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Should Gambling be Illegal?  

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Just want to make a quick poll to see what peoples responses would be and if they could add points for the reasons why before/against.


Should gambling be completely illegal?


My reasons for yes-

• High suicide statistics

• In my opinion, not enough support; especially at the beginning (not enough warnings about possible addiction to new players who have never gambled before).

• Almost all adverts are over-hyped painting this picture that you can become rich overnight.

• The warning stickers/signs are in the smallest print possible - making them easy to miss/ignore. I also notice on almost all the adverts the 'when the fun stops stop' message appears it is only shown for about 3 seconds; if that.

• We take the likes of illegal drugs serious because of what it can do psychologically to someone - Problem gamblers brains have shown to work differently because it has been adapted/changed; so why do we allow gambling?.



So personally, I am leaning more towards yes it should be illegal. What is everyone else's views? Please keep responses as a civil debate.

This topic was modified 1 month ago by mobilephone
Posted : 18th September 2021 11:37 am

Interesting Topic and should bring about a good debate.

My view is that it should not be illegal. I don’t know the exact stats but would guess that a small percentage of people become addicted. I am in that group.

Looking at the world as a whole, a minority of people become addicted to things that make them feel good whereas the majority display control whether that be with alcohol, food, s*x, exercise, drugs, shopping etc. In all of those groups there will be addicts. Our addiction is gambling.

The same advertising applies to all of the groups I mentioned our brains just decipher some a little differently in my opinion.

I like debates.


Posted : 18th September 2021 1:59 pm

I don't think it should be illegal as some people can enjoy it in moderation, say betting on annual events/major tournaments or a small weekly bet. (Though I don't personally now.)

I do feel really strongly that advertising should be much more strictly regulated. Limited adverts after the 9 oclock watershed. I hate all the celebrity endorsed daytime ads which imply that particular sites are fun, friendly communities, when actually, gambling is often such a lonely, isolating addiction.  

Posted : 18th September 2021 2:16 pm

No, it should not be but advertising should be much more controlled. You do not see alcohol or tobacco being advertised like gambling is. These companies have advertising budgets bigger than some small countries and they use them year in and year out on everything from influencers to the car radio. We are not equipped to handle that kind of brainwashing.  In Germany, they have clear rules when and how much gambling advertising is allowed and I believe that is a key as a start to bringing down the problems with it.

Posted : 18th September 2021 5:02 pm

Of course it shouldn't be illegal in my opinion gambling for most people is a bit of fun which can be a good day out it's just for us unfortunate people can be a problem but it's a life choice nobody forces us to gamble

Posted : 18th September 2021 5:10 pm

Adding to this debate, gambling advertisements as a whole are irritating for me and everyone else on this forum no doubt but do non-problem gamblers bother about them? I don’t know. Today, I’ve watched a lot of football and with it a lot of adverts. The adverts from Audi, BMW, DairyMilk, Kelloggs, Raheem Sterling having a shave etc - I take no notice of these. If Marlboro advertised cigarettes today I wouldn’t feel compelled to buy cigarettes, then again, I don’t smoke cigarettes. Gambling adverts bother me because I’m a gambling addict and it’s a constant reminder of my problem/weakness. Should they be banned? Maybe, maybe not.


Posted : 19th September 2021 5:48 pm

Ethically it should probably be restricted way more than it currently is 

Economically - it never will be because it's too much of a cash cow 

there has been talks of affordability checks for years in the gambling industry if you are earning £1,500 a month there's no way you should be able to lose a months wages and more inside of a half hour 

The entire industry is a mess , and one you are best not to be involved with 



Posted : 20th September 2021 9:45 am

A very interesting topic.

I think it's fair for problem gamblers to be upset with the amount of gambling adverts on the telly or radio, but I also think it's fair for non problem gamblers to bemoan the fact that some ex-gamblers and activists want all gambling advertisement shut down. As a problem gambler I try not to take much notice of the ads. There are some funny ones, I won't mention with which bookmaker, but you can probably guess who I am talking about.

