Gambling Watch UK is a new organisation and an early task is to decide on a small number of campaigns to focus our efforts on. Below are listed a few possibilities. If you would like to comment on any of these ideas or would like to pledge your support for Gambling Watch UK, please get in touch via the contact page.

1. Campaign for official and public recognition that gambling creates problems that are properly seen as public health problems and that consequently the Department of Health should be one of the lead government departments concerned with gambling.

2. Support the campaign for local governments to have the power to limit the number of gambling venues in their areas. Gambling Watch UK supports the High Streets First Campaign - see UK News.

3. Challenge a number of current gambling advertisements on the grounds that they contravene principles of consumer protection or the requirement to protect children and young people, and more generally to call into question the role of advertising in promoting gambling, particularly at hours and on media seen by children.

4. Campaign for the removal of Fixed Odds Betting Machines (B2 machines) from high street betting shops.

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  • A chav Permalink

    I've unfortunately lost many friends to this disease...
    And seen the havoc and misery inflicted on their families and children.
    They were all adults and made adult choices by walking in to the BOOKIES or CASINOS. (Rightly or wrongly)
    You need to be 18 to do this.
    My children are NOT 18 - and cannot enter a bookie or casino.
    Why are they allowed to ENTER MY HOME without my PERMISSION.
    Why have they been given permission to come in to my home, trying sell me a VICE and trying to normalise it to my kids.
    We just wanna watch sport - we love sport.
    Luckily I have no interest in gambling and never will.
    But I hate it because of what I've seen.
    This can't be right and someone needs to stop this.
    Ray Winston you were cool once - can't stand you now mate P RICK

    about 1 year ago
  • Normal kid Permalink

    When I was 16 I worked at a fast food restaurant. I was good at it and successful. However, when I got paid I would habitually take a large chunk of my pay and put it into fruit machines. This went on for about a year. Following that for about the next 5-10 years I would occasionally play the machines, sometimes regularly, losing up to half my pay.

    Years later I never touch a fruit machine; I am genuinely not interested. I have taken on the notion that I could easily earn more than what a machine ever could/would pay out just by doing a bit of overtime or bettering myself - this helped break the cycle of addiction for me; I realised I didn’t need the machine which had lied to me telling me I could be rich if I won that jackpot- with a repeater chance!! RUBBISH!!!!!

    Years on I have become successful in business, and have worked very hard to do so. I do often look back at the huge amount of wasted time (years) and money (thousands/>50% of my income) which drained me of all self esteem and inspiration to go somewhere and do something with my life.

    Breaking the cycle is hard, but so empowering when you do. Don’t regret your failures - they’re done; don’t be embarrassed or ashamed but seek help and work with others as a support. Then turn your disappointment into a drive to succeed in life and you probably will. Accept you have lost this one, but you have gained a won a painful and valuable lesson that can help yourself and other people.

    I say all this as I am disappointed and concerned with the quantity of betting shops in areas that seem to capitalise on those who may be more vulnerable to them, where gambling may be more common and culturally acceptable, coupled with less means, drawing these people in and destroying their lives. The betting banners at football grounds and adverts on TV. Legislation that allowed this growth, and the advertising to drive it, was a grave mistake and needs reversing.

    There’s one winner of a fruit machine, a casino, a betting shop, and that is the owner. If you’re a player or a prospective player attracted by the fake flashing lights, then just walk away and find help and support.

    about 1 year ago
  • Luca Permalink

    According to a report in The Telegraph, William Hill expects to take an annual hit of up to £100 million ($135 million) to its profits, Gaming Business » FOBT Maximum Bet Cut From £100 to £2 by UK Government

    FOBT Maximum Bet Cut From £100 to £2 by UK Government
    Bookmakers in the United Kingdom woke up to a worst-case scenario on Thursday, as government officials announced that they would impose a £2 ($2.70) maximum bet on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT).

