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AIBU - gambling is truly nasty and pernicious...

(38 Posts)
granjura Mon 03-Aug-15 21:06:34

Watching the documentary about gambling in the UK - what a dreadful plague and pest. More gambling bookies in the High Streets of the UK than shops now ... and internet gambling even worse sad
and the poorer, more vulnerable people, and more importantly, their families- are suffering the consequences.

What do you think?

ninathenana Mon 03-Aug-15 23:40:03

DH's BiL has a gambling problem. MiL had to bail them out on more than one occasion.
It's an addiction in some that can destroy families. I have no answers though.

absent Tue 04-Aug-15 00:26:54

In recognition of the extensive problem with gambling in the UK, the government introduced a national lottery.

KatyK Tue 04-Aug-15 10:13:25

My father-in-law had a serious gambling problem. DH, his mum and his sister always lived in back rooms of other people's houses, never owned a home of their own due to this problem. This was in the 1940s and 50s. DH said it was humiliating.

vegasmags Tue 04-Aug-15 10:46:26

I think that the growth of online gambling has exacerbated addiction. It can be carried out in private, unknown to family and friends. I am astonished by the number of TV adverts promoting this activity, and wonder if they shouldn't be more strongly regulated.

The situation in the USA is very complicated, because different states take differing views, but it is much harder to gamble online because of credit card regulations which are absent here.

MiniMouse Tue 04-Aug-15 10:59:39

vegasmags I echo your comments about the TV adverts. There seem to be more and more of them, especially afternoon TV. I often record afternoon programmes and when I whizz through later to avoid the ads, I am still able to quickly glimpse how many gambling ads there are. I'm also rather horrified that there are 'well known celebs' doing the advert - they should be ashamed of themselves (imho) angry

HildaW Tue 04-Aug-15 11:15:33

I loathe the idea of gambling....the advertising of it that normalises it as an innocent fun pastime is beyond me. Its not a hobby or something to do for fun. Buying a raffle ticket at a fundraising event, physically going to play Bingo with a group of friend, a girly day out at the races are different - they are social occasions to be enjoyed. But sitting home alone on the laptop - being made to believe you are somehow part of a community having fun, is a dangerous slippery slope that is fraught with potential dangers.

janerowena Tue 04-Aug-15 11:21:12

A Uni flatmate of DS's had to leave last year, he had gambled away all his student loan on a football betting online game. He had done it once, thinking to make a bit of money to subsidise his income, and won quite a bit. He became hooked and lost the lot. Very sad.

The worst thing was - this shouldn't make me laugh, but it does grin - he was doing Business studies!

granjura Tue 04-Aug-15 11:32:57

Well my aversion to gambling goes a long way. My favourite cousin did 2 years in prison in the early 60s. He worked at the Post Office, and was about to get married. he wanted his bride to have a super wedding- and 'borrowed' a bit of money from the till to gamble on the horses, planning to pu that sum back in the till before it was noticed, and he lost. So 'borrowed' a bit more to pay back and lost again. Before he knew what had hit him- he was down a lot of money and was caught. His fiancée stuck by him, and they had a very simple wedding when he came out of prison, and he never gambled again- but it was so sad, because they were such nice people, and he such a wonderful guy.

Someone in OH's family gambled very badly in the 50s- and even bought part of a horse with a syndicate, which was a disaster- at a time there was no food on the table for the children. Again- a tragedy.

Gambling is worse than drugs in many ways- and i just cannot understand why the GVT in the UK is allowing such a hold on the High Streets and the Internet. I know some of you get really cross with me when I point out that it is a very specific UK problem- but it is. Have you ever seen gambling shops in France or Germany, or Italy- or anywhere else in Europe?

MiniMouse Tue 04-Aug-15 11:38:08

gj That's interesting about it being UK specific. I'd never realised that there were no gambling shops in Europe - I suppose I've never noticed because it's not something I'd be looking out for!

Is that because they're illegal or simply that they have a different cultural approach to gambling?

Nelliemoser Tue 04-Aug-15 11:46:00

I suspect the answer to why the UK government allow such a proliference of gambling venues on and off line is probably this.

We have a crisis waiting to happen here.

