The government should do more to tackle the growing problem of compulsive gambling. It is just as much a public health issue as smoking and alcoholism and yet so little is done to tackle it. Today, the government have made a small, but significant move in that direction by opening the first NHS clinic for young people addicted to gaming and gambling, a year after the Gambling Commission found that 55,000 young people between 11 and 16 years old in the UK are problem gamblers.
But should the NHS be picking up the pieces? More should be done to penalise the big five betting firms. They should be footing the bill for the social mess they are creating, the stress, the suicides, the rise in family breakdown resulting from this hideous industry.
It was a bold move by Stewart Kenny, one of the founders of Paddypower to resign three years ago from the company’s board in frustration over failure of senior management to properly tackle problem gambling. The companies on the high street and on line have a responsibility to their users.
My latest book ‘Gambling Broke Us’ is a drama about a gambling addict and highlights the issues faced by addicts, what it’s like to live with this addiction and the impact on family. It’s FREE to read on Kindle Unlimited.