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Panorama - Gambling

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Messages: 1 - 12 of 12
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Jason (U15492025) on Monday, 5th November 2012

    This was a really good half hour but more programs highlighting the ever growing problem of Compulsive Gambling needs aired. I had to return from the UK to Ireland to get the proper treatment in a rehab centre. That was 3 years ago and I have never gambled since. Gambling is as addictive as alcohol or drugs and needs recognised in rehab centres in the UK and treated the same as any other addiction. Whiteoaks Rehab Centre in Donegal saved my life! My heart goes out to those featured in this programme.

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by karen (U15492462) on Tuesday, 6th November 2012

    I think the reporting of this area could have gone further. More investigation could have looked at the opening hours- due to be extended to midnight- of the betting shops, which will contribute to the increase in addiction in the long run. This in turn will have an impact to the staff.
    How can staff deal with problems of any kind when single manning?
    If staff do a 13 hour shift more than one day a week be alert to potential problems?
    And hour can they feel free to report incidents when the threat of dismissal hangs over them (this is why the managers of the shops where not identified)
    The people at fault for this rising problem quite simply is the betting shop owners, the Gambling Commission and ultimately the Government who have passed the laws to allow extended gambling hours and access.

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Peta (U24) on Tuesday, 6th November 2012


    I'm glad you found the programme informative Jason.

    Did anyone else watch?

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Jan-Ann (U14322193) on Tuesday, 6th November 2012

    Yes. Channel 4 put on a similar programme as well.

    C4 mentioned the details of how so many of these shops are opening so close together. I can't remember the what and whys but these shops can be likened to the pawn shops, or Wonga, preying on the vulnerable at the time they are weakest for a tasty profit.

    The usual answer from all in charge is that we all have to take responsiblity for ourselves, but some unfortunate people are not able to do that, like the lad with Aspergers'. Plus the banker showed it can happen to the smartest of people and gets out of control.

    Stay away period.

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by milly (U15492667) on Tuesday, 6th November 2012

    I missed this , was there any mention of the 'scratch card culture' or indeed any of the bingo sponsorship used in our much loved soaps? If I'm wrong then I stand corrected

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by olicana_man (U14156932) on Wednesday, 7th November 2012

    And who made gambling addiction worse - the government with the National Lottery, the legislation of adverts, etc.

    Big business always gets what it asks for without consideration to social consequences. Leave it for someone else to tidy up the addicts.

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  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by MCrawford (U14684488) on Thursday, 8th November 2012

    A Labour government at that. I am sure the founding members of the party are turning in their graves. Gambling is far removed from their original aspirations of improving the lot of poor people with educaiton and self betterment.

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  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by heterodox (U14291406) on Thursday, 8th November 2012

    'The people at fault for this rising problem quite simply is the betting shop owners, the Gambling Commission and ultimately the Government who have passed the laws to allow extended gambling hours and access.'

    I don't agree.
    There were irresponsible gamblers in this country before betting-shops were established and when street gambling was illegal. The law was flouted by street bookmakers and games like pitch-and-toss.
    The law was introduced to try to gain some control and to alleviate, as far as is possible, the distress caused to families by gambling. The fact that irresponsible behaviour cannot be entirely eradicated by Government, or any other agency, is not their fault but is the fault of those who don't act responsibly.
    Drug users, whether the drug is alcohol, tobacco or something else, and now gamblers want to cry 'victim' and then blame someone else for their problems.
    Won't do.

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  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Chelle (U3043549) on Thursday, 8th November 2012

    I agree that people should take personal responsibility for their actions, but local councils should put restrictions on how many and how close together betting shops can open and try to promote businesses that don't make an area look rubbish.

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  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by olderoses (U13772065) on Thursday, 8th November 2012

    'The people at fault for this rising problem quite simply is the betting shop owners, the Gambling Commission and ultimately the Government who have passed the laws to allow extended gambling hours and access.'

    I don't agree.
    There were irresponsible gamblers in this country before betting-shops were established and when street gambling was illegal. The law was flouted by street bookmakers and games like pitch-and-toss.
    The law was introduced to try to gain some control and to alleviate, as far as is possible, the distress caused to families by gambling. The fact that irresponsible behaviour cannot be entirely eradicated by Government, or any other agency, is not their fault but is the fault of those who don't act responsibly.
    Drug users, whether the drug is alcohol, tobacco or something else, and now gamblers want to cry 'victim' and then blame someone else for their problems.
    Won't do.  
    I agree. A gambler will bet on anything... two flies climbing up a wall. Which one will reach the top?

