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Just read an article on twitter  

 
Jadiebby85
(@jadiebby85)

“Unlike smoking and obesity, the risks associated with gambling aren’t associated with physical health (except in the many tragic cases of suicide). Gambling risks include financial ruin, turning to crime, family and relationships breakdown, mental illness. Many sources of information refer to the incidence of gamblers running into such conditions is ‘only’ 0.5% of the adult population (the same way as ‘only’ 0.5% of the the population are schizophrenic). There are other figures for children and young people, and for adults ‘at risk’ of being in the 0.5%. Data is never simple. It isn’t always available. It’s a snapshot of a previous period in time. It requires interpretation – and these interpretations differ. But if the 0.5% figure is taken as it is, given the personal suffering indicated above, plus the damage to immediate others such as family, plus societal costs is not that alone reason to give gambling damage the same weighting as a serious mental disorder such as schizophrenia? And unlike schizophrenia which, although it can be managed and treated well, in many cases very difficult to treat and manage, are not problems associated with gambling more easily attenuated using the approaches we have seen with tobacco, and beginning with junk food?” 

Yet it’s sometimes implied that if there are only 300,000 or so people in deep trouble because of gambling, that’s all right. They didn’t stop when the fun stopped. No one made them spend much more than they could afford: they were irresponsible. It was down to their having that much-cherished freedom to chose, but making the wrong choices. Many millions more enjoy the fun of a flutter. The appeal to the ‘millions who safely (and responsibly) enjoy a flutter’ is something of an industry catchphrase, and it needs unpicking.

Having placed the ‘problem gamblers’ into a sort of pathological ghetto, the logic goes that everybody else is a ‘responsible gambler’, enjoying a harmless flutter. This isn’t so.

In all our lives fortune rises and falls, and this is more nearly literal in the case of the regular happy flutterer. A regular bettor or gambler will win some, lose some, and for the great majority, over time will lose more than they win. Winning £25 on a £5 scratchcard won’t compensate for the many weeks of getting into debt with rent or power or council tax after buying four such cards each week. The strain on marriages and families will increase as essential money leaks into slots or online gambling. The wage packet won’t be spent on days out with the kids or new school clothes. Things will be pawned, payday loans become essential as credit is refused elsewhere and credit cards are maxed out. Loans from friends and family go unpaid. There may be catastrophic times, perhaps a threat of eviction or repossession, survived only by a hair’s width and that survival with ongoing negative financial consequences. (Sometimes, such a catastrophe can be the impetus to stop gambling). Anxiety, depression, arguments may go with the territory. The danger of becoming one of the statistics in that ‘problem gambler’ ghetto may increase. As it is, there are many whose quality of life is negatively affected by gambling, and they don’t show up in the statistics.

Now obviously, this is painting a bleak picture. Not everybody who enjoys a doughnut or two will incur an obesity-related illness. Most people do spend money responsibly and can enjoy a harmless flutter. There is, of course, even for them a risk of going beyond the harmless flutter. Even somebody new to betting and gambling can (not will) spiral down to dangerous levels.

What’s needed is research into the ‘twilight zone’ of gambling-induced harms. This is an area which has to involve personal testimonies of experience over time. It’s especially important in relation to young people who have been nurtured in a normalised gambling environment. It may lead to a more nuanced understanding of the scale and nature of gambling harms than that offered by dominant narratives of ‘problem gamblers’ versus the rest of us.

what do you think? 
jadie

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Posted : 30th July 2020 3:01 pm
EmmaPoint
(@emmapoint)

Very good article, thank you for posting

ReplyQuote
Posted : 30th July 2020 4:57 pm
Bladesman
(@bladesman)

