Sunday, January 27, 2013

One bit of the economy where we'd welcome a recession

A huge increase in gambling addicts will make Britain's obsession with online betting a £2bn business. New evidence reveals that the number of people in danger of becoming problem gamblers has reached nearly a million, while hardcore addicts have doubled in six years to almost 500,000. 

The Independent is reporting on a staggering rise in problem gambling, despite the recession. It's bizarre that with a triple-dip recession in most parts of the economy, our boom areas are things like gambling and cosmetic surgery

Campaigners and support groups find it increasingly difficult to cope. Visitors to GamCare's website rose by more than 100,000 in 2012 compared with 2011. The charity predicts it will answer more than 44,000 calls this year – a 22 per cent rise on 2012. Of people needing GamCare's help last year, 34 per cent of all callers had problems with the internet, second only to betting shops (46 per cent). While 18 per cent used the internet as their primary location in 2011, this rose to 23 per cent last year. More than 20 per cent of the callers were under 18.

It's good to see at least one major media outlet putting this on the front page. I wonder if any of the others - many of them dependent on gambling for advertising revenues - will follow suit. The current government seems reluctant to change the law on gambling, but we've seen what happens to David Cameron if enough people make enough noise..... 

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