Gambling addicts have shared how the coronavirus pandemic has made it harder to battle their addiction.
During the initial lockdown, Britain’s largest betting firms agreed to end all television and radio gambling advertising for six weeks, but this has not been repeated since.
Alex, a 41-year-old addict, said: “When I’m sat at home now, every other advert will be for gambling, it’s just everywhere during lockdown.”
Alex previously battled with drug and alcohol addiction, but he said recovering from his gambling habit has been more difficult, as betting is harder to avoid.
Jordan – not his real name – used online gambling more than usual during lockdown when betting shops were closed.
He said this “made it worse”, as “you can do a lot of damage in the shops but it’s not like what you can do online, with £500 spins in seconds”.
Last month, research by the Gambling Health Alliance revealed that the majority of the public supports tougher betting restrictions to protect gamblers.
Of the 2,094 people polled by Yonder, 56 per cent of gamblers and 66 per cent of non-gamblers favoured a ban on all gambling advertising in or near sports grounds or venues. A similar split supported a £2 limit on online slots.
The Government is currently considering reforms to gambling law, which could see the most significant changes to advertising and the running of the industry since the introduction of the 2005 Gambling Act.