Be aware of gambling’s dangers

By Star Comment | Readers' letters | Published:

Not that many years ago the government taxed gaming and betting to deter people from spending their hard-earned money on betting. You could either pay tax on your bet or on your winnings. Of course this tax was abolished!

Bookmakers are now making fortunes out of the unfortunate and lining their company coffers with millions of pounds. Betting and gambling is ruining people’s and families’ lives. It is addictive!

Years ago it was strictly controlled. Today anyone over 18 can place a bet, for anyone, no questions asked.

Yes, bookmakers will say ‘keep it fun,’ but they are entrapping new gamblers by using modern technology i.e mobile phones and internet connections to make it easy to place a bet.

The latest craze is to offer punters online a certain win. I.e. either team in a final of a football match to win at stupid odds like 10/1. That means for every £1 you stake you will win £10. They limit your stake to, say, £20 so if you place £20 on at 10/1 your return will be £200. You cannot lose!

The catch is: you do not win cash but vouchers to make further bets. Only if your further bets win you get cash. Of course, by this time you are hooked, you have an account with them and so it goes on.

Going back to taxing betting and gaming will be a deterrent, especially. If people have to pay, say, 10 per cent tax to place a bet, they will think twice.

The National Lottery and scratch cards are equally addictive, turning people to gambling with little or no chance of winning, all in the name of ‘good causes’.

Perhaps the profits from betting and gaming taxes could be used to treat addicts created by this ‘no lose’ betting shop trick and government-approved National Lottery competitions. It is ruining people’s lives.

A Parker, Willenhall


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