Peter Shilton - Gambling addiction and advertising

I have just read with interest that Peter Shilton who has managed to kick the gambling habit has delivered a letter to the PM relating to this matter. Because of my own experience it is a subject I feel very strongly about. My late mother and I found to our dismay after his death that my father had gambled away every spare penny throughout their married life. I shudder to think how many thousands of pounds were poured into the betting companies coffers over the years, and how different life might have been for all of us.
I have become increasingly concerned about the bewildering volume of TV advertising relating to gambling both on and off line, and the nature of these advertisements (using fluffy animated animals, and ‘free’ bets for example). Gambling causes misery and hardship to addicts and their families and in my view the time has come for a blanket ban on all gambling advertising on TV to prevent a tsunami of new young gamblers in our society.


Absolutely concur. Judging by the absence of responses, it can only be that there’s not too much disagreement with what you’ve said.
It’s the pretence of interest in the customers’ welfare that disturbs me.


Thanks for your response.

Help is available on this number trumpets the ad - with a betting company’s name plastered all over it - cynical or what??? All they are concerned about is lining their pockets.

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Its literally ad after ad, more so during the build up to a big footballing event.

I’ve also wondered whether they ‘jingles’ you hear on the adverts, are the same jingles one would here when gambling online? Thankfully I’ve never gambled and can only imagine (if it is the case) that those ‘jingles’ must act like a trigger to someone addicted.

I’m sure there was a recent study somewhere, linking the games children play - and the rewards received during those games act like a gateway to problem gambling in later years?

As for the phrase ‘when the fun stops, stop’ what a load of disingenuous guff - try telling that to some with a drug or alcohol problem.

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Sadly this is indeed the case. Government action on this is long overdue.


Gambling is so easy on our phones etc that I doubt advertisement restrictions will actually impact much, although it feels very much like the right thing to do. Their ubiquity in TV especially around sports events is incredible. An age limited product should only be promoted at events etc that are in the majority only viewed by those eligible to buy it.

Allowing betting companies to effectively self-regulate is ridiculous. They are of course a powerful lobby.

It is worth saying that the truly addictive personality will always find a way.

Never placed a bet. Seen plenty of victims of gambling though, and their families.



Agree that some limitations on advertising are required, the frequency and noise of gambling advertising before and during games in Australia seems to be without constraint.
Each ad finishes with …dont forget to gamble responsibly… or some similar nonsense.

Advertising only after 10pm for example may go someway to limit the impact on younger people,
I fear it is out of control and governments need to take action

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Agreed. This is just an arse covering exercise for avaricious companies profiteering from addiction and misery.
I’m not really a “ban it” person but the adverts need to be banned, if gamblers want to continue then they know where to go. The adverts are to recruit - can you imagine the outcry if cigarettes or alcohol were discounted for first time users?? This is exactly what the gambling companies are doing with their introductory offers.


Agree with @Guinnless re the ads being banned, that and all advertising - they were able to do it for tobacco and this should go the same way.

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We are of the same mind on this.


Letting the gambling industry regulate itself is akin to the police policing the police (have you ever tried getting the police commissioner answering questions under caution?) or having the press regulate themselves.

Locally the town council was trying to ban one of these slot machine parlours in our lovely little market town , and overruled by the district council . It will be like fluffy dice in a Bentley

Nothing but sympathy for those affected .


It does seem bonkers.

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I do not gamble, however I do enjoy visiting the big establishments in Las Vegas to see the glitz and extravagants of the buildings - however I realise that it is gained from the misery of others.

This may well be the case. However let’s keep the discussion free of any politics, as per forum rules. Thanks.

I’m rather conflicted over this. Adults over 18 can - and should - be free to make decisions over how to spend the money they earn. There is something offensive about a bunch of ageing males who spend an awful lot of money on audio equipment moralising over other people’s choices.
OTOH it’s undeniable that gambling can ruin lives…

I heard Peters story on the radio the other day.
He said he had most probably spuffed a few million and nearly lost his wife.
That’s nothing compared to today’s players.
I have no sympathy for him.
Seems like a nice chap, but I’m not going to buy his new autobiography. Probably put all the earnings on a 3.15 at Newmarket.

It is more difficult to feel sorry for someone who has blown so much money. OTOH gambling has clearly had an affect on him and his loved ones too.

I appreciate that it is your responsibility to moderate the forum and it is sometimes difficult to know where to draw the line. I take your point Richard.


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I feel very strongly about this - the advertising builds a clear picture that you can enjoy sport, but you don’t REALLY enjoy it until you bet on it. With your mates. So it’s projected as both sociable and life enhancing.

I’ve never bet on anything other than the grand national sweepstake in the office, I just don’t get it. But it’s a big problem for many people, and we are creating a generation for who it’s normalised. Gambling in the young is at unprecedented levels. It’s a scandal.

My only real problem is Peter Shilton. If I was coming up with a list of sports people I’d think fronting a campaign would be bad idea, he’d be pretty much top of the list. Perhaps Oscar Pistorious might be ahead of him, but you get the point. He’s a wrong headed liability.

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