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Have we turned into a nation of gamblers?

Only 20 years ago one either went to bingo or the bookies. Casinos were very few and far between and only for rich people late in the night. Then the gaming revolution happened. It might have had something to do with the telecommunication revolution come to think of it.

But has the availability of ways to gamble turned us into a nation of gamblers, or has it something to do with the persuasive nature of the media.

How many game shows do we have on tv today compared with say 20 years ago. Rather a lot. Not only that but you can now play poker and bingo alongside many other games online. There are thousands of paying games on the internet and tv has become interactive. Press the red button and play, we will add your charges onto your bill at the end of the month, simples. People have run up huge bills through playing games and then we have the National Lottery.

When the National Lottery was first devised it was cleverly set up, so that people chose numbers and henceforth were afraid not to do those numbers in case they came up. With the football pools, at least there was some sort of studying form to contend with, the same as people looked at the form on horses and dogs;  some judgment was involved. However one cannot look at the form of numbers, only the frequency with which numbers came up. Not much studying there as that is all done for you by the media. No you are not being offered a game which needs any skill; the only need is to hand over your money.

Once again, like the Town Halls, all the people are paying for is to support a system designed to make the man on the street pay for it. With the carrot dangling in front of all your  noses that someone, it could be you, in the bat of an eyelid, can become a millionaire. That is the big draw with the game show, become a millionaire, it is so easy. People pay to vote for their favourite act on game shows and pay through their telephone bills for the prizes and massive profits just  in case they should Win! Win! Win!

The only hope for a lot of people is to win money and so they Gamble! Gamble! Gamble!

Gambling in all its forms, (we all know there are too many forms of gambling confronting people today), is designed to make a business out of the misery of people, just so one can win, but thousands, millions all lose every time. Goods are traded on gambling sites designed to make people gamble on winning an object of desire only for one person to walk off with the prize while others pay and receive nothing.

Why do people not want a life today where they earn the money to give themselves a comfortable lifestyle. No! The media entices them to get a better car, a better phone, a better house and to gamble for it all. People want instant riches; gambling fever has got them in its clutches. The great pity is that those who can least afford to gamble are the more desperate to gain riches and so gamble more than those who could afford to.

Do the people who entice you to gamble care where their money comes from? Not at all, all money is money, there are no scruples; no ethics, only get rich quick schemes which cost the poor dearly.

Should there be regulation, yes, most definitely. Should we have the number of betting shops and game shows and internet gambling facilities we have? No, most definitely.

Yet we see licenses given out like sweets by our local authorities and government. It is a free society they tell us. But it is not free, it costs every man woman or child who hands over their money, costs them dearly and they are trapped in scratching cards, fuelling slot machines, playing bingo and choosing lucky numbers. Others sit at computers losing money at bingo, poker and goodness knows what else.

We have a Government who gambles with the lives of people with the free markets they promote. There should be regulation on pornography and there should be regulation on gambling. Sometimes you have to look at the cost of suffering addiction is causing, not the money it generates.

Do we have gambling addicts in Wales?


Gambling addicts 'should receive specialist treatment from NHS in Wales'

9 Apr 2013

Designated clinic needed to treat the estimated 24,000 people in Wales addicted to gambling

A world-renowned expert on problem gambling is calling on the Welsh Government to  fund specialist care to treat addicts on the NHS.

…………….. According to the National Gambling Prevalence Survey conducted in 2010, an estimated  24,000 people in Wales are addicted to gambling.

Dr Bowden-Jones is head of  the National Problem Gambling Clinic in Soho, central London –  currently the only NHS-funded clinic of its kind in the UK…………..

………..“The Welsh Government  should set up a clinic in Wales to  deal with people who are pathological gamblers,” she said………….

………… The expert’s calls have been  echoed by Newport West MP  Paul Flynn.

“I believe that the success of the London clinic is the way  ahead for us in Wales,” said Mr  Flynn.

“Several constituents have  come to me with terrible problems because of gambling.  There’s an alarming increase as  well, and it’s so easy to gamble  at home now, on the internet or  on the phone. It’s something  which needs to be taken very  seriously – in the same way as  drug or alcohol addiction.”…………………….

…………. But in a statement a Welsh  Government spokesman said:  “The Welsh Government is  aware of the distress problem  gambling can cause a person  and his or her family. People  with pathological gambling addiction may consult their GP for  advice and recommendations  for appropriate support, which  in some cases can be provided  by specialist addiction nurses,  counsellors or psychiatrists.”

Currently four early intervention pilot projects, aimed at  helping problem gamblers, are  funded in Wales – in Cardiff,  Newport, Merthyr and Swansea.  The projects have been financed for three years by a grant  from the Responsible Gambling  Trust, which distributes money  contributed by betting companies. All four projects are run on a  part-time basis.

Karen Ozzati, from the West Glamorgan Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, which runs  the Swansea project, hopes  more resources will be made  available on a long-term basis to  help people with gambling  problems.

“Very often the problem is  greater in the poorer areas,  where people can least afford  it,” she said. “It’s a hidden addiction – unlike alcohol and  drug problems. There are no  physical signs, but its effects are  just as devastating.”


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