    about 1 year ago
  • Jo Turner Permalink

    As a parent who has just found out her son has a gambling addiction and I am devistated.
    I was naive to the pull of so called free gambling apps that entice children in with virtual wins. Children then get jobs and have real money and this is how it starts.
    More needs to be done in education of parents and children of the horrors of gambling. My son doesn’t come from a well off home but wanted to have more money like his friends did. Thus the problem began.
    Phone apps are the worst for young people and are not properly regulated
    As So to safe guard them.
    My child is now of age and has stopped ? but he is still hounded by betting companies trying to entice him back with a free bet!
    This problem in society is only going to get worse and the government is not doing enough to protect our young people from a life of addictions.
    You only have to see them playing on consoles to see their increased addictive behaviours they are portraying. They all have phones at a young age where money online doesn’t seem real until you’ve got none left in the bank.
    We need a solution for our generations of the future techno age.
    From a concerned parent.

    about 1 year ago
  • Alex In reply to: # 654 Permalink

    Hi Jo,

    Please see my post below. Being a addict and also a parent of an 8 year old, I completely share your concerns. I am convinced that the extremely powerful industry is indeed infiltrating the brains of children by sewing the seeds of gambling in seemingly harmless mobile apps. I am disgusted when I've seen my daughter playing a fruit machine-type mini game within the game she plays.

    Our childrens' brains are being altered by this deep technology and I agree it has to stop. I also empathise with you relating to the targeting of marketing material. This is something I am very much interested in hearing and compiling cases for this very type of thing. During my research I actually tracked down companies that would sell me the details of 'high yield' gambling customers (aka addicts).

    I was horrified by the level of marketing material I have managed to collate from companies I have self-excluded with.

    All the best,


    about 1 year ago
  • Jane Permalink

    Gambling has blighted my life for probably over 20 years, I used it as a prop to forget family problems and a sense of no worth, outwardly I do my best to keep sane and help where I can, I have never lived close to family since a young adult and never had support. The self loathing is relentless. I wish

    about 1 year ago
  • Alex Permalink


    I have been addicted to gambling since the age of 11, linked with depression as is common with most addicts. Over the past year, as a result of targeted marketing material sent to me after self-exclusion, I began to thoroughly scrutinise all of my past online activity. At the same time I researched the Gambling Act and paid close attention to the LCCP- the rules that the Gambling Commission are meant to go by to govern the licence holders. Upon initially challenging the company concerned, they treated with me utter contempt. As a consequence, I liaised with the Gambling Commission. These guys weren't interested in helping me. So this is when I upped the anti. Being in the profession I am in I was able to collate evidence-based cases against up to 20 licence holders for clearly breaching the LCCP, and thus braking the law.

    I gave each company the chance to review the material and engage with me. I communicated with many directors and solicitors but, despite the clear evidence presented to them, they (mostly) continued to show contempt. I did have some meaningful conversations with a few of them. It started to seem pretty clear to me that this whole industry is rigged. I looked briefly at the ADRs (the dispute mediators that are meant to be independent) and as soon as they saw the level of evidence I presented they all ran a mile. So after giving all the licence holders a fair chance to communicate with me to comprehend how all of their individual LCCP breaches had massive consequences in my life on a collective basis, I turned back to the Gambling Commission once more. They now have my cases and I'm awaiting any meaningful response from them.

    Have any of you ever asked why nobody has taken these companies to court? Well here's why:
    - gambling addicts that complain are not thinking straight- they/we are likely to complain at times when we have lost a lot and feel at our worst. We get brushed off on this basis and generally accept it.
    - gambling addicts suffer from a multitude of mainly undiagnosed mental illnesses. I want to enlighten you that we can simplify this diagnosis. My own research has led me to discover that this diagnosis ALREADY EXISTS. IT'S CALLED 'GAMBLING DISORDER'. This is an internationally recognised diagnosis (as can be found in the 'bible of psychological disorders' called the DSM). Ask yourselves why you've not heard of this before? Ask yourself why you've not been diagnosed with this? All I can suggest is that there are forces at work that want this diagnosis to remain hidden. So my advice, as I have now done, is to insist with my GP and other medical professionals that they diagnose me with this. Let's get this out there.
    - The Gambling Commission are not interested in helping- The very body that is meant to protect the vulnerable is not doing so. They have tried to brush me off by saying that they won't deal with individual cases but I am not accepting this. This is not acceptable.
    - Lawyers I've spoken to about presenting cases to court initially are interested but then all disappear. Well we are taking about a multi-billion pound industry so I'm not surprised lawyers are warned off.

