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Betting shops

(24 Posts)
Riverwalk Sat 05-Jan-13 10:28:09

I'm quite staggered at the figures after reading this article

www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jan/04/fixed-odds-betting-terminals-poorest-communities

These high-speed, high-stakes machines are mainly in poor parts of Northern cities and the poorer parts of London.

I can't believe that 5.6 billion was bet on them in 2012 - surely this can't be correct?

One Manchester MP claims that 190 million was gambled in her area alone, more, she says, than the local council spends on services.

The gambling industry claim not to target these areas - I don't believe a word!

Grannyknot Sat 05-Jan-13 11:02:47

Those figures don't surprise me. I abhor betting shops - there are far too many of them on the high streets (well certainly on mine). On Boxing Day I trailed off for a lone walk through our very quiet town - but blow me down if the damn betting shop wasn't open with its usual clientele of people who look like they really can't afford to be gambling. The gambling industry eases its conscience in part (or maybe it's a quid pro quo situation) by funding the only NHS Gambling Addiction clinic in the country (in Soho). www.cnwl.nhs.uk/cnwl-national-problem-gambling-clinic/

MiceElf Sat 05-Jan-13 11:08:34

One of our local Councillors wrote to McConnells who have just opened up yet another one in a deprived part of our borough, and was then the recipient of a very abusive phone call from the son of the owner. Sadly, there is nothing local councils can do until the legislation is changed. And since they don't open up shop where the posh boys live, that's unlikely.

crimson Sat 05-Jan-13 11:36:19

People who bet tend to do so online so I'm afraid that these machines fund the shops. I do actually frequent them blush as I won't bet online [don't trust myself]. There are comments about this report on some of my horse racing forums so can only say that genuine racing people are aware of the problem and are discussing it. I'm also going to raise it with my racing club and people I know that work for bookmakers.

vampirequeen Sat 05-Jan-13 18:33:59

Internet gambling is the work of the devil. Well maybe not the devil but close lol. My ex lost £10K....yes TEN THOUSAND POUNDS...in one night online. I had to take out a bank loan to pay it off and I'm still paying it off even though I left him 6 years ago.

crimson Sat 05-Jan-13 18:46:35

That's why I won't have an account; I do know my own weaknesses and that would be one of them [I'm sure I have an addictive personality]. How awful for you vampirequeen and how unfair. Although I've always had tiny bets on the horses I think I'd be worried sick if my kids did the same, thinking it could be the slippery slope.

cheelu Sat 05-Jan-13 22:32:51

You can believe it as addicted gamblers get through thousands, my neighbours cousin had a gambling problem and he lost everything to it his family his business, aparantly his habit cost him over £300,000. Its terrible and the government will not do anything about due to the revenue obtained.

Nelliemoser Sat 05-Jan-13 23:33:25

VQ A very sound decision there to make him your ex after that. I am fortunate in that I have absolutely no desires towards gambling of any sort. I just cannot see the point. Its probably due to being an eternal pessimist!

cheelu Sun 06-Jan-13 00:26:38

Oh My God VQ I had someone in my family as well as a neighbors cousin that gambled and they both used to say that it was the devils money!!!

Oh what we do for love ay, it must be so hard to have to still be paying off the loan, but there is a seat for you in Heaven because you must be a very good person to take out a loan of that amount to help someone..what an idiot he must have been to take that chance on loosing such a good person...

vampirequeen Sun 06-Jan-13 09:23:22

I wasn't good, just controlled. It was quite an abusive relationship. I actually stayed for another 2 years....well he cried and promised never to do it again blahdy blahdy blah but of course he did. By the time I finally escaped I owed £30K. The upside is though that once I left the debt began to be paid off and there were no shocks (courtesy of him) which suddenly increased it.

Gambling should be much more controlled but it won't be because the government and the companies involved make so much money out of it.

Sbagran Sun 06-Jan-13 10:28:41

Bless you VQ my DH did the same about 30yrs ago - fortunately nowhere near the amount you reached but at the time it was immense with our then, already tight, financial situation. I had no idea at the time - found out by accident. I don't know how we got through but we did and are still together to this day.
The sad thing is that when someone does something like that to you trust is totally shattered and is extremely hard to rebuild. In my case there is still no trust deep down - day to day is 'ok' but in my heart of hearts the trust has completely gone.
We are in a lottery syndicate but that is ALL and it is well controlled (I see to that!) but it worried me when the 'weekly national lottery' first started - I said at the time it wouldn't stop at one draw per week and what do we now have - daily draws, thunderball, euromillions etc etc etc and as for all the on-line bingo sites being advertised constantly on the tv I really fear for the future of those poor souls who get caught and then addicted.

vampirequeen Sun 06-Jan-13 10:33:17

Those bingo sites are disgusting. Aimed at women....look at the fun you can have etc etc.

