Gambling Addiction

Matt Zarb-Cousin discussing luck on BBC World Service

Posted on May 8, 2014 by admin

Most people believe in some aspects of luck. Is believing in luck something which can empower us or does it mean we give up whatever control we feel we have over our lives?

Mike Williams discusses luck with former professional cricketer Ed Smith, therapist Alexander Anghelou and Cambridge psychologist Mike Aitken. And Mike also visits a casino to meet a reformed gambler.

Listen to Matt Zarb-Cousin discussing luck on BBC World Service online.

Gambler: I went for a pint of milk and lost £5k in mins

Posted on May 1, 2014 by admin

A secret gambler revealed to 5 live Breakfast that he’d “probably gambled every penny” he’s earnt in the past six years and his debt is reaching six figures.

‘John’ also told Nicky Campbell he once went out for a pint of milk and gambled away £5,000 in minutes.

Listen to the interview from BBC Radio 5 online.

New reports highlight Britain’s shameful record on gambling research, education and treatment

Posted on April 14, 2014 by admin

Research published this week by Goldsmiths University and the Royal College of Psychiatrists has called into question Britain’s provision for research, education and treatment for problem gambling.

Anthropologists from Goldsmiths University invited 143 stakeholders to contribute to the “Fair Game” report, of which 109 agreed to take part in focus groups. These consisted of research stakeholders, including research users such as policy makers, treatment providers and regulators – as well as research producers from academia, the gambling industry and research institutes. Members of the gambling industry were also involved.

The report concluded that the Government plays a role in sustaining the focus on “problem gambling”, which obscures the relationship between the gambling industry and the state. It asserts that the focus on problem gambling and causal relationships serve the interests of the industry, which is interested in limiting regulation and minimising change. (more…)

Scots poorest gamble £2bn on betting machines

Posted on March 14, 2014 by admin

People in the poorest parts of Scotland staked almost double the amount on addictive gambling machines than those in wealthy areas, worrying new figures reveal.

“The figures back up the view that people in poorer areas are being targeted”, said one local MP.

Read the full article in The Christian Institute online

More than £66m was lost by gamblers across the ELL boroughs in 2013 on addictive machines says new study

Posted on March 5, 2014 by admin

More than £66m was lost by people across Croydon, Lewisham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets in 2013 on high speed, high stakes gambling machines – according to a study last week.

The figures, produced by Campaign for Fairer Gambling, estimate that bookmakers across the four boroughs profited £66.3m from fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in 2013.

The study shows that England’s more deprived areas have a far higher concentration of betting shops (and therefore FOBTs) than its richer areas, leading to suggestions that bookmakers have targeted the poorest areas with low income levels and high unemployment and crime rates.

Read the full article in East London Lines online.

Labour turned a flutter into a fatal addiction to gambling

Posted on March 4, 2014 by admin

Is there nothing you can’t gamble on? Yesterday, I received an email from one of the country’s top bookmakers offering to refund losing bets on the outcome of the Oscar Pistorius trial should the athlete be acquitted. Leaving aside the tastelessness of the invitation, I have no idea why it was made to me, since I rarely bet. Even buying my one and only National Lottery ticket when it launched 20 years ago left me consumed with Presbyterian guilt. The idea of risking and losing money that I cannot afford to part with is anathema.

But many people have no such hang-ups. Recent figures suggest that about half the adult population has gambled in the past year, and this rises to 70 per cent when the Lottery is included. For most, it is an innocent pastime carried out in moderation. But for some, it is an addiction that wrecks lives.

Read the full article in The Daily Telegraph online.

How Scots gamblers blew £4.4billion on high-stakes slot machines in a year

Posted on March 2, 2014 by admin

POLITICIANS and campaigners call for action as new Campaign for Fairer Gambling estimates show huge rise in the amount of money bet on controversial casino games terminals.

Read the full story by Mark Aitken in the Scottish Mail online.

Labour promises to let councils ban fixed-odds betting terminals

Posted on December 20, 2013 by admin

Labour would empower local councils to ban fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from high streets, Ed Miliband has confirmed.

The Labour leader claimed the FOBTs, which let gamblers bet £300 a minute or £18,000 an hour, were being targeted at poor people.

Councils would be given a range of powers including stopping the spread of FOBTs, reducing their number or banning them altogether. On a visit to Kilburn in north London, Miliband said: “In towns and cities across Britain today, you can see how the old bookies are being turned into mini casinos. In the poorest areas, these are spreading like an epidemic along high streets with the pawn shops and payday lenders that are becoming symbols of Britain’s cost-of-living crisis.

Read the full article in The Guardian online.

Rise of the machines puts punters at bigger risk, says Simon Perfitt

Posted on December 16, 2013 by admin

On the surface Simon Perfitt had it all. Barely a decade ago the 47-year-old divorcee had moved in with a new girlfriend, drove a Porsche and took lucrative posts in e-commerce where pay deals were sweetened by corporate perks such as free housing.

But Perfitt led a double life. He did not earn money to build a better life but instead used it to feed a gambling addiction to bookmakers’ betting terminals. His cravings saw him lose not only his relationship but left him homeless and facing personal ruin after pouring, he says, £200,000 into the machines.

Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which offer high-stakes, high-speed casino games such as roulette, were dubbed the “crack cocaine of gambling” almost the day they arrived in Britain. Solitary, uninterrupted machine play, it was claimed, produced a trance-like state, not dissimilar to that experienced by a drug addict.

Simon Perfitt, who lost everything after gambling away £200,000, tells his story in full to the Guardian.

Suspect in court over Morden betting shop murder

Posted on August 29, 2013 by admin

A 21-year-old man charged with the murder of a Ladbrokes betting shop manager appeared at Southwark Crown Court last week.

Homeless Shafique Ahmad Aarij was due to enter a plea but the hearing was adjourned until Wednesday September 25.

He is accused of murdering Andrew Iacovou, 55, in the Aberconway Road shop, Morden, on Saturday May 25.

Read the full article on SW Londoner online.