    So to summarise where I am in life- after suffering all of my life from this illness I'm turning my experiences into forcing change. If you read the latest report from the GC into ADRs- this is great and I suspect communications from persons like myself has forced their hand to do this. This should have been done many years ago. I mean basically they're asking ADRs to be neutral and fair! This is because I can tell you that the ADRs are linked to the industry- at best they'll get you a refund for the most blatant of issues.

    I am soon to leave the career that I have always been in, basically because it's far too much of a job that I can continue to be able to deal with. So I am considering setting up a business where I can collate cases similar to mine on behalf of fellow addicts. I want to enlighten people that aren't thinking straight how they've been manipulated into losing again and again with the same companies. This isn't about blaming companies for us being addicted to gambling/having gambling disorder. It's about pointing out to companies that they've clearly breached rules that are in place to try and protect us more. I want you all to understand that collective power is massive here. I know that most of you won't have the clear heads to comprehend a lot of this- I understand because I've been there many times. But think of this- If I was to present the Gambling Commission with numerous cases, they would have to deal with it. Furthermore, the GC do not deal in compensation. That's OK. All we need is for them to confirm the LCCP breaches we present to them and hey presto- job done. Then we have two choices-
    1. We approach the relevant licence holder and request fair compensation (this will more evidence relating to how gambling has affected you- part of the case building).
    2. We go to court. I don't fear this whatsoever, I also know I have the experience and knowledge to do this myself.

    Ask yourself- if the GC rule against a licence holder, they fine the licence holder- is the case simply not just open and shut? The answer of course is yes. So together we can have massive power and influence.

    I look forward to anyone contacting me about anything I've written.

    Feel free to contact me, you may be wise to seek a secure email account (I use proton mail).

    Thanks for reading,


    about 1 year ago
  • Danny B Permalink

    I today had to write to the PM office when my 10yr old grandson asked to use my phone to enter a competition to win from good morning tv, his phone had entry text numbers to other Daytime competitions thus credit empty. To me this is the 1st step in gambling addiction (ie trying to win) Also my other grandsons friend age 16 told my GS he can sell drugs to make easy money so they can go gambling …. talk about slippery slope ! every tv & radio show has competitions, even between shows you get advertised competitions that leads to a need for more money which leads to criminal activity - drugs and theft leading to violence ie knife crime etc. are the government so blind they cannot see the causality. Just because they trying to do away with smoking, thus losing the tax, they now replace the tax loss with gambling tax & create even worse addictions & criminal activity.
    Sombody do something about it - I ask everyone here to write to the PM - lets make a noise.

    about 8 months ago
  • Cheryl Permalink

    My reason for writing this is I have seen a sustained, increased proliferation of advertising on tv that promotes gambling - I find this abhorrent ( those actors that do their bit to support this through their participation in adverts must be without a moral compass). We no longer allow ads for tobacco or alcohol (both addictive), so why do we allow advertising for another addition-- oh, yes, i get it - sports promotion. How can an effective campaign be mounted to stop this?

    about 7 months ago

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Friday, November 22, 2019
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Why Gambling Watch UK is needed?

Opportunities for gambling in Britain have increased very considerably in the last 20 years and were given further encouragement with the passing of the 2005 Gambling Act. The latest British Gambling Prevalence Survey, carried out in 2009/10, found that between one third and one half a million British adults experienced a gambling problem in the previous 12 months.
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Our Mission and Aims

Gambling Watch UK is an organisation, independent of Government or the gambling industry, which exists to question the present policy of support for the expansion of gambling in the UK and to propose alternative policies which would have the effect of preventing such expansion, which it's members believe is harmful from a public health perspective ...
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