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  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by MCrawford (U14684488) on Saturday, 10th November 2012

    I had a most surreal experience near Brisbane in Australia when going to what looked like an ordinary restaurant for Saturday lunch. After passing by an enormous row of one armed bandits, all in use, we finally got to the restaurant. After ordering our food I noticed that not one person at the tables around us, adults and children, was talking to anyone else. They were glued to the TVs all around which were showing horse racing and other sports on which these people had put bets. We cancelled our order and left, it was a downright creepy atmosphere.

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  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Colt Seavers (U15471640) on Monday, 12th November 2012

    Speaking as someone who has both worked in the betting industry (as manager of a town centre betting shop) and also someone who enjoys gambling as social recreation, I was incredibly disappointed with this report. It's an issue that clearly needed more than the 30mins dedicated to it and seemed to merely scratch the surface & deliver a very one-sided view.

    I have great sympathy with all the individual cases shown, but I felt that the tone of the programme seemed to lay the blame for the problems experienced by these people & others, squarely with the betting industry.

    I understand that there is some obligation on staff to identify & approach "problem gamblers" but take a second to think just how workable this is. The show opened with hidden camera footage of people attacking fixed odds betting machines. How kindly would these individuals have taken to a member of staff approaching them suggesting that maybe they'd spent enough or asking if they may have a gambling problem?

    It's very different to someone who is drunk being refused service at a bar. It's obvious these individuals are drunk, and if they move on to another bar, they should be refused service again. Someone who gets turned away from a bookies, can freely walk down the road to another establishment.

    The individual stories featured were again, not given the time they deserved. Firstly, the lady who had recently suffered the loss of a child and began staying on after her regular bingo session to play the slot machines. It was suggested that staff knew she had a problem & should've approached her about it. Instead, they offer people playing the machines cups of tea free of charge to encourage them to stay. This lady had clearly suffered a terrible loss & clearly needed professional help to deal with what had happened. To think someone who works in the bingo hall should approach her "addiction" seems somewhat inappropriate. As for free tea, if only it was that easy for any shop on the high street to get people to stay!

    The chap who had Asperger Syndrome seemed to suggest the number of betting shops open to him was the cause of his gambling issues. I agree, the number of betting shops does appear to be on the increase. If we are to restrict this in some way, then surely we need to do the same with pubs, fast food outlets & pawn-brokers which also appear to still be quite plentiful on the high street. I'm sure these cause far more long term issues than the bookies do. This case study also raises questions about the care this chap receives. He lives in a sheltered housing complex but is stated to have a gambling addiction, was visibly overweight & also shown smoking in the film, all of these issues will impact on his health but only gambling highlighted here. If he was treated differently by betting office staff then there would soon be suggestions of discrimination.

    Finally the chap who had realised he had a problem, went to his Doctor & was referred to a Psychiatrist. He visited the Psychiatrist 3 times but felt she didn't understand him so didn't go back again. Did he go back to his Doctor? Was the Psychiatrist asked if she understood or needed further training to understand gambling addiction?

    The use of celebrities advertising betting websites & gambling opportunities was also criticised. The BBC screens the National Lottery draws, gets a celeb to front the show, gets celeb guests to appear on the show, gets celebs to start the draw & has a "voice of the balls" character to do the voice over! For some reason the Lottery is rarely seen in the same way as having a flutter on the horses.

    All of the mainstream gambling websites promote responsible gambling & give guidance on what to do if you think you have a problem. I could be wrong but I don't remember this being mentioned on the show.

    We can't expect the staff working in betting shops, bingo halls, pubs, newsagents or anywhere else where gambling is possible, to approach people they think may have an issue. Do we ask someone working in a chip shop to suggest to an overweight person that they've clearly had enough fish suppers? Do we expect a newsagent to refuse cigarettes to someone with cancer? Do we expect a supermarket worker to tell a family that the weekly shop at the checkout isn't healthy enough?

    The one good point I felt the show made was the lack of specialist care available for people with gambling addictions, only 1 specialist centre in the UK. This is the area that I feel the show should've focussed on.

    Betting is an over 18's environment. Adults have to be responsible for their own behaviour & be bold enough to seek help when realising they have a problem (a course of action I took when experiencing my own issues). If people are easily swayed by flashing lights, Ray Winstone, or free tea then I think it's likely that professional help should be sought.

    Ultimately it's called "gambling", there is no certainty. The machines have an advertised percentage payout.

    Gambling can be enjoyed socially. A night at the Casino or a day at the races can both be hugely enjoyable experiences.

    I found it disappointing that Panorama put forward such an imbalanced article & the BBC felt 30mins was enough to devote to what is clearly a serious issue. For me, a real opportunity missed.

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