I have two problems with the adverts though:

1.) I think it is fundamentally wrong when the bookmaker tries to shape the advert as everyone having a good time and in most of these adverts, the people are always winning. Whether the actors are at the racetrack, their living room or in the pub, they are always celebrating a goal, horse winning etc. I think that is fundamentally wrong. Like the advertisement for smoking where the tobacco companies have to brand warning signs all over their packaging, there should be some element of  gambling advertisement where it is shown that if a person gambles too much, there are grave consequences and not just the trivial line at the end of the adverts of "only gamble what you can afford, always gamble responsibly".

2.) The bigger issue I have is that gambling companies are "branching out" and sponsoring shows like Come Dine With me and other mainstream shows. At the shops the other day my 7 year old daughter spotted a p********r shop and exclaimed "oh so that's p********r". I was completely taken aback and when I asked her where she had seen or heard from them, she said they are on "loads of ads on the telly". That's worrying to me. The other big thing is the sponsorship of footbally jerseys. Thankfully not many of the big teams in the premier league have a gambling company brandished  on the front of their jersey, but outside the top 5/6 teams, there are a lot of football jersey which do have them.

So they would be my two gripes with the gambling advertising. I think as problem gamblers we know we are going to encounter gambling advertisement whether it's on the radio, TV or in the newspaper and in recovery, it's up to ourselves to not let that effect us as much as it might. I generally zone out when these advertisements come on, but there are some occasions that they do bother me. I don't necessarily think that gambling adverts will entice me back to gambling, but I suppose there are no alcohol or smoking adverts on TV, so a reduction in the gambling adverts would certainly be welcomed by me.  

Posted : 20th September 2021 10:22 am

I feel its the wrong question at this stage. The debate should be about very strong regulation and really understanding what gambling does to the brain

We should be talking about the dirty tricks and lack of transparency... the "bonuses" that are not a bonus... the winning sounds when its actually a part loss of stake... no printing of the actual odds... an rtp which is meaningless per session.. the loose language in the advertising which is immoral and barely legal.

You have all seen the damage that all forms of gambling do on this forum... the sheer misery... the tears... the destruction of marriages, homes and lives

was it ever fun?? .. is fun the right word to use? the gambling dens hide behind the freedom of old joe in the bookies or mrs smith buying a lottery ticket. they hide behind the freedom of choice argument to peddle their deady wares. 

it surprises me how accepting some of you are when you must have read stories of partners at their wits end or numerous suicides. 

The deregulation of gambling is a sinister money grab. its nothing really to do with a bit of harmless fun. 

its proven  to be very addictive and conservative estimates put problem gambers in the hundreds of thousands. 

you have to start with the facts about smoking drinking and gambling.....harmful and dangerous vices whether you accept them or not. 

gambling has its own special blend of instant ruin and people are NOT being protected from it.

NO Im not being over dramatic. The government are in on the take which says it all about the question in hand

This post was modified 1 month ago 2 times by Joydivider
Posted : 20th September 2021 12:19 pm

Evening all 

some great input and thought provoking words. 
for me the act of the ‘gamble’ has existed for a great deal of time, I believe historically it’s something that the Romans enjoyed greatly.

 I am an addict, I would if active gamble by any means necessary, illegal gambling or legal I would have fed my inner demand.

today I work hard on understanding why I gambled even though I knew that the outcome would be turmoil financially.

the same can be said for my addiction to alcohol and drugs, I knew that consumption would lead to a terrible aftermath but I pursued the episode without consideration 

I relate wholly to my desire to live with the outcome of my actions rather than reality of the life I had been dealt.

 I personally would like to see gambling establishments vetting customers like a bank or credit broker would. The circumstances of the check to ensure that the gambling was within the means of the individual.

but I accept that would legitimise the industry which doesn’t want to be regulated, they desire to regulate themselves.

 I am a dirty brown stain the gambling industry  refuse to accept exists and as a whole in my ten years of recovery the carpet has often been lifted and I have been brushed under because I darkened the image that gambling is a clean, fun filled provider of hope and joy for all engaged.

for me the regulating of the fobt the biggest insult to the compulsive gambler in those ten years.

