‘My talented boy took his life because of gambling’

A 23-year-old who was working for a top accountancy firm led a double life which saw him become addicted to gambling and go on to commit suicide, his father has said.

Joshua Jones reportedly owed up to £30,000 to banks, loan companies, friends and family.

His father has called for changes to the gambling industry, including betting websites introducing a permanent exclusion from their sites instead of the current time-limited blocks.


Speaking at the inquest, Martin Jones said: “Josh was good looking and intelligent and had a good job but he was addicted to gambling”.

“He died of shame. He took his life because of gambling. We miss him terribly”, he added.

“Time-limited exclusions are merely a ticking timebomb waiting to explode”, Jones said.

‘Physically shaking’

Joshua used the betting site PokerStars, and his father recounted an instance when Joshua was “lying on his bed in the early hours of the morning, physically shaking and sweating with an internal battle as to whether he could resist picking up his phone to play”.

Speaking on behalf of a trade body that represents online gambling websites, Brian Wright said such sites “have a number of tools so people can limit the amount they bet”, and added: “We are always trying to improve”.

Money laundering

An in-depth investigation by a national newspaper earlier this year revealed that gambling addiction in the UK is such a serious problem that the NHS has started prescribing drugs to the worst-affected addicts.

It also found that there has been a marked increase in the use of controversial Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals.

The Times reported that criminals are using the betting terminals as a way of laundering millions of pounds of drug money every year.

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