GamCare Logo

Error message

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$field_banner_image in gamcare_preprocess_page() (line 61 of /data/websites-live/www.gamcare.org.uk/public/sites/all/themes/gamcare/template.php).
Login / Register

My recent experience in local betting shop

28 posts / 0 new
Last post
Posted by
Messages
#1 Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 11:27

samwich3090

Joined:
2015-12-28

Hello,

 

I just wanted to highlight a growing issue within bookmakers where staff let you pump money after money into FOBT'S and do NOTHING to prevent this from happening.

I recently went in, Put £50 in lost, loaded £100 from my card lost, loaded another £100 (he then asked if I wanted to up the stakes to £100 a spin which I replied no). I then lost this and reloaded another £200 with my card and said to him 'after this deposit please don't let me deposit anymore' he then replied 'You know i can't stop you'

I managed to walk away with £750 in the end but i was disgusted with staff's lack of care when someone clearly has a problem / addiction and they just sit there and say nothing. I was in there over 3 hours.

When an alert pops up on the screen there supposed to speak to the customer EVERY time they never do even worse he was encourgaging me to up the stacks in the process.

How do I complain about this with any effect? should I record the encounter or voice record or something?

I mean this is every single bookmakers iv'e been in and it needs to change. I understand it's my responsibilty to stay in control but  there needs to be more preventation on there side of things.

- sam

Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 12:30

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

That is terrible they just don't care. I've seen it before they have a notepad behind till on what you spend but wetter they do much is another thing

Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 13:31

Sam Crow

Joined:
2012-02-23

Self-exclude from the bookies then. Have you ever thought maybe the staff have tried to stop/talk to customers before and received nothing but abuse? I've seen it happening myself and I can only imagine what I'd have said if someone said to me when I was down a fortune 'here don't you think you have had enough?'.

You're right it is your own responsibility. A compulsive gambler won't stop until they are ready to admit defeat no matter what someone in the bookies says.

Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 14:22

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Like Sam said it is your responsibility and to be honest it's no good whinging that the staff aren't taking responsibily for you stuffing notes in these machines . My gambling problems were because of the Fobt's so I can fully empathise how your feeling and on some occasion's I was approached by shop staff for a little " Chat " was I interested in what they had to say ? Absolutely not , " Stop interupting me I just want to play " was often my thought and when your in that kind of zone you don't want to stop . 

I noticed youv'e been here since 2015 so I'm a little confused as to why your still putting yourself in the firing line , is it that you want to stop gambling or that you just want to stop losing ? . 

Maybe just stop going in to the Lions den and the problem will stop ?  

Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 14:23

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

On the other other not everyone gives abuse so maybe guidance could be given to some

Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 17:47

Dean0

Joined:
2017-09-14

I’d email the gambling commission, maybe they could give said company and person some extra training. Player protection is there for a reason and should be enforced even in the face of abuse it’s what they’re paid to do. It’s written in their license agreement 

Posted on:
Mon, 02/10/2017 - 18:01

Bal

Joined:
2015-04-18

The FOBT was my nemesis so i can sympathise. As a (nearly) 50 year old i was pumping ££££'s daily into these and i noticed a lot of the staff were young.

No amount of training would get them between me and the machine if i was on a losing streak and if they had interfered i would not have acted responsibly if you get my drift.

I think we have to consider the FOBT's are keeping a lot of these shops in business and therefore keeping the staff in employment.

I didnt go down the self exlusion route but gave up all access to funds. No cash or card = no FOBT.

As you say it is your responsibility to stay in control but when losing we become so zoned out nothing else matters.

Best wishes

Posted on:
Tue, 03/10/2017 - 01:57

Amom

Joined:
2014-10-09

Who in their right mind would come between a compulsive gambler and his next bet? No amount of danger pay would be worth that!

Cathyx

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 10:08

samwich3090

Joined:
2015-12-28

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/04/betting-shop-staff-probl...

this is exactly what im talking about. It's not about me the staff have a duty / guidelines which they just don't follow

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 10:48

Bal

Joined:
2015-04-18

Bit confused when you say "its not about me".

