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Being A Gambling Addict Is A Tough & Lonely Existence

November 2016

Being A Gambling Addict Is A Tough & Lonely Existence

When I was a youngster – gambling was something which happened behind closed doors. On the way home from school I used to walk past a betting shop/bookmaker. At that time, they used to describe themselves as “Turf Accountants”. I don’t think they were even doing so tongue in cheek! Never the less it used to make me wonder what mysterious things happened within the shop. The windows were blacked out and even when the door was left open in the summer – a curtain of beads kept the interior of the betting shop obscured from view.

The football pools and the bingo seemed like harmless pursuits.

Of course in those days (I was born in the 1960s) there was gambling at horse and dog racing tracks but that was about it. There was also Bingo and the football pools – which although they were both clearly examples of gambling – were more of a social and fun pursuit rather than a serious gambling activity – although no doubt there might have been a few people who got sucked in too deep.

And then of course there were casinos where, if you wanted to play the tables, you had to be a member.

The betting industry bombard our kids with advertising priming them for the day they have their first bet.

How times have changed. You only need to watch TV adverts in the evening to see how aggressive and persuasive the betting companies have become. You can’t watch a football match without being bombarded with adverts tempting you to bet on the next goal scorer and online gambling has become quite frightening in its ability to target the young and the vulnerable in order to part them from their money.

It wasn’t just the high-end high street casinos that sprung up everywhere – with the need for membership waived away – but also online casinos offering everything from poker to roulette. Late night TV programs doing the same. Bingo moved from being a bit of fun in a bingo hall or the daily newspapers in the 1980s to being a seriously addictive online experience more recently.

Fixed odd betting terminals (FOBTs) in betting shops have been described as being as addictive as crack cocaine.

Government sponsored addiction raises hundreds of millions in stealth taxes.

The national lottery was launched in the UK and immediately whetted a generation’s appetite for gambling. Although most people stuck to spending a pound here and a pound there – many poor souls began frittering away more and more of their hard-earned money on the ’14 million to one’ chance of hitting the jackpot. Apparently the odds are even worse than that these days.

Those with gambling problems were preyed upon and exploited by relaxed gambling laws and a gambling industry that saw nothing wrong with bleeding their customers dry.

The victims of the gambling industry are easy prey – it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Scratch cards were suddenly available everywhere from petrol stations to newsagents. Can you imagine what it must be like to live in the current day as someone with a serious gambling problem? It’s like running a gauntlet of online adverts, TV adverts, newspaper adverts, scratch card displays, and even going to a football match you have to walk past bookmaker’s kiosks to go to the bathroom or the bar. There really is no escape.

To see someone you care about being destroyed by gambling addiction is an awful horror.

It was against this backdrop that we were compelled to apply Allen Carr’s Easyway method to the issue of problem gambling. A friend of mine who had lurched from one financial crisis to another appeared to have lost everything; his house, his wife, and his kids as a result of a gambling problem.

He was tens of thousands of pounds in debt for the third or fourth consecutive year. I wanted to help him – so I looked online and found very little help on offer. I contacted Gamblers Anonymous but one conversation with the person I got through to made it clear that there was not really the kind of help that was needed there. I’m sure that organisation has done wonderful things for some – but I honestly found the kind of help that was available to be entirely lacking.

And so it was a labour of love that had us embark on a project to apply Allen Carr’s Easyway method to the issue of gambling. A whole host of thank you letters from all over the world and five star reviews on Amazon indicate that the project was a stunning success.

At last there’s something that can really help someone who is caught in the grip of gambling addiction.

 

Read more about ‘How to Quit Gambling’

#StopGambling #QuitGambling #BeAddictionFree #AllenCarr

From the desk of John Dicey, Worldwide CEO & Senior Facilitator, Allen Carr’s Easyway

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