Are you a secret gambler
For many of us, gambling is a harmless pass time that we follow just for fun. In fact, almost 75% of us enjoyed a flutter last year if you include players of the National Lottery. Unfortunately, for a growing number of people, gambling becomes a problem that can at worst wreak utter devastation on their lives.
Two occurrences have led to a situation where gambling can become so serious. Firstly, the government of the day (Gawd bless ya Tony!) decided, along with a rash of other western governments that the time was ripe for changing the law on gambling. This also coincided with the explosion of internet availability and the spread of ever more powerful internet technology across the world.
What the lawmakers did not see was the spread of the internet and the thirst for gamblers cash. Gambling companies were driven to develop new game formats that had never been envisaged when the government relaxed the law on gambling.
The R & D efforts of the gambling companies have really come to fruition in the last ten years, and now people can gamble wherever they choose. The internet, now available on a Smartphone near you, means we can all gamble whenever and wherever we like and for most of us, that provides an opportunity to gamble in secret. For many gamblers, they are not deliberately deceiving those around them but they are effectively hiding their gambling so that should it become a problem then nobody else is aware of it.
The rise of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminal (FOBTs) that have been dubbed the crack cocaine of gambling presents gamblers with a great opportunity. Most frequently located behind the smoked glass windows or boarded over doors of your local bookie, FOBTs provide access to a huge gambling rush in almost complete anonymity. These machines offer gamblers the chance to part with their money in a manner that is almost breathtaking in its ruthless efficiency. Gamblers can place up to £100 stakes on casino type games such as roulette and blackjack every twenty seconds –think on, in one minute you could have bet and lost £300 and all in the perfect privacy that your local bookies offer you.
Gambling is now a 24 hour pastime that can present those with a gambling problem with temptations that just can’t be resisted. Ron Tiurell, a gambling counsellor, summed the situation up very succinctly when he said “The big difference between gambling and alcohol and drugs is that it’s much easier to hide.” And this probably explains the world of the private gambler more efficiently than anything else can.