Had a session with my counsellor yesterday and we were talking about this.  We were saying obesity, drug abuse, alcoholism and smoking were taken seriously because they are physical problems which cost the NHS millions of pounds. Gambling is only given lip service because it doesn't surface in the same way and the gambling companies spout all the rubbish about stopping when the fun stops and don't bet more than you can afford. As we all know this makes no difference to us that have been enticed into their den and are chasing that big win we know will never happen. They talk about stopping advertising junk food but they continue to let gambling sites advertise. There needs to be tighter controls and an admittance from on high that gambling ruins lives probably more than drugs and alcohol and certainly much more than obesity. They won't do this though as gambling provides so much revenue in tax so we are left to seek help from sites like gamcare who do a wobderful job.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 30th July 2020 10:39 pm
Jadiebby85
(@jadiebby85)

I watched an hour long programme last night on channel 5 and must have seen at 8 different gambling adverts for different sites! It’s disgusting, it makes me uncomfortable and my partner just gets angry about it! 
I consider myself to be educated and I think in everyday life or where my family decisions go I make excellent choices! My kids, husband, dogs and friends and family and, the decision making that goes with being a mum/wife/daughter/sister/friend etc are made competently so how did I end completely losing my s**t when it came to gambling???? 
The casinos design it that way! That’s how! 
I had many physical effects due to gambling, migraines, sleep disturbances, mood swings, neck pain, acne as well as the mental health side of things! Before this addiction I have NEVER thought about ending my life but in the end it was all I could think about! I planned it and I wrote the notes, suicide seemed the only viable option to me (It is never anyone’s only option!!!!) at that time in my life! I’ve got 2 kids, 13 & 16, my eldest has ADHD and anxiety, social anxiety, oppositional defiance disorder & shows strong traits of autism! I mean could you imagine how they would have coped! Thank god my daughter came to me seeking help about a girl she’d fallen out with, because she was upset I knew that I could never leave them!

its not just the gamblers who suffer it’s everyone who is involved! Parents, don’t partners, kids who are destroyed day in day out by this “silent addiction”

it is making stressed people who probably do not have a pot to pee in even more poor, people are losing their homes, struggling to feed their kids, dealing with a pandemic! Everybody in this country at the moment are vulnerable in some way! But still the casinos are aloud to advertise “play from 1p to £1” blah blah blah!!!! It makes me so angry!

 

*sorry for the rant*

jadie 

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Posted : 31st July 2020 8:34 am
Muststop123
(@muststop123)
Posted by: Bladesman

Had a session with my counsellor yesterday and we were talking about this.  We were saying obesity, drug abuse, alcoholism and smoking were taken seriously because they are physical problems which cost the NHS millions of pounds. Gambling is only given lip service because it doesn't surface in the same way and the gambling companies spout all the rubbish about stopping when the fun stops and don't bet more than you can afford. As we all know this makes no difference to us that have been enticed into their den and are chasing that big win we know will never happen. They talk about stopping advertising junk food but they continue to let gambling sites advertise. There needs to be tighter controls and an admittance from on high that gambling ruins lives probably more than drugs and alcohol and certainly much more than obesity. They won't do this though as gambling provides so much revenue in tax so we are left to seek help from sites like gamcare who do a wobderful job.

This is exactly the point.

I am no mad conspiracy believer but successive governments over the last few decades have worked out that the cost to society (healthcare and societal) of drug taking, smoking, excessive drinking and eating is so high that it is worth doing something about even if it means additional costs or reduced sales taxes on cigarettes/alcohol due to reduced consumption.

Obviously at the moment the cost to society in terms of suicide/financial ruin/family breakdown/mental illness etc due to problem gambling is not high enough to take real action to try and reduce the amount of gambling. Unfortunately I think we are still seen by some as weak willed, greedy people who should show some restrain when it comes to gambling and should not spoil the opportunity to gamble for everyone else. 

Seems that the policy at the moment is to have a bit of a free for all with very limited gambling regulations  and then deal with the casualties afterwards which is a bit at odds with everything else where prevention is usually seen as a better approach. Obviously 300,000 casualties plus their families is seen as an acceptable casualty rate. 

Muststop123

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Posted : 31st July 2020 9:50 am
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