Of course staff dont follow them - they might end up in hospital getting between a cg and a punt.

There are other steps you can take. Blaming the industry, the bookies, the staff aint gonna help you break this

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 10:49

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

" It's not about me " ? are you serious ? . 

Just don't go in then your problem will go away ! 

There not staff in a clothing shop enquiring , if your trousers are too tight ?, their in charge of a" Gambling shop " and that's the key word " Gambling " , they keep it tidy , take bets and cash up at the end of the day , " Kerrching " !! 

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 17:46

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

Article is so true I think the staff could be trained more

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 20:14

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Do you still work in a betting shop Christer ? 

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 20:50

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

Yes only as a cleaner

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 20:52

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

I admit it's the customer fault fully but I think workers could do more I've heard staff from a shop actually helping a.addict and it worked

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 21:15

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Ok Christer , I wan't sure what your role was and was just going to ask if you'd ever been approached as regard to training ?, so what about when youv'e been in bookies gambling did you ever get any advice from staff and if so how did you react ?  I was only approached once by a female member of staff and that went from an " are you ok then " to just having a chat about shopping ? so I'm not sure even if that was an actual intervention really ?  

Posted on:
Thu, 05/10/2017 - 22:34

Dean0

Joined:
2017-09-14

Unfortunately we live in a now look the other way society. Ok people will say it’s your responsibility and to some extent it is . But it’s the reason we see the numbers of problem gamblers exploding. The industry has become that saturated it resembles the Wild West . The old saying you’re never more than five feet away from a rat has now been changed to a bookies. Why? Because everyone looked the other way “it’s not my problem it’s theirs”  a shop and a pub will be prosecuted if they serve someone who is severely intoxicated. Why it’s there choice to drink and who wants to get in front of a drinker and his pint?   All these establishments with big signs saying we are socially responsible and when someone blatantly asks for help they say we can’t stop you? And do you want to double down?  That’s a lack of training and a lack of humanity.  Then people will say why don’t you self exclude. Because that’s worth as much as when the government banned cheap larger to try to stop people becoming alcoholics. useless.  

I’m thankful that they won’t ever get another penny from me. And I’ve never had a problem with any of them but I still feel passionately about the fact there’s not enough being done to help people out there

Rant over 

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 01:41

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

I agree with what you say why in a pub if ur drunk you get thrown out yet when your Bled dry by a fobt do u not get help

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 09:03

Sam Crow

Joined:
2012-02-23

I work in a pub at the weekend and you're right, I wouldn't serve anybody that's intoxicated. I've mentioned this before (maybe on another thread) . It's easy to see somebody is to drunk, it's not the same to be able to see someone gambling beyond their means. I have stood in the bookies and casino's myself losing more than I could afford but on the outside I looked fine, as if I was in control. How exactly are staff meant to know when someone playing the FOBT's has had enough? One man losing £100 may be more than he can afford whereas another man £500 is a drop in the ocean to him. How do staff distinguish between the two unless the player themselves tell them? If they start smahing up machines then it's obvious and staff can throw them out.

Again as I've mentioned before it would help if there was some sort of limits on the machines either set by the government, bookies or players themselves but until such times the responsibility lies with the gambler himself. We can cry about staff not doing enough to stop us but in the end how does that help our recovery? I have refused customers alcohol on numerous occasions, doesn't stop them going across the road or elsewhere to get served. What's to stop a CG going from one FOBT to another in a different bookies - nothing. No matter what staff say to the CG they simply won't accept any help until they are ready and admit their problem.

Another example using the alcohol analogy - I have seen on a number of occasions family members in pubs and off-licences pleading with staff, actually begging them not to serve a loved one as they were alcoholics. Now, the alcoholic themselves whilst obviously having a serious problem (drinking everyday) are not intoxicated, they simply want to feed their alcohol addiction. Should staff not serve them even when they walk into the premises sober? Legally there's no reason why not, morally they probably shouldn't. Even if staff refuse to serve them then they just go to another pub/off-licence and get served there. If people with addictions don't want help nobody can make them.