MiniMouse Tue 04-Aug-15 12:03:22

I suspect you're right Nelliem angry How much does it cost to sort out the lives of addicted gamblers - benefits, therapy, rehousing because they can't pay mortgage etc etc? It seems a tad counterintuitive hmm

granjura Tue 04-Aug-15 12:19:35

it seems so many people on benefits and in need of housing are so due to debts getting out of hand, and gambling often being the cause. Tragic for all involved, and very expensive for the tax payer as you say- and society as a whole, not just financially.

nightowl Tue 04-Aug-15 12:42:31

A pertinent point about the national lottery absent. I think that, and scratchcards are a blight on many lives and on local shops. They have normalised gambling as something to be done on a daily and very casual basis.

Anne58 Tue 04-Aug-15 15:50:22

For quite some years I have had a William Hill on-line account. I put £10 in it in May 2014, popped another £10 in the early part of this year (February or March) ans still have about £2.70 in it.

I will sometimes do a couple of bets twice a week or so, sometimes not bother for about a month.

My bets consist of 10p each way, so each bet costs me 20p. I only do the horse racing, and thoroughly enjoy studying form or following certain horses. Sometimes my 20p stake will return around £2 or so, sometimes nothing. Even when I do have a "good" win, and people say "bet you wish you'd done it for £20 each way!" no, I don't ! I'm quite happy with the way I do it, and if I lose 20p, it's not the end of the world. I do understand that there are some people who would not be able to control it, but fortunately I can.

I agree about the scratch cards, when I was working in Bideford and used to go into Morrisons at 8.30 to get a newspaper, there were people handing over handfuls of them, getting their winnings and promptly spending the lot on another batch.

Yes, gambling is a problem for some people, but not all, just as there are those who can enjoy a glass of wine without drinking the whole bottle.

rosesarered Tue 04-Aug-15 15:55:13

I agree Phoenix.Betting shops have been around for a long time in the UK, don't know the figures for people who gamble their lives away but suspect it is small.

rosesarered Tue 04-Aug-15 15:57:56

Having a small bet used to bring enjoyment for the working man here, certainly my Grandfather enjoyed it, and of course you can have a bet at the racing as well, which we used to do ' down at the dogs ' in Walthamstow.

rosesarered Tue 04-Aug-15 16:00:14

There will always be people who get addicted to something, it used to be more 'the drink' than anything else.
I think credit cards for the young are more of a problem.

MiniMouse Tue 04-Aug-15 16:16:34

It's true that betting shops and gambling have been around for donkey's years, but it's the advertising on TV that's glamourising it, plus the 24 hour accessibility that worries me.

petra Tue 04-Aug-15 17:27:32

Roses. Loved Walthamstow stadium. We had a few dogs racing there.

rosesarered Tue 04-Aug-15 17:30:23

Really Petra, you mean dogs that you owned?Yes, it was quite exciting, not that I won very often , I liked the atmosphere though .

Maggiemaybe Tue 04-Aug-15 17:52:24

I enjoy a bet too, phoenix, and have an online account. My bets are larger than yours, but less frequent - I bet on the big events such as the National, Derby, Gold Cup, and on silly things like a royal baby's name. I won £150 by guessing the designer of the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress, and my stake came from my winnings from the Grand National, when I went for Comply or Die as I was being audited at the time grin. I love the occasional trip to the races too, but go with a spending budget that's no more than I can afford to lose.

For most of us a little gamble is a harmless pleasure, and your analogy of a glass of wine or a full bottle is a good one.

But I share the concern that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of adverts aimed at gamblers in recent years, and I do feel these should be restricted. I feel heart sorry for anyone connected to someone with a gambling problem. As a child I lived for a time in a working men's club, with a bookies in a little hut with blacked out windows in the back yard. There were known customers with real problems then, but it must be so much more difficult now that opportunities to gamble your wages away are so in your face.

feetlebaum Tue 04-Aug-15 18:31:20

I used to enjoy the odd casino session... as my boss, Madeline put it, 'always leave enough money in the car for petrol to get home'. The trick is to only use money you have already decided can be dedicated to the game. what a pro would consider his 'tools', and if you lose it all -- go home. If you win with it -- go home...! At the very least, if I won en plein at a roulette table, I would take the winnings and either leave or go to another table.

It was fun, but I haven't done it for many years...

petra Tue 04-Aug-15 18:53:05

Roses. Yes, we owned 6 dogs and the family had them as pets when they retired.
I was a croupier for a while. My late FIL made his living gambling. My MIL was a 'bookies runner' in her younger day.

Elegran Tue 04-Aug-15 18:53:51

I agree that gambling can be a most pernicious addiction - but I do hope that "More gambling bookies in the High Streets of the UK than shops now" was hyperbole for the sake of effect, and not meant as sober fact?