In my retirement I now have the luxury of being able to view the television screen at anytime I chose during the day and evening. I do not spend too long in front of the box but I am horrified to see an all too familiar disaster looming!
“What is this disaster?” I hear you ask.
One word … GAMBLING!
Gambling is a business, not a charity. No matter what the enticements, the proprietors are out to make money, not give it away. It would not make for a viable business if everyone won all the time.
Advertisement after unrelenting advertisement appears during the programme daytime and evening breaks, and even worse… with familiar actors promoting this shocking habit.
The (sorry!) idiots, who believe they are likely to become rich overnight by linking via their 3G/4G, phones, tablets and computers to the games (rigged to earn the promoter the most profit, and the punter the least), really do not know what kind of a trap they are falling into. They are easily led, like sheep, and are betting away their food, energy, or mortgage money. Once their money has gone, it has gone!
Why do you think all these advertisements are being permitted at (seemingly) any time of day?
I think the Government, after losing the tax benefit provided by the ever reducing cigarette market (especially the black market, now that smoking is actually recognised as the dangerous habit it is) is now looking for another mechanism to raise a few pounds. They cannot very well start to promote alcohol again, can they? Why are they (or Brussels) not bringing out another law relegating gambling advertisements to the late, late hours, if we must have them at all? Politicians cannot fail to be aware that such an addiction is as bad for one’s health as smoking and alcohol. With typical short term perspective on the real world, they seem to be smugly saying, “Let’s deal with the fallout later, after we’ve filled the coffers. We have to pay off the national debt somehow!”
The less well-informed or those who are easily led, and therefore more prone to addiction, will drown in the ocean of advertisements that seem to follow every programme. Then they will start to tap into the links, and believe the hype about pay £10 and play with £50, not realising that this is how they are meant to be sucked into the gambling habit. That is the sort of persuasion the gambling marketeers rely on to pull in the unwary.
Children watch the advertisements too. For goodness sake, MacDonalds cannot advertise to children directly to sell them a burger, but Casinos can place advertisements that can be seen by children! They have school holidays (in case you politicians have forgotten!). Gambling is being promoted amid glitz, stars and glorious trumpets, like sweets, and it looks an exciting thing to do online, on their phone, and not tell their mum (they have access to your bank details, parents, unless you hide them away) and they are perfectly capable of lying about their age online, who checks?
After watching those advertisements, gambling appears almost as benign as Byker Grove, (following which, the UK’s child population grew into little monsters at the age of eight years and stopped believing in Santa Claus), because they often believe what they see on the TV. They do not always understand what lies behind what they see on the screen.
The three main addictions, (as we all know) for which clinics have been set up throughout the UK and the rest of the so called civilised world, are alcohol, drugs, and gambling.
Are we, as responsible adults going to stand for this onslaught of gambling advertisements? Are we going to put up with another epidemic of addiction that will further fuel the already intolerable drug pushers and violent crime in this country?
What can You do?
Please email your local MP, and ask for gambling advertising on the television to be stopped, before some family member falls prey to this addiction. People who enjoy gambling (and can afford it) will find a casino without all the hype on television.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you feel as strongly as I do about gambling (never done it myself, but I have seen the misery it can inflict on families), you will understand why I wrote it.