If I ever have a gravestone I'd like it to say 'She never bought a scratchcard'.

Grannyknot Sun 06-Jan-13 11:27:00

vpq that's funny, you and me both. I'm often surprised when I see people I'd least expect buying handfuls of scratch cards, I'm like nellie I just don't get gambling. This thread reminded me of a woman (neighbour) years ago, who said she put the 'dog tickets' as filling in her husband's sandwich one day. smile smile. I wonder whether he got the message?

crimson Sun 06-Jan-13 11:43:58

One win and you want to re create that feeling; releases endorphins I guess. And then you start chasing losers. It is like a drug. I'm just thankful that I am quite strong willed and am aware of my own demons.

glammanana Sun 06-Jan-13 11:52:54

I worry about ladies I see at our local outlets buying scratch cards on a daily basis popping outside to check if they have won anything then returning to buy more !! we are very fortunate to have a fantastic Post Office counter manager who will not serve these ladies if he notices that they are spending what he thinks is a lot on these cards,he shouldn't do as he is affecting his own business but I would class him as a responsible business man and not a jobsworth as one very cross lady called him when she was refused business.

Anne58 Sun 06-Jan-13 11:53:42

I think there are many different types of gamblers, from those who only do the lottery once a week, perhaps do the office Grand National sweepstake etc, to those who really have a problem and can't seem to control it. (I suppose in some ways it's the same as people's approach to alcohol.

I worked with a man in his late twenties who had a real problem, loved the "buzz", only felt it when betting quite large amounts etc. He ended up going to Gamblers Anonymous, did ok, but falls off the wagon occasionally.

I do have an on-line account, but haven't used it for ages. I'm the sort who is quite happy doing 50p each way bets, with a maximum of say, 3 bets a day, a couple of times a week. That way I used to get more fun for my money, if you know what I mean? The most money I have ever put on a horse was at Newton Abbot races, last race of the day, I had £20 left of my allocated money for the day, and put on £10 each way!!! (The horse was one of my favourite trainers, and it's name was Mr (our surname) so it had to be done! Luckily it did win, but I could barely watch!

However racing still forms the mainstay of our social life. Mr P & I meet up with 5 or 6 friends in the pub on Saturday lunchtimes for "Racing Club" We pick 6 televised races, everyone picks a horse and puts £1 in the kitty. After each race the winner gets the pot (if no one has picked the winner, then whoever has the highest placed horse in the first 3 gets the money. If no one is in the first three, it's a rollover!) There are strict rules, whoever won the last race becomes last to pick in the next race, sure fire favourites such as Frankel are taken out of contention and if there are (for example) 6 people playing and only 8 runners, then we draw cards so if you draw an ace, you are allocated horse number one on the racecard etc.

I am secretary and keep the record book, at the end of each month the league table results are announced, and at the end of the year Mr P produces a framed certificate for "Punter of the Year". We all really enjoy it, it does get very competitive but fun, and hasn't seemed to lead anyone astray so far. I have the record books going back to 2004.

With regard to the placing of betting shops, I do agree that they are often most concentrated in areas that seem to be suffering from job shortages and low pay.

I remember when I was travelling to see a client popping into a shopping centre somewhere in (I think) Cheshire. Half the shop units were empty, one of them had been taken over as a Jobcentre, yet within the mall there were 2 betting shops.

crimson Sun 06-Jan-13 12:10:34

The most I've ever put on a horse is £5 when I had an 'inside tip'. It pulled up. Never again. My main bets are 25 pence each way but I don't even have those now. I did have an 80/1 winner at Cheltenham one year [I think I'd put £1 on] and I used to get the winners of the flat staying handicaps on a regular basis at big odds but seem to have lost the knack of late so have been on a sabbatical. I do believe that 'beginners luck' is for real; how and why I'm not sure, but it's what sucks people in and it's a dangerous place to be. I always intend to do the lottery because [especially after the Olympics] I do think the money goes to good causes, and, when I do buy a ticket I have lovely daydreams of what I'll do with the money but, in general if I give money to a bookie I like to have used a bit of the grey matter in analysing why I'm placing that particular bet. Used to love checking formlines and past races until my computer didn't seem to have the capacity for viewing them [and oddschecker keeps crashing; I could gaze at oddschecker for hours seeing what's happening with the market. Oh phoenix; I do with wish I lived in your part of the world; I'd love your little club sad. Can I just say [light bulb going off over head] that this could be a weekly column/blog for you?

