Responsible Gambling Red Lines?

There is a lot of PR surrounding the issue of problem gambling, but does reality really live up to the hype. Discuss your experiences here, e.g. self exclusion failures.
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cosmicway
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Re: Responsible Gambling Red Lines?

Post by cosmicway » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:49 pm

Hmmm, you increasingly remind me of the proverbial person who went to Saint Tropez expecting to date all the stars of the French cinema and ended up washing plates, after the waiters on the beach became sufficiently irritated with him.
It happens to all of us and as was well pointed it is not the old boys who do it but mainly the younger ones.
That places the vulnerable age bracket at between 20-40.
It makes sense because if you are younger you don't really have money. If you are older you have learned.
But it also displays the lack of education.

In any case we can only do as much to teach people.
Or should we create some Ho-Chi-Minh type of state where everything is prohibited ?
Also when I say education, I mean education, not admonitions like "santa Barbara will burn you". That too is crap.

Anyway it's the big weapon of the taxman.
The taxman and the bookie who slashes the prices, make it even more dangerous - given that those gamblers have no appreciation of what is going on.
But they falsely pretend they are protecting us.

Some new type of machines are going to be introduced in Greece and it's in the media right now.
The new law will be voted in November or December I understand.
The journals are full of hype staff like "the government is protecting people from compulsive gambling".
Howzzat ?
There are supposed to be zillions upon trillions of illegal machines hidden some place and so the new law will render them useless !
They end up by saying "a revenue of 300 million euros a year is expected". So if it is 400 million it will be even better, won't it ?

Del
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Re: Responsible Gambling Red Lines?

Post by Del » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:19 pm

Cosmicway, I think we'll have to just agree to disagree on the education/addiction thing. My point is, regardless of age,sex, social standing,etc if you are a long term compulsive gambler then it is endemic in your brain. You can do your best to control it, but it's like an alcoholic trying to give up alcohol in that you can't expose yourself to even a little of it. There is no known cure, just prevention.

Incidentally, I would say that in the main, younger gamblers don't go as crazy as us middle aged compulsives. When I was much younger without family commitments, etc it didn't really affect any other person. If I lost money, I just moved on. But when your losses affect those you care and love it hits you much harder mentally. I never much considered the ultimate cure when I was younger, but in the last decade or so it has definitely played on my mind at my lowest points.

Obviously everyone is different. But one thing I am sure of, having studied and taken part in psychological therapy on the matter, there is a long way to go before science truly understands why some people are compelled to risk everything in a gambling environment whilst being careful and sensical with their other financial affairs. It is not just down to education and will power. It's a mental illness.

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cosmicway
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Re: Responsible Gambling Red Lines?

Post by cosmicway » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:47 pm

Del wrote:
Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:19 pm
Cosmicway, I think we'll have to just agree to disagree on the education/addiction thing. My point is, regardless of age,sex, social standing,etc if you are a long term compulsive gambler then it is endemic in your brain. You can do your best to control it, but it's like an alcoholic trying to give up alcohol in that you can't expose yourself to even a little of it. There is no known cure, just prevention.

Incidentally, I would say that in the main, younger gamblers don't go as crazy as us middle aged compulsives. When I was much younger without family commitments, etc it didn't really affect any other person. If I lost money, I just moved on. But when your losses affect those you care and love it hits you much harder mentally. I never much considered the ultimate cure when I was younger, but in the last decade or so it has definitely played on my mind at my lowest points.

Obviously everyone is different. But one thing I am sure of, having studied and taken part in psychological therapy on the matter, there is a long way to go before science truly understands why some people are compelled to risk everything in a gambling environment whilst being careful and sensical with their other financial affairs. It is not just down to education and will power. It's a mental illness.
If you think that people are -on the whole- sufficiently educated and still fall for it, then ok, maybe you are right.
After all we live in different countries.
I believe the British people are stronger in maths, even though we discovered maths in the ancient times and we were also saying "mideis ageometritos eisito" in the academies.
But in my experience them punters know nothing - no brain material whatsoever.

The subject is blown out of all proportion.
We have compulsive junk food eaters, compulsive smokers, compulsive drinkers.
That's bad too, is n't it ?

