Britain’s Gambling Epidemic

Poor Britain.

Take away God, take away any belief that your nation is in any way worthwhile, take away personal responsibility–and what have you got left?


As reported by The Daily Mail, Britain is being swept by an epidemic of gambling addiction so serious that the National Health Service has become involved, doling out medication that’s supposed to help patients stop gambling ( ).

Authorities estimate that there are more than half a million “problem gamblers” in Britain now, a major increase over what they had ten years ago, leading to “mental health problems, family breakdown, and crime.” The main culprits appear to be these Fixed Odds Betting Terminals–gambling machines, FOBTs for short–that have been set up all over the place.

The lesson, as we have noted so many times before, is a simple one: Kill the culture, and the culture will kill you right back.

Poor Britain.

39 comments on “Britain’s Gambling Epidemic

    1. The Times? That impartial medical journal and strong supporter of mental health services? I can’t comment because I haven’t read the article and I only worked as a doctor and live in Britain, I have no such first hand evidence as yourself.

    2. The Times is no good, either?

      If there are factual errors in the Daily Mail article, which was my source of information, I will of course publish any corrections that you care to make. As a medical doctor, you must know more about this issue than I do. But it does seem strange that they would report that the NHS is getting involved, if that’s not so.

      Are the reports in the Mail and the Times untrue? Should I have suspected that from the beginning?

      Whatever factual information you’d like to impart, I’ll post it.

      I’m sorry to have provoked you, but I was taking it from granted that the British newspapers had not yet deteriorated to the point of making up fiction and publishing it as fact.

      Perhaps I shouldn’t have.

    3. He NHS treats all illnesses without prejudice, including addictions. All addictions for which medication may be necessary. There are no doubt people living here in Britain who have gambling addiction alongside other additions like drug and alcohol for whom medication is necessary. The proprietary information for said medication will NOT say it’s for the treatment of gambling. No medication actually is licensed for such use, as medicines are licensed for medical reasons not social ones. I cannot comment on the article in the Times but I can say no public health, mental health or general practice publication has reported higher prescribing for gambling linked to the deterioration of culture here. We have no Vegas, yes more casinos and online betting has cropped up post recession and the people largely hit by addiction of gambling are those predisposed and arguably with other pre-existing addictions. The consequences of gambling to an extreme will lead to depression and anxiety in some cases treated with medication but it’s not a straight road from living in Britain to gambling to medication. Like a lot of tabloid publications, who have no interest in individuals, except perhaps to disparage them to sell papers, and conservative publications like The Times who enjoy demonising the poor, who aren’t their prime demographic, the details and the full picture is superfluous. It’s not up to me what you choose to write about, but as a proud Briton, living within a wealth of culture, who does not gamble, I beg to differ about the conclusions drawn about religion, nationality and loss of culture.

    4. Difference noted.

      Is it your position that there is no reliable news reporting in Britain? If not, what newspaper would you consider reliable?

    5. What this study is saying is, the easier you make it to gamble, the more people will gamble. Which is what the Daily Mail article says is happening.

      Here in America we have all sorts of people who can’t really afford it standing in line for hours to buy Powerball tickets.

      Gambling really is stupid and pitiable. And the government enables it.

    6. This study was extrapolated out of Germany, so it is not just the UK that has had an increased in problem gamblers. The Times article, which I have now read states half a million people are problem gamblers in the UK, which has a population of 64.1 million. That surely isn’t the majority or a sign that our society is deteriorating. That is not even 1 % of the population. I don’t condone gambling but I do not agree with your post that a lack of culture and religion is causing near apocalyptic effects here, especially when the NHS is being reported as helping those with gambling addiction in the same articles. The proposal for supercasinos was criticised in parliament here and curbed to some extent, but I can assure you even with the doors of casino wide open, infrastructure, law , order and society are well intact here in the UK.

    7. I’m sure I never suggested that a majority of people in the UK are compulsive gamblers.

      As for my take on the state of culture in Britain, I see I’ll have to address that separately.

    8. With over 99% of the population not having problems with gambling I’d say society overall is healthy and yet the studies are being done to measure and counteract gambling addiction. What’s there to criticise.