Going a step further what about someone with an eating disorder/food addiction? Say they walk into a McD's and order a family bucket for themselves, sit down and proceed to eat every bit of it but still are not satisfied. They go back to the counter and order the same again. Now the staff have a choice - 1. Serve the person even though they are obese and quite possibly have a problem eating too much, or 2. Ask them don't they think they have had enough, take them aside for a little chat and discuss if they have a problem.

I think you should be able to impose some sort of limits on the FOBT's the same way you can online. Like somebody posted above when they asked staff not to let him deposit anymore - Yes in this instance there should be something in place to adhere to the customers wishes and the member of staff should have at least tried to enforce said limits when the CG went to deposit again even after saying they wouldn't.

In my opinion the best way to tackle this addiction is accepting responsibility for our own actions and not blaming others or at least trying to pass 'some' of the responsibility onto them. If you are serious about giving up and FOBT's are your poisin so to speak then don't go into the bookies. Self-exclude from them to shut the door completely. This way you won't have to worry if someone will stop you drinking your poisin or not.

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 15:06

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

As a cleaner I know abit of what info goes on behind the counter there's a little screen which shows how much each machine has taking what so they do know and they could be trained abit more if they know a customer has put alot in

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 15:26

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Good Post Sam and totally agree , ultimately it has to be ourselves taking responsibility and not hanging around waiting for someone to watch over us ..

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 15:31

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

And I also know they have a responsible gambling book in which they fill if people are underage or self exclude and I think they log what people spend whilst I'm not saying it's their Fault but I still feel they could limit how much you can spend

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 15:34

Christer1

Joined:
2016-02-29

I've self excluded from all of them on a multi self exclude scheme. And they are good

Posted on:
Fri, 06/10/2017 - 16:12

ALAN 135

Joined:
Before 2009

Yeah they could limit Christer but that's more about the legalisation and the companies themselves though than the staff in the shops . I think personally if anyone had come upto me when I was in the zone on the machine I wouldn't have paid any attention anyway and had tthey kept on as Sam said I'd probably have just found another shop ?. 

Good call on the self exclusions though mate :))

Posted on:
Sat, 07/10/2017 - 18:04

Joydivider

Joined:
2015-03-11

I just focused down that I was always right about the atmosphere in these gambling dens. I see gambling for what it is now and realise that Im not some sort of nerd because I am anti gambling.

There was always the atmosphere where I felt if money had been chucked into the middle of the room, everybody would have pounced on it in a frenzy (including me). Nobody in there really wanted to see others doing well

Somebody should have handed me a mirror but Ive seen people who were clearly mentally ill in there. One young woman told me all her rent money was now being spent in hushed and depressed tones. Really it was a cry for help but she was talking to another addict in the wrong environment.

The banter always bothered me as I wondered why anyone would strike up a friendly relationship with the staff. Ive heard it all the false bravado and the nonsense...dont moan mate...Ive lost thousands in a day" as if he was above me in the big boys club...as if I was a bigger loser for losing less than him....Its a crazy addiction.

Staff banter with the punters.... been on holiday John......yeah lost loads..... could only afford to take the Mrs to a grotty caravan this year. Staff member chuckles......never mind you cant win them all.......have a cup of tea

I realised some of these people had nothing other than some warped feeling of being a regular in the bookies. I dont want to sound offensive to anybody but gamblers are not my kind of people...and I was one!:) I just wished they would do their seedy business  in silence so I could escape gamble without any distraction.

I had a funny feeling where I knew it was dodgy and I just wanted to be left alone to spin the reels. I think that little bit woo little bit weh feeling made me feel more special in some way....only I wasnt a bit of a geezer or high roller...I pushed a button every few seconds lost in a pyramids of Egypt trance. Deep down I sort of knew I wouldnt win but all other feelings were over-riding that

I must have looked utterly pathetic to the staff or anyone that hates fruit machines and I dont mind saying that. I even thought the other players looked like deluded fools and saddos but Im stood there doing exactly the same thing...this is just to highlight how mixed up the thoughts running through our heads are.

