Online gambling websites have made it much easier for people to gamble. It is no longer necessary to leave the home to put a bet on; it can be done from the comfort of the home. As a result, more and more people in the UK are suffering from gambling problems, with some developing addictions. Gambling addictions can cause untold financial hardships to families, as the person addicted will spend all available funds on feeding their habit. In many cases, loved ones do not realise the problem is as bad as it is until it is too late.
Crack Cocaine of Gambling
However addictive online gambling can be for some people, many experts believe it is fixed odds betting terminals that are the equivalent of crack cocaine in terms of how addictive they are. It is estimated that in the UK, £24 million was lost on gambling machines in 2014. A study revealed that in Surrey alone, almost £1.7 million was being wagered on betting machines every day in 2014.
The study was commissioned by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, with results suggesting that some bookmakers are deliberately targeting deprived areas in which unemployment is high. Some experts believe that the machines are extremely dangerous and can destroy people’s lives. The addictive nature of the machines means that once people begin playing them, they find it extremely difficult to stop.
Peter Davies, from Addiction Care, based in Guildford, said, “I don’t know a gambling addict who isn’t addicted to fixed-odds betting terminals, it is why these are called the ‘crack cocaine’ of betting.”
Users of fixed odds betting terminals can wager up to £100 per spin and many councils have called on the Government to enforce a maximum spin of £2. However, so far there are no plans for this. A shocking statistic from the Gambling Commission has found that almost 22 per cent of fixed odds betting terminal players are in either the ‘at risk’ or ‘problem gamblers’ category.
Devastation of a Gambling Addiction
A gambling addiction can wreak havoc on those affected and the people around them, as was highlighted in the case of Terry Childress, a person that stole almost £4.5 million from his employers and, in the process, tried to frame a number of colleagues as well as family members.
Childress’s web of deceit took place between 2007 and 2012, during which time he worked for two international property companies. He created fake invoices and falsified rental income receipts but tried to cover his tracks by using login details of colleagues at the firms he worked for. He also transferred cash to the accounts of friends and family members in a bid to throw the spotlight off himself.
The money he stole was used to feed his gambling addiction, and it was found that he was betting huge amounts of cash daily. His actions led to suspicions being cast on others, including his colleagues and his then fiancée. The father of one has now been sentenced to five years in prison, and he has split from his partner.
Help for Gambling Addiction
A gambling addiction is an illness, in the same way any other addiction is. In addition, as with all illnesses, addiction must be treated; in most cases, it requires professional intervention. It will not simply go away itself.
Addiction Helper is here to help those suffering from addiction by providing them with detailed information on the various treatment options available. We are also here to provide clients with referrals to appropriate treatment providers all over the UK. Our friendly team of advisors are waiting to take your call; anything you tell them will be dealt with in strict confidence. Call today for more information.
Sources: Get Surrey