    9. This was the basis of the 2013 health questionnaire which gave rise to the figures in the articles in the Mail and Times. The ease of gambling has been state sponsored to some extent so it’s only right the NHS has means to treat the effects, I cannot see why you would criticise it for helping people who need it.

    10. I have more faith in evidence based articles. I don’t consider any newspaper 100% reliable, because they are not. Doctors are trained to look at data with an evidentiary eye. I don’t get swayed by bias editorialised articles that don’t quote prevalence or incidence and arbitrarily blame people for having needs.

    11. So, then, were the newspaper articles I read entirely untrue?

      I was a newspaper editor when they established a state lottery and then legalized casino gambling here in New Jersey. I remember what happened. I saw it for myself.

      What happened was that a great many people who never gambled before, now that it was available, dove right into it head-first. Especially old people on fixed incomes, and the inner-city poor–that is, those who could least afford it.

      My mother, an otherwise sober and intelligent woman, got hooked on gambling. It wouldn’t have happened if the state hadn’t legalized it.

    12. She didn’t need “help.” She was not addicted to gambler–she just spent an awful lot of time, money, and thought on it. Much more than I liked to see.

    13. I know no gamblers in or out of my family and I don’t even recall buying a lottery ticket yet I applaud the NHS in its steps to prevent a gambling epidemic in the UK.

  1. Well, there’s a new one on me. I never realized there was a medication to combat gambling. How absurd this world has become. Evil, insane, absurd.

    1. As an American, I’m not familiar with the reputation of any UK newspaper. I’ll even resort to The Guardian from time to time. They’re all a great deal better than our American papers.

  2. Not familiar but willing to read and form an opinion from a tabloid publication of a place you’ve been and a people your familiar with? I’d be reluctant to make such condemning comments of a country’s culture from tabloids without actually visiting or living there. I thought the culture of its in print so it must be true was old hat. Obviously not.

    1. I do communicate with several persons living in the UK, I read British literature, I watch British movies and TV, all of which have things to say about the culture–they can’t help saying it, any more than our American media can avoid projecting an image of American culture.

      Again, if you have information that refutes the news reports that I consulted, I will publish it.

  3. Wowee, Ajoobacats is letting you have it, lol. I was friends with a British guy for a while, and told him I’d read something on the Daily Mail and he let me have it as well. Haha. He said the BBC is supposed to be impartial because they’re controlled by the government, but that the Daily Mail is just a tabloid paper. I know the BBC isn’t actually impartial, but I guess they’re better than the other ‘news’ sources Britain has.

    1. Even those other UK news sources are more reliable and informative than ours.

      Several papers have reported this gambling addiction story; and if you read the comments below the stories, nobody’s saying it ain’t so.

  4. I actually thought this was more a tongue-in-cheek post – not to be taken quite so seriously. Just look at the snooz-media in any part of the world. They all play hide-and-go-seek.

  5. How sad for another once-proud nation. I had ancestors from there, and it grieves me to see what has happened, and to see a nation unraveling before our eyes.

    On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 12:21 PM, Lee Duigon wrote:

    > leeduigon posted: “Poor Britain. Take away God, take away any belief that > your nation is in any way worthwhile, take away personal > responsibility–and what have you got left? Gambling? As reported by The > Daily Mail, Britain is being swept by an epidemic of gambling” >

  6. To say that the BBC is not bias is quite a stretch of the imagination to say the least. No where in the world will you not find an unbiased news agency today, there is always at the basic construction a preferred view and approved political position. The culture of any nation is degreed by its true and expressed relationship with the Divine Creator of all. Remove Him from the public forum and ya got a corrupt government and people, it just works that way and history is its proof. Sincerely, Don Lee.

    1. I can’t fault Ajoobacats for loving her country and trying to view it in the best possible light. But multicultural ideology, which is the ideology of the ruling class in all the Western countries, prohibits this.

      I follow developments in Britain closely, because bad things that happen there are sooner or later imported to America.

  7. It would help if you had figures from the government measuring gambling in the USA state by state. Proclaiming that a nation is being sept away by an epidemic does not reflect that the problem is contained well within 1% of the population.

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