Gambling in Britain is 'out of control' says Gambling Watch UK founder


Thursday, September 20, 2018

The founder of Gambling Watch UK has claimed gambling in Britain is "out of control", comparing the size of the problem to "the use of illicit drugs".

Appearing on the breakfast show, Professor Jim Orford told Julia Hartley-Brewer that gambling had been "normalised" and had gotten "out of control in recent years".

"The gambling problem is not at all dissimilar to the size of the problems related to the use of illicit drugs," he said. 

'A great mistake'

"A great mistake was made in basically giving a green light to the industry and saying you're just an entertainment industry like any other.

"They have innovated in a huge way. They've produced technologically much more sophisticated gambling machines, they've produced internet gambling, which nobody predicted was going to happen 20 years ago."

Professor Orford, who also teaches psychology at the University of Birmingham, said he was "very pleased" about Labour's recent call to ban betting adverts during live sporting events.

A report commissioned by Labour found there are 430,000 identified gambling addicts in the UK, 25,000 of which are 16 or under.

"Controlling in-play betting, which is particularly dangerous, is the very least they could do," Professor Orford added.

"One of the main things is that we're not protecting children."