people and are not properly regulated
As So to safe guard them.
My child is now of age and has stopped ? but he is still hounded by betting companies trying to entice him back with a free bet!
This problem in society is only going to get worse and the government is not doing enough to protect our young people from a life of addictions.
You only have to see them playing on consoles to see their increased addictive behaviours they are portraying. They all have phones at a young age where money online doesn’t seem real until you’ve got none left in the bank.
We need a solution for our generations of the future techno age.
From a concerned parent.

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Jo Turner
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Hi Jo,

Please see my post below. Being a addict and also a parent of an 8 year old, I completely share your concerns. I am convinced that the extremely powerful industry is indeed infiltrating the brains of children by sewing the seeds of...

Hi Jo,

Please see my post below. Being a addict and also a parent of an 8 year old, I completely share your concerns. I am convinced that the extremely powerful industry is indeed infiltrating the brains of children by sewing the seeds of gambling in seemingly harmless mobile apps. I am disgusted when I've seen my daughter playing a fruit machine-type mini game within the game she plays.

Our childrens' brains are being altered by this deep technology and I agree it has to stop. I also empathise with you relating to the targeting of marketing material. This is something I am very much interested in hearing and compiling cases for this very type of thing. During my research I actually tracked down companies that would sell me the details of 'high yield' gambling customers (aka addicts).

I was horrified by the level of marketing material I have managed to collate from companies I have self-excluded with.

All the best,

Alex

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Alex
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According to a report in The Telegraph, William Hill expects to take an annual hit of up to £100 million ($135 million) to its profits, Gaming Business » FOBT Maximum Bet Cut From £100 to £2 by UK Government

FOBT Maximum Bet Cut From £100 to £2...

According to a report in The Telegraph, William Hill expects to take an annual hit of up to £100 million ($135 million) to its profits, Gaming Business » FOBT Maximum Bet Cut From £100 to £2 by UK Government

FOBT Maximum Bet Cut From £100 to £2 by UK Government
MAY 17, 2018 BY KATIE BARLOWE
Bookmakers in the United Kingdom woke up to a worst-case scenario on Thursday, as government officials announced that they would impose a £2 ($2.70) maximum bet on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT).

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Luca
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When I was 16 I worked at a fast food restaurant. I was good at it and successful. However, when I got paid I would habitually take a large chunk of my pay and put it into fruit machines. This went on for about a year. Following that for about...

When I was 16 I worked at a fast food restaurant. I was good at it and successful. However, when I got paid I would habitually take a large chunk of my pay and put it into fruit machines. This went on for about a year. Following that for about the next 5-10 years I would occasionally play the machines, sometimes regularly, losing up to half my pay.

Years later I never touch a fruit machine; I am genuinely not interested. I have taken on the notion that I could easily earn more than what a machine ever could/would pay out just by doing a bit of overtime or bettering myself - this helped break the cycle of addiction for me; I realised I didn’t need the machine which had lied to me telling me I could be rich if I won that jackpot- with a repeater chance!! RUBBISH!!!!!

Years on I have become successful in business, and have worked very hard to do so. I do often look back at the huge amount of wasted time (years) and money (thousands/>50% of my income) which drained me of all self esteem and inspiration to go somewhere and do something with my life.

Breaking the cycle is hard, but so empowering when you do. Don’t regret your failures - they’re done; don’t be embarrassed or ashamed but seek help and work with others as a support. Then turn your disappointment into a drive to succeed in life and you probably will. Accept you have lost this one, but you have gained a won a painful and valuable lesson that can help yourself and other people.

I say all this as I am disappointed and concerned with the quantity of betting shops in areas that seem to capitalise on those who may be more vulnerable to them, where gambling may be more common and culturally acceptable, coupled with less means, drawing these people in and destroying their lives. The betting banners at football grounds and adverts on TV. Legislation that allowed this growth, and the advertising to drive it, was a grave mistake and needs reversing.

There’s one winner of a fruit machine, a casino, a betting shop, and that is the owner. If you’re a player or a prospective player attracted by the fake flashing lights, then just walk away and find help and support.

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Normal kid
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I've unfortunately lost many friends to this disease...
And seen the havoc and misery inflicted on their families and children.
They were all adults and made adult choices by walking in to the BOOKIES or CASINOS. (Rightly or wrongly)
You need to...

I've unfortunately lost many friends to this disease...
And seen the havoc and misery inflicted on their families and children.
They were all adults and made adult choices by walking in to the BOOKIES or CASINOS. (Rightly or wrongly)
You need to be 18 to do this.
My children are NOT 18 - and cannot enter a bookie or casino.
Why are they allowed to ENTER MY HOME without my PERMISSION.
Why have they been given permission to come in to my home, trying sell me a VICE and trying to normalise it to my kids.
We just wanna watch sport - we love sport.
Luckily I have no interest in gambling and never will.
But I hate it because of what I've seen.
This can't be right and someone needs to stop this.
Ray Winston you were cool once - can't stand you now mate P RICK

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A chav
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they may reduce the limit but just one betting shop in Plymouth has 5 of them 4 next to each other and when i was really bad on them i was using 2 at a £100 spin on each i spent thousands and thousands on them money left to me from my gran and...

they may reduce the limit but just one betting shop in Plymouth has 5 of them 4 next to each other and when i was really bad on them i was using 2 at a £100 spin on each i spent thousands and thousands on them money left to me from my gran and compensation money but the worst i stole money of a elderly friend and lost it all i nearly went to prison because of this . But at the time there was not a gamblers anonymous in Plymouth so i asked the different bookmakers if they would fund one but the higher up management said no. My thoughts are they should reduce the stake and limit for only 2 machines to one shop and so what if it will cost jobs there are other jobs out there what is more important someones job or someones life of misery

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mike
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