Frank Field MP
Your MP for Birkenhead
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Growing toll of problem gambling in Britain

19 February 2016
The Times Sir, Your leader (“Betting Burden”, Feb 17) is right to call for the government to tackle the rise of problem gambling. The odds are stacked against those poor souls whose gambling addiction leads them constantly to feed shedloads of cash into betting machines, at the expense of feeding themselves or their family a decent meal. They have to be athletes just to pull themselves away from the machine as, unlike most other forms of gambling, once they start playing it has them stuck to the spot; and it is almost impossible to dodge the bombardment of adverts online, on television and on the high street, inviting them to shell out on gambling. According to Dr Mark Griffiths, professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University, gambling contributes to high levels of family breakdown and is closely linked to other addictions such as alcohol and drugs.

Surely it is now time for the government to look at the different routes into a gambling addiction, for instance, the mega advertising campaigns and online activities, and then act to curb them.

Frank Field MP (Lab)
House of Commons


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