 I believe that to be a huge elephant in the room, a great deal was spoken about the £2 limit.

two pounds a spin on a fruit machine that takes a credit every what couple of seconds is what £60 a minute, £3600 per hour and that’s equal to what my £100 a spin roulette addiction demanded pre ‘regulation’

Yet the industry lorded the £2 stakes as the end of the problem 

I accept that I will receive no help from the hand I fed for 25+ years and that’s ok with me.

Today I appreciate what is available 

gamcare, GA, the network of folk who know about my addiction, Gamban. 
And above all my desire to live without addiction actively destructing my ability to live without the pain, inner turmoil and external hurt it gives.

 I welcome debate, it’s like a medicine that we the compulsive gambler gift ourselves and share unconditionally.

just for today 


Posted : 20th September 2021 9:41 pm

I think a lot of people have hit the nail on the head here,  it's the advertising that is the issue. I am over 3 years into my recovery and the adverts still trigger me and it takes a lot for me to keep strong, especially when an advert shows a slot game I played all the time. It makes gambling come to the front of my mind every single time and that for me is the problem! Even on social media I find I'm hiding and blocking sites just so they are not in my face.

D x

Posted : 22nd September 2021 8:16 am
Forum admin

Hello all

Great debate - as a few of you mentioned adverts and content online I just wanted to share some guidance from the Gambling Commission that you may find helpful:

Reducing gambling related content on Twitter:

Reducing gambling related content on Facebook:

Reducing unwanted gambling related emails and texts:

You may also want to consider purchasing ad blocking software to prevent seeing gambling ads online. 
Sorry that won't help with ads you see on TV.

Best wishes,

Forum Admin

Posted : 22nd September 2021 11:07 am

Advertising is the problem here. It's thrown in peoples faces all the time and it's made out to be a great fun hobby filled with excitement and even having a good time with friends (as shown in many adverts of groups of friends at a pub enjoying bets). 

Often with gambling, nobody knows they are going to become addicted. It almost always starts as an innocent bit of fun and years later someone has lost everything. Therefore, advertising which glorifies it shouldn't be allowed as it's too unpredictable as to who will become addicted and who won't. 

In recent times, some adverts make it look like they are encouraging more responsible gambling, saying about the timeout tools, setting deposit limits and so on but 2 points about this....

Firstly, just because someone is in "timeout" mode at a casino, that doesn't mean they can't just go elsewhere and secondly...... The most important point.... If someone is potentially having to set deposit limits and timeout for a few weeks, they shouldn't be gambling whatsoever. Using any of these tools indicates a lack of control and therefore instead of casinos having tools like this, they should be promoting Gamstop mass self exclude system instead. 


This post was modified 1 month ago by Sam301
Posted : 22nd September 2021 1:48 pm

Over the past few years I've been annoyed with Facebook gambling ads as my poison was always poker and that's what they'd advertise (no matter how much I wrote these adverts as wrong for me and a sensitive subject).  So six months ago I closed my Facebook account down and deleted all my data.  Now I don't see it I haven't thought about poker since.  


I watch football and have only bet on it a couple of times.  Now advertising for betting on football doesn't bother me as like rollete says it has never appealed to me so it's not appealing or interesting or exciting for me so it's on the tv but I don't really focus on it so it will never be a problem 


I guess all adverts like roulette says can be a problem for a minority of people and as long as it's making money for the businesses will continue.


It's just a sore subject for us as wehave had a problem.


I spoke to my friends about Facebook ads and they said they like direct marketing as it shows them products they are interested in.


I just know the product that makes the most money from me that I'm interested in is poker and it's fair to say that's it's an unhealthy and dangerous product for me to use.


Posted : 22nd September 2021 9:21 pm

Gambling is one of the oldest past times's going no where .....  If I could ban it I would ban ciggerettes, alcohol, gambling and would make drugs innaccessable to the public too.  But think how large our population growth would be without them.  Maybe that's one reason government sets out to allow them? A growing population.

Posted : 22nd September 2021 9:27 pm
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