Campaigners say gambling should be treated as a public health issue - but what do Gazette readers think?

Gambling should be treated as a public health issue, campaigners have said – but do Gazette readers agree?

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Monday, 14th October 2019, 21:11 pm
Should gambling addiction be a public health issue. Picture by Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

The call came from Stewart Kenny, a founder of bookmaker Paddy Power, and former sports minister Tracey Crouch, who resigned over delays to a crackdown on maximum stakes for fixed-odds betting machines.

They told the BBC programme The Teenage Gamblers that gambling, like alcoholism, smoking or addiction to drugs, "should definitely be a public health issue".

Their comments come as children who are seriously addicted to computer games are to get better access to NHS treatment, including via Skype.

Mr Kenny, who resigned in frustration over the failure of senior management to properly tackle problem gambling, described video games addiction as "a huge problem".

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He said: "It is normalising gambling for children and that is dangerous. It is a constant barrage of advertising and it was nearly part of the game.

"It became normal for children to think 'Well, soccer and gambling are the same thing'. They are a lot more likely to get addicted early than an adult would be."

We asked readers if they think gambling should be treated as a public health issue.

The results show 60% of more than 300 readers think it should be while 40% are against the idea.

Here’s what readers had to say:

Chris Batchelor: “Gambling isn’t a illness it's just greed.”

Connor Sinclair West: “If video game addiction has became a problem so should gambling.”

Kev Clearly: “You never hear about a gambler having a gambling addiction when they win.”