Grannyknot Sun 06-Jan-13 12:48:17

crimson you are what my mother would have called 'a tickey gambler' and it sounds very enjoyable. phoenix your club is great, I'd be there like a shot too if something like that was offered to me, sociable and fun! I had forgotten that we used to play Canasta (card game) and all players put money in the pot for each round and how excited my stepmum used to get when she knew she had the winning hand - she would stand up, push her chair back and dramatically throw each card down on the table. A "jackpot" or bonanza (depending on how long the game gad gone on for) was never more than may a tenner but what a lot of fun it was. I have a SIL who is addicted to gambling (her and her husband) on the horses so I guess that colours my perception. I've seen her be physically sick after a big loss.

crimson Sun 06-Jan-13 12:57:19

When I was no longer enjoying watching a race if I didn't win anything I realised it was time to stop. I only started analysing the races so that, when we went to a race meeting I would see the horses walk round the paddock and know everything about them [I'm still following one of them in retirement and a wonderful time he's having; it makes me so happy to see pictures of him]. Having studied them I then had to have a bet. Even then it was only small amounts. And, up until recently the Grand National was the easiest race in the year to get the winner of so I always did well on that day.

dorsetpennt Sun 06-Jan-13 13:32:09

vampirequeen how brave you are to face up to your problem , I'm full of admiration for people who do. I am very anti gambling because of this sort of thing. I am always horrified by the sight of elderly pensioners buying reams of scratch cards and lottery tickets with their pension money. Gambling preys on peoples' greed or false expectations. On line gambling is very sly as the gambler isn't handing over actual cash but just keeps pressing his enter key to carry on gambling. Before he/she knows it they have racked up an enormous amount of money.
My son plays Poker with a group of friends and I was a bit worried for a while that he might end up losing vast amounts of cash. However, on discussing this he has assured me [with wifely up] that he takes a certain amount of cash with him - once it's gone that's the end of the game for him. He also hosts some games at home, so he isn't in a club, they really are just friendly games.

crimson Sun 06-Jan-13 13:38:35

And poker, again, uses up the brain cells so it's not just throwing money into a machine.

Anne58 Sun 06-Jan-13 17:03:25

I have to say, we really do enjoy our Racing Club, and if you could get one going in your local, then go for it!

When Mr P and I first got together, his local started something similar, but were concerned that it may have contravened some legislation, so theirs was all done on a points system, with no money changing hands, seemed to work just as well in it's own way.

The colleague that I mentioned before, who had a real problem, he & I used to have a competition for the Cheltenham Festival. We would pick a horse for each race, 3 points for a win, 2 for a second and 3 for a third. At the end of the meeting, we would tally up the scores and the loser would have to buy the winner a choux bun!

dorset your son's attitude sounds like the one I adopted when going to auctions (furniture & general stuff type). I would only take cash, no cheque book or card, and only what I could afford to come home without.

I apply the same thing to a day at the races, we change our coin collection at the bank, and whether that is £80 or £30, that is our stake money for the day. (We don't go very often, seeing as it's only Exeter or Newton Abbott within a sensible distance, so maybe only about 4 to 5 times a year at most, sadly)

vampirequeen Sun 06-Jan-13 18:10:50

I like the idea of the racing club. Although it's technically gambling, it's more like a bit of fun between friends. When the races are over that's it until the next time.

Scratch cards are designed to make you feel as if you can win. Apparently if you get a series of cards that are almost winners you start to feel as if you're about to win so buy more cards. Of course each card has the same chance but that's not how you feel.

It's like when my ex used to pump money into machines. He would say he had to stay on because he'd put so much money in that the next coin could be the winner and he couldn't bear the thought that the next person would win 'his' jackpot on their first coin.

Anne58 Sun 06-Jan-13 19:51:38

VQ I think you are right re both machines and scratch cards, there may always be that feeling that the next one will be the winning one.

Our Racing Club is a lot of fun, we all enjoy it, and we stick at £1 per race. Although, sometimes when it is a rollover, we do put in again, just imagine the heady delight of being in with a chance of winning £12!!!!