Hello everyone, I’m Ben Thacker (aka Westwood) the founder of Neuroliberation campaign which is currently campaigning against the rapid expansion of the gambling industry since the gambling act 2005. I am currently petitioning to get betting shops removed from town centres, high streets and other places where children, young people and families are likely to be. Please sign the petition at > http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/36386
Since the Gambling act 2005, betting shops have been able to open on any high street they want, with no need to apply for planning permission. Since then, you’re never ever really far from a Coral, William Hill, Ladbrokes or another brand of betting shop.It might be important to state that the reason the act was passed was because of the politicians involved had links themselves with the gambling industry, but that’s another story which you can find more about on my Neuroliberation film at http://neuroliberation.blogspot.co.uk/
Gambling and betting shops have always been known to be a bit of a social stigma with its many damaging stories of people throwing their lives away on the horses, but in its many new forms gambling has become faster paced, and a lot more accessible. Betting shops weren’t allowed to advertise on the outside of their shops prior to 2005 , now gambling advertising is everywhere , even sometimes when you click a webpage. There are even television channels dedicated to various forms of gambling.
The gambling industry companies claim that only 1-3% of gamblers