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AIBU - gambling is truly nasty and pernicious...

(39 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?

PRINTMISS Thu 06-Aug-15 09:35:23

My dad was a compulsive gambler, it was mum who brought the money in, because we lived with grans, aunts and uncles who could look after me. He was also a bookmakers clerk, a bookies runner, and at boxing matches would be one of the people who held up the number of the round at the beginning of a round. I spent many a night watching him and a group of his pals sitting at our kitchen table playing whatever it was they were playing and the money passing from one to the other - he would sometimes gamble his winnings on the horses on cards in the train home - He sometimes travelled by car, and on several occasions he would come running in throw the bookies equipment in the cellar and sit exhausted - something had obviously gone wrong, and they had done a runner. I would see him arrive home with a roll of notes in his pocket, some of which he would give my mum, the next day he would be broke. At the age of 55 he stopped smoking, cut back on the gambling and got a job, just like that, no idea why. His last journey on this earth was a visit to the bookies at the end of the road, he came home and died in the armchair. He was a lovely dad, gentle as a lamb with me and his grand-daughter, but he told my husband on the day we got married that if ever he harmed me he would set the gang on him, yes he was on the edge of the underworld as it was then. I never had a serious discussion with him, but he was still my dad. Sorry that is going on a bit!

nightowl Thu 06-Aug-15 08:29:24

I haven't heard that before feetlebaum but I can believe it. It often seems to go hand in hand with other addictions, in people who are in self-destruct mode.

feetlebaum Thu 06-Aug-15 07:50:26

@rosesarered - Agreed, pub machines are a complete waste of time and money, but I remember a gig on an American Air Force Base in Suffolk, where the band was generally broke, and I had a couple of quarters which I shoved into an old-fashioned one-armed bandit -- I ended up with enough to buy hot food for all six of us!

There is a theory that many gamblers, unknown to themselves, are playing to lose, almost as though seeking punishment in some way.

rosesarered Wed 05-Aug-15 09:44:53

Sorry to hear that Jane.

Jane10 Wed 05-Aug-15 09:41:23

I suspect that gambling is not confined to a few. In the past there was a stigma to being seen going into a betting shop. With online gambling available at everyone's fingertips online and normalised by scratch cards I think the numbers that we hear about are the tip of a pernicious iceberg. Of course I'm biased having seen at close hand (FiL) the awful blight it can be on peoples lives. I don't want to give details as I still find it upsetting.

numberplease Wed 05-Aug-15 00:12:16

Petra, that brings back memories when you say your mum was a "bookies runner". My mother and stepfather used to bet on the horses long before betting shops were legalised, and we had a bookies runner, a little hunchbacked fella known as "Little Johnny", come to our back door a couple of times a week. I sometimes got the job of handing him the screwed up bit of paper with the bet written on it and the money wrapped up in it.

Maggiemaybe Tue 04-Aug-15 22:57:41

No, that sounds bleak, and I have never put money into a pub fruit machine. But I did once put 5 dollars into a slot machine in Vegas and watch while it took over and played itself, with many bells and whistles, to 250 dollars, which I cashed in and spent on perfume on the plane home. Again, subject to the rule of never gambling what you can't afford to lose. Which sadly seems to be the missing link where compulsive gambling is concerned.

rosesarered Tue 04-Aug-15 22:02:38

I can never understand the mentality of pouring cash into a fruit machine in pubs and other places, what a waste of money.

rosesarered Tue 04-Aug-15 22:01:08

Petra, the job sounds rather glam.I love greyhounds as well,they are such gentle dogs, and are as wonderful to watch racing as horses.

vampirequeen Tue 04-Aug-15 19:17:55

Amongst his many addictions my ex was a gambler. It was bad enough when he had to go to bookies or use machines but internet gambling made it a million times worse. One night when I was in bed he used a new credit card (he'd got it without my knowledge) and maxed it out.......£10K!!!!!

granjura Tue 04-Aug-15 19:15:02

And from the Guardian last February:

Retail space equalling the size of the vast Westfield shopping centre in west London was converted to new uses last year, as the UK's high streets adapted to changing habits.

Traditional shop space in excess of 1.7m sq ft was lost in 2013 – an increase of more than 60% on 2012 – as betting shops, gyms, bars and restaurants moved into vacant retail premises, according to a report for the industry journal Estates Gazette.

Betting shops were the single most prolific type of new entrant, with 106 winning permission to open last year.

granjura Tue 04-Aug-15 18:57:44

Well yes, but it is getting close in parts of the UK:

'Local councillors say the street in Newham, east London, has more bookmakers than any other in the country - 18 in total - and 80 in the borough as a whole.'

petra Tue 04-Aug-15 18:56:35

Billy Walker was my boss when I worked in his casino. He was very generous with our uniforms, lovely long dresses, very glam, not like now. It was very much like a gentlemen's club.

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?

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.

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...

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.

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 .

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

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.