Many people die each year of gambling-related causes in the UK. This much is not only true but is the driving force behind this post. I’ve not lost anyone but I’m grateful that no-one lost me. Or maybe they did when I was lost in the fog. Who knows? But let’s get back looking forward.
We also have an increasing number of disordered gamblers. There is no report from any source that will shift that view. How can anyone tell me how many disordered gamblers there are when most, if not all, spend most of their time lying about it? If I’m not telling those closest to me my best kept secrets, then I’m hardly going to tell a stranger from Ipsos Mori or whoever else is feeding the Gambling Commission with pointless answers. You can just imagine…
“We asked 100 people, do you have a gambling disorder?”
So if we take the mythical figure of 2.7%. That’s the number of problem gamblers in the UK according to UKGov. Or the even more laughable 0.7% concocted by the Gambling Commission. (that’s the one that allows everyone in the industry to tell us the problem isn’t getting worse). Take whatever one you want and let’s see how many more there might be.
Let’s take the UKGov survey commissioned by our ‘trusted’ friends at Gambleaware. 16000 people took part in the survey and let’s assume they were all of adult age. That’s 0.4% of the UK adult population of around 44m. 99.6% of the adult population weren’t asked. I wasn’t and I don’t know anyone else who was. And if was…I wouldn’t be sharing
Best we just agree there’s a bigger problem than there was. How much bigger is anyone’s guess but to suggest otherwise is a blatant attempt by the usual suspects to maintain the status quo. To say they welcome the Gambling Act review as long as it’s evidence-based is akin to me saying I look forward to the Police coming round but not before I’ve burgled a few more of my neighbours
I’m afraid the only evidence anyone needs to see is the tsunami of public opinion moving towards positive change (even Gary Lineker is on board) and the carnage the betting industry have presided over since that warmongering sap Blair made it open season for gambling shithousery for his pals. Both here and overseas…
So despite all of the efforts, evidence, podcasts, blogs, the UK has not yet taken a public health approach to disordered gambling. Why not? I’ve tried to understand and I can only conclude that the policy makers have actually bought into the idea that there aren’t enough people presenting disordered gambling symptoms, therefore they can’t justify funding. Or they, like many, see disordered gamblers as somehow down the pecking order of those needing attention. Either way, this needs to change
I read earlier that in Switzerland, they used to have over 1000 drug deaths a year. They applied a health led approach over using the criminal justice system and now drug deaths are rare. There is the opportunity for the UK to do likewise…and they can apply the same treatment to gambling. No more surveys. No more research. No more taking about the problem. It’s time for solutions and the longer we wait, the more people will lose…and in the worse cases, a lot more than money.
Anyway I’m off down the black market with my imaginary pals. Til the next time…stay safe and don’t talk to strangers