Gambling Watch UK is a new organisation and an early task is to decide on a small number of campaigns to focus our efforts on. Below are listed a few possibilities. If you would like to comment on any of these ideas or would like to pledge your support for Gambling Watch UK, please get in touch via the contact page.

1. Campaign for official and public recognition that gambling creates problems that are properly seen as public health problems and that consequently the Department of Health should be one of the lead government departments concerned with gambling.

2. Support the campaign for local governments to have the power to limit the number of gambling venues in their areas. Gambling Watch UK supports the High Streets First Campaign - see UK News.

3. Challenge a number of current gambling advertisements on the grounds that they contravene principles of consumer protection or the requirement to protect children and young people, and more generally to call into question the role of advertising in promoting gambling, particularly at hours and on media seen by children.

4. Campaign for the removal of Fixed Odds Betting Machines (B2 machines) from high street betting shops.

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Comments (98)

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  • Nikki Permalink

    I am horrified by the relentless way my son is targeted by gambling sites and loan companies.
    I am about to pay for him to go to rehab but am terrified that I've lost my son.
    His latest devastating gambling episode led to him stealing thousands from my bank account.
    Online gambling sites have turned him into an isolated friendless alcoholic criminal.
    His phones rings and beeps constantly with offers for money or free gambles.
    I fear I have lost my son for good and I am determined to do what I can to protect others

    about 1 year ago
  • A Father Permalink

    I've got the same gambling issues with my son. He is only 13 and is already starting to show symptoms of gambling addiction... Although he does it only in his video game, by opening so-called "lootboxes" which give him an extremely small chance to win a random valuable in-item. Even if he gets "lucky" he often goes to bet the said item on video game betting websites (I'm not quite sure how these work) and most of the time just lose it... I tried to talk to him about it but he claims that "its a normal thing"... Maybe for him and his friends, but not me!

    Best regards,

    about 1 year ago
  • mike Permalink

    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

    about 12 months ago
  • A chav Permalink

    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

    about 11 months ago
  • Normal kid Permalink

    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.

    about 10 months ago
  • Luca Permalink

    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
    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).

    about 10 months ago
  • Jo Turner Permalink

    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.

    about 9 months ago
  • Alex In reply to: # 654 Permalink

    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,


    about 5 months ago
  • Jane Permalink

    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

    about 8 months ago
  • profile Permalink
    about 5 months ago

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019
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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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