Most people think that gambling could be fun and social, and do not think that gambling should be prohibited. What they object to is how the gambling companies behave towards their consumers, and the ways gambling has been allowed to develop to be more and more dangerous to players.
They make it appealing, ‘have a bet with your mates’. You know, and all the rest of it, and Sweet Caroline and all this malarkey. What they’ve done, in my opinion, all of these operators, they’ve turned it in from an entertainment pleasure leisure, soft industry that could still have made them all a lot of money into a very harsh, brutal and damaging environment and landscape. But people now are not savvy enough to know when to stop. You know, they could be having a few drinks at home and the next thing, waaay, they’re pressing anything ‘Oh, how much have I lost? Oh, I don’t know’. And they wake up in the morning and they found that they deposited £1000 and lost it, and they don’t know what they did. It shouldn’t be happening… And that’s got to change, you know, and that mentality of the operators has to be forced to change.
People explain that the way the gambling industry makes money is based on getting people addicted. They say this kind of business model damages people and communities to make profit. This was what should not be allowed, rather than gambling itself.
People do gamble within their means, but you’ve got to know that they don’t care about those people. They care about the 5% that are giving 80% of their profits. Those 5% I can assure any person, you know, it would be in the high 90s of how many have a gambling disorder, without a doubt, without a doubt. And they know it. The operators know it. They definitely knew who I was. You know, they called me a wild man and things like that. They know who I was and what I was doing in terms of a gambling addict. And they didn’t care because all they care about is their profits. So, profits over lives isn’t it really?
It needs to be safer for people with gambling addiction to not be targeted. 70% or 60 to 70% of gambling profits come from the 5% of compulsive gamblers or at-risk gamblers. At risk gamblers aren’t people that might be a compulsive gambler, might not. They’re at risk of it becoming a serious problem. They’re already at the stage where they’re at the point where they probably can’t turn back. It’s not fun anymore, but they can’t stop. The vast majority of the at-risk group are already way, way into the hole at that point. So, I think when that amount of profit comes from people that are vulnerable and being targeted… it’s relentless. It’s everywhere.
People reflect on how gambling has changed over time because of less regulation, new technology, and more promotion. They say gambling is now faster and more immersive, more accessible, and more available. Those who gambled over many decades speak about how, with each change in the market, their gambling was made worse.
And in today’s society, it is heightened and worsened because of the almost bombardment of advertising and availability to gamble and the fact that, you know, when I was a when I was, you know, between 20 and 30, there was no mobile phones. You could only gamble for six hours a day. Now, if you’ve got a mobile phone, you can gamble 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So that that is the if you like the major contributor to it becoming the almost pandemic that it’s become. And that is why one in 15 people in Britain today are affected by somebody’s gambling disorder
I said the fixed odds betting terminals went on for an awfully long time. And then from, blimey, like I say, I’ve done every, every sort of variation of gambling if you like because of the age that I am, and the ages that I’ve lived through, you know with the advent of the internet and smartphones and everything like that. So as gambling has evolved, so has my gambling that went with it really.
For those that started gambling more recently, they speak about how their gambling very rapidly spiralled out of control and caused them lots of harm very fast.
That was that, and again, on the weekends, it became a more prominent thing. It was more and more football. That’s where the vast majority was. Then he started taking up the weekends and that’s when you start to see go from a hobby to– and again, this is all something you enjoy littered with losses that annoy you, frustrate you. Has its own pitfalls, but it was still in the stage of being fun, still in the stage of you kind of have that money to lose. This wasn’t at the point where overdrafts were being spent or loans were being– I was getting loans from loan companies and things like that, or emptying my bank account at this stage, but the gambling itself just became more prominent just over weeks, which to some might seem a long time, but it’s not. It can all spiral very quickly.
I’ll be honest. It started off, like I said, social fun thing that just found its way into just grasping you and becoming a more consuming evil that took grasp as time went on. The more time you would spend on it, the harder it became to come away.