Anyway I never objected to the campaigns against compulsive gambling - only to the hype behind it.
This is how it started in Greece and I think I related this one to you before (or maybe I have n't).
It was June 2002, a few days before the world cup final as I recall - hence the intense football betting taking place was prominent in the news.
So we read somewhere that the EU had given Greece a fund of 500,000 euros for the study of compulsive gambling.
I had a friend of sorts in a small tv channel so he invites me as guest speaker. We say various things, as we were both race goers and we knew about these things.
After the program I say to him "give me please the video and I will take it to the university where they say those studies are to begin".
He says "ok, here is the video".
So I go to the university and talk to the professor.
He said "thanks for the video, but you know these are OPAP things, we do whatever we are told" (OPAP being the betting company).
I said ok, but I want you to send me your newsletters and also if we can help with any further investigations please call us.
He says "newsletter ? what newsletter ? come on, you are a big boy".
After this I kept searching the web for years for any public announcement from that group of scientists - there was none.
You may contrast this if you like with the near simultaneous UK committee, organized by Tony Blair. They mailed me a book (I still have it somewhere) and I reckon the Blair-ites did at least do some work.
So it's all phoney.
Five years later in response to a speech made by a judge in the European court of justice, the Greek government published some info, in the form of leaflets, with the "rules against compulsive gambling". But now it was their house on fire, becase the EU were thinking seriously to abolish monopolies and other prohibitionist things.

So they are Billy liars the lot of them and the only thing they want is to increase taxes.
Also to make compulsive gambling worse, by applying the wrong therapies to it.

You see gambling and compulsive gambling are not new things. They 've been with us since the time of the Roman emperors.
I believe in the ancient world they considered the Egyptians as the people who were experts in tricky business and the emperors were making edicts upon edicts to limit their activities.
But I wonder what will happen if suddenly all those people who are expected to play the fruit machines wise up and actually don't come up with those 300 mil. Mr. Tsipras will go to Donald Trump with a begging bowl again ? Vladimir Putin ? Beijing ?

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cosmicway
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Re: Responsible Gambling Red Lines?

Post by cosmicway » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:28 pm

Gambling addiction and irresponsible gambling are two different things.
What is really meant by "gambling addiction" is the player's devotion to a particular game of chance rather then what happens when the game of chance has a negative economic effect on the player. If he wins he is an addict just the same as if he loses.
Devotion to the game of chance therefore makes you an addict.
Is that bad or even criminal ? If we decide it is bad and criminal then the only way out is total prohibition and anything else said about it is superfluous.

So gambling addiction and irresponsible gambling are two slightly different things.
There are two factors in irresponsible gambling, that formalize the entire thing:
The first factor is the belief that the game will make you rich. To the extent that this belief is demonstrably ill founded, we have a pathological condition. But this can only happen to the uneducated person. Otherwise it is simply not possible.
The second factor is inefficient control of the money supply. If your capital is good for one year but you waste it in six days, then this is inefficient.
The latter is something that we have all done at some point in our lives without exception, be it related to gambling or not.

Anything else said about gambling and irresponsible gambling is old wives tales.
A committed fan of the horses will -rightly in my opinion- ripost that "if I don't study the horses then I 'm useless but if I study it makes me an addict". So what should I do, he says ? The answer to that can only be "if you mean to bet on the horses, then study the horses". The answer "play it happy-go-lucky" is not a good answer.

Now what is it our so called "big brothers" do ?
Essentially they do this:

1) First, tax everything until the pips squeak. The new fangled theory is that if nobody can win nothing then they won't become "addicts".
2) At the same time make education on gambling matters unavailable, hide it, digsuise it, censor it - this will ensure that the "addicts" really remain addicts to be milked dry & also that new ones will be created.

But their adoption of the "fight against gambling addiction" is a relatively new thing really. 10-15 years ago there used to be very little of that.
Now they want it, because it enhances their political platform.
In essence it's a gigantic fraud operation. It is not a fraud operation only if they say "ban everything with no exception".

Why then is all this happening ?
Sounds Dickensian at first hearing. Someone would have stopped it and restore normality !
Ultimately the real answer is that gambling is an economic activity outside the limits of the streamlined economy.
Being a provider of games of chance is not outside those limits, but being a user of such services is.
Any money accruing to you, the punter, is thought of as wastage.
What is wasted money ? The only really wasted money is that you carry with you on a ship and the ship sinks and you go to the bottom. The central bank will have to print new banknotes. But money going to the pockets of persons considered unauthorized by the system is also counted as lost money, even if no laws were broken in the process. This is the idea of the streamlined economy. It's an idea much more prevalent in the communist or communist-like countries than it is in the capitalist countries, but it is adhered to by both.

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Re: Responsible Gambling Red Lines?

Post by mick » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:29 am

Hi Del ,i have only just read this thread and i thank you for your honest appraisal of your own and other peoples misfortune.I am a long term profitable horse backer and in truth my problem is the reverse in that i probably do not have as many bets as i should do.But this does not prevent me from acknowledging the other side of the coin and the blatant hypocrisy displayed by some leading Bookmakers in this respect.

I feel sure that the few sad story's which we do get to read are just the tip of the ice burg.The large bookmakers power and influence is now established by the back door in all areas of the media.There wealth also enables employing the very best PR and legal representation.This is what JFP is up against when attempting changes on our behalf.

The more of us who actively support them then the better the chance of those changes occurring. JJ mentioned that JFP now has nearly 1000 reg supporters but i read that there are 4,000,000 UK punters.There is something very wrong with the current balance between those two sets of figs.

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Re: Responsible Gambling Red Lines?

Post by Del » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:29 am

Thanks, Mick.

Having a gambling problem is not a very nice problem to have in any respect. Apart from the damage it does to all aspects of your life and health, it's a particularly embarrassing problem as for many people it's not considered a mental health problem, they just think you lack will power and self control. In respect of gambling that may be true, but many problem gamblers have those assets in the rest of their life just not the gambling area.

So it's hard for most problem gamblers to come clean with their problem to their friends, family and workplace. It will hinder your prospects at work, you'll have your card marked for a long time. Same for your personal life. A recovering compulsive gambler I knew who had lost his wife, family and home once told me that once trust has been lost to those in your life, you'll never recover that. And so he had to rebuild his life on his own only seeing his son every other weekend. And even now he will tell you how hard it is to avoid the lure of the horses. Just a fleeting interest in a news story or broadcast can spark that desire to get involved again. It's tough and again I say only a problem gambler can truly understand the mind games gambling plays on you.

So I think, but don't know for sure, that probably many of those who have signed up to the JFP are in your boat Mick in that it's the hypocrisy of bookmakers that angers them. Problem gamblers or compulsive gamblers as I prefer to call us, are often drowning in their own daily struggle to get involved with action groups, etc. Bear in mind, many of them are struggling to get involved in their own life responsibilities let alone anything else. Not because they don't care about their lives & loved ones, but because gambling has taken over their mind and life.

Personally I got involved because after 25 years of gambling descending from sensible betting to reckless chasing, I'm at a stage where the best recovery plan for me is to try and raise awareness of what the industry is doing to vulnerable people. And by vulnerable I mean anyone, what ever their standing in life, who has that defect (for want of a better word) in their brain that cannot control the amount and frequency with which they bet. Because currently, especially with the internet revolution, they are lambs to the slaughter. Cash cows to the hoards of online bookmakers and gaming companies.

I'm glad there are groups like JFP who recognise both sides of the coin and are genuinely fighting for justice no matter if you're a restricted shrewdie or an exploited compulsive.

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Re: Responsible Gambling Red Lines?

Post by Jimmy Justice » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:19 am

Thanks for sharing this Del. You have summarised what we are about accurately. I have to admit that the last 20 months has changed my personal views mainly through the personal email communication we receive.

I began by being wary of the modern off-course corporate bookmaker as I felt they didn't trade fairly. I now despise most, if not, all of them. As you say it's the hypocrisy:

We're doing all we can to help with 'problem gambling' v Weekly crime cases where people have lost everything/Regular fines now by the GC.

We've seen lots of money for horse A from the ''shrewdies' v 'Shrewdies' can't get a penny on a horse.

I could go on, but won't, except to say that customer service has to be the worst in any industry worldwide. Unless you're depositing money or playing the game (losing) they are obstructive and do everything they can to stop people getting their rights and/or money. The worst being how long they make people wait, who are in desperate situations, or decisions around refund of deposits after gambling again following self-excluding and losing even more.

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Re: Responsible Gambling Red Lines?

Post by mick » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:58 am

Well said Del & Jimi ,it is a great shame that currently more people do not share there thoughts and experiences on this forum.JFP are slowly starting to receive the recognition that their tenacious efforts deserve and perhaps this will help.Even sharing our anger and frustration can be helpful as we evidence that we are not alone in feeling this way.

On forums such as the bet fair one,threads get started and contributed to on these topics but then become buried and forgotten,which of course is exactly what the Bookmakers concerned wish to happen.But this forum is dedicated to the subject.

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Re: Responsible Gambling Red Lines?

Post by cosmicway » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:33 pm

mick wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:29 am
Hi Del ,i have only just read this thread and i thank you for your honest appraisal of your own and other peoples misfortune.I am a long term profitable horse backer ...
The bookies-taxmen look forward to make you non-profitable and they hope you are compulsive enough to stay around.
It's their unassailable conviction rather than hope.

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