So my experiences in a betting shop were fueled by an addiction I had no control of. I am so glad I am away from them now and I dont miss that sort of nonsense one bit.

Best wishes to everyone on the forum

 

Posted on:
Sat, 04/11/2017 - 23:19

Mikey H

Joined:
Before 2009

Joydivider wrote:

I just focused down that I was always right about the atmosphere in these gambling dens. I see gambling for what it is now and realise that Im not some sort of nerd because I am anti gambling.

There was always the atmosphere where I felt if money had been chucked into the middle of the room, everybody would have pounced on it in a frenzy (including me). Nobody in there really wanted to see others doing well

My head may be in the sand here, but I've always felt the opposite in any live gambling location.

It's an odd, often desparate cameraderie of it being us versus them. Of course we all want to be the one who's turn it is to win, but seeing the bookies lose (accepting it is only ever short-term) regardless of who's taking the payout was always a reason for cheer amongst us players :)

Going back to OP, the only thing about it that I find tilting is the industry regularly insisting that they do train their staff and use their analytics software to spot and help problem gamblers when they so evidently do nothing of the sort, or only very basic lip service at most.

I'm not necessarily sure that they should so wouldn't hate on the industry if they just kept schtum and didn't claim to ever be looking to help problem gamblers.  

And I certainly don't expect the staff to be that capable. Receiving rubbish wages for long hours is never going to result in an employee base that can be skilled in mental health support and / or identifying patterns of play or body language cues that they need to act on.

Posted on:
Mon, 06/11/2017 - 20:24

Joydivider

Joined:
2015-03-11

Interesting Mikey H and I write  to spark thought and debate. Maybe I am over exagerating what I feel about the atmosphere but I do feel its a false cameraderie amongst people who are not friends and think they are sticking it up to the man.

That really is not whats happening as the dens comfortably afford to run all these shops. Most of the banter I heard was along the lines of "file the slip in the bin" I dont think Im wrong about the type of gamblers banter Ive highlighted. I didnt particularly want to see others win even though I may have joined in with putting a brave face on it. I dont go in there to banter in a social situation and this is probably more related to machine players...maybe it is me as an empty room with one machine would have done. My drug was getting to that screen quickly and zoning into it. The bookie environment is far from ideal but I was still drawn in

I do agree wth you in that I dont expect staff on a lowish wage to be acting as teacher and social worker. However Ive seen things where the person should have been asked if they have a problem.

I accept that not everybody is addicted but I think the addiction level is far higher than anybody dare mention in the live environment

There is clearly a large gambling population who feel as you do about a live situation. I hesitate to call us customers. I just question what its all about because gambling was very nearly the ruin of me and has cost me thousands plus a loss of family trust

Obviously they must be getting some high from it or they wouldnt be there. I am just questioning what gambers are really getting out of it apart from the row at home later where the housekeeping is nowhere to be found.

Best wishes to everyone on the forum

Posted on:
Tue, 07/11/2017 - 09:58

Muststop123

Joined:
2017-10-03

Maybe I am too much of a cynic but any industry whose business model is to attract and retain customers with the sole purpose of encouraging them to gamble bigger and bigger stakes is only ever going to pay lip service to the idea of ever trying to stop people gambling because they can't afford to lose anymore.

The industry may donate small amounts of money to help problem gamblers and stick clichéd "responsible gambling" messages up on their sites and windows but this only so they can point to this when the government even whispers about trying to control them in any way. The lobbying and press interviews they did recently over the issue of reducing FOBT stakes only went to show their true colours - "oh, but think of all the jobs we provide", really? Would they use the same arguments of providing jobs if they were in the slave trade or illegal drugs? 

If you think bookmakers are going to spend any real effort or resouces training staff to identify and help problem gamblers I think you are going to be severely disappointed. We are their cash cows, they love addicts. 

Not saying it is right but think we need to face reality.