My family was destroyed by gambling, warns campaigner

My family was destroyed by gambling, warns campaigner

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Adam Bradford has said that his family “was destroyed” by gambling after his dad went to prison after hiding a gambling addiction for 30 years.

Mr Bradford, a campaigner for restrictions on gambling told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “Four years ago my dad went into prison without any of the family knowing why or even that he had actually gone until after the fact.

“He had hidden a 30 year gambling addiction from us all.

“He had re-mortgaged the house and had about half a million pounds worth of debt.

“He used debt to finance the gambling, so credit cards, pay day loans, things like this.

“So what Tom Watson is saying around banning use of credit cards is really important because essentially you should not be able to gamble with money you don’t have.”

 

‘Their families destroyed’

Mr Bradford added: “430,000 people addicted and their families destroyed. My family was destroyed.”

This comes as Labour’s Tom Watson announced plans to outlaw in-play betting ads, with a "whistle-to-whistle" ban on TV and online gambling promotions during live sport events.

He also repeated Labour's call for Premier League football clubs to end sponsorship deals with gambling firms, and pledged legislation if they do not act voluntarily.

 

‘Fundamentally wrong’

The charity GambleAware welcomed Labour's announcement.

Chief executive Marc Etches said: "We do think it is necessary to have a statutory levy to secure sufficient and sustainable funding for research, education and treatment to reduce gambling-related harms in Britain.

"Also, we think it right to ban the use of credit cards for gambling. For an industry rightly challenged to do better in terms of customer protection, providing the opportunity to gamble on the basis of credit seems to us to be fundamentally wrong."

However, Chris Skidmore, the Conservative's vice chairman for policy, said: "Labour liberalised the gambling market when they were in power, and have admitted that they were wrong.

"We are correcting Labour's mistakes - ensuring tighter rules on gambling advertising, increasing protections around online gambling, launching a multi-million pound awareness campaign, commissioning research on the harms of problem gambling, and slashing the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals, which were introduced under Labour."