Treating-Gambling-Addiction7 (1)

Government gambling review is toothless

in News by
31st October 2017
Media Contact: Adam Bradford, tel: 07950 313113, e-mail:
Gambling addiction campaigners Adam and David Bradford have today criticised the Government’s triennial review into gambling and social responsibility saying it ‘misses the mark on several key issues.’
Both Adam and David are available to speak to the media today and take interviews on the topic.
David Bradford, now 61, stole over £50,000 from his employers at the height of his gambling addiction and was jailed for two years in 2014. He secretly bankrupted the family by taking out bank loans, credit cards and payday loans and remortgaging the family home accruing over £500,000 of debt. The family only knew about David’s crimes when he was in the back of his van on the way to prison and his solicitor called.
Since the incident, Adam’s 25-year-old son and entrepreneur Adam Bradford started a campaign to call for stricter regulation on gambling advertising and tighter rules on spend limits. Their campaign handed in a petition to 10 Downing Street in 2015 and got the support of then Prime Minister David Cameron. The pair also set up a programme with the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to educate GPs and health professionals on the issue so they can better spot the signs.
A recent Gambling Commission report showed that the rate of gambling addiction has grown in the UK to over 2 million, with young people being most affected. Gambling adverts have risen 600% since 2005 when gambling was deregulated, according to Ofcom.
Adam stated: “Whilst we welcome a reduction in the stakes that can be bet on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, the Government has not been heavy handed enough. The only possible considerations the industry can be taking in response now is about the protection of their profits.
Aside from this, the report is too narrow in focus. A campaign run by the industry to highlight problem gambling is not enough to prevent those who are vulnerable to addiction from being captured by gambling related problems. We already know through research that gambling should be treated as a mental health problem yet there is little treatment available, GambleAware itself calling for mandatory levy on the industry to donate to charities and increase the support and care available to those suffering.
Online gambling has been tackled in a measly way by this report, being left with open to exploitation after FOBTs take a hit. The problem of gambling addiction will now simply move online, with 50% of all gambling now taking place online. The Government also believes the dramatic rise in advertising has little effect on problem gambling. They have arbritrarily assessed current risk rather than probability of future risk. Young people are being targeted by the industry’s sleasy tactics such as social media adverts and heavy sponsorship of sports games.
The report needs to consider measures to limit the amount spent on online gambling and place a ban on all gambling adverts before the watershed.”
— ENDS —
Notes to editors: 
“My dad went to prison and we were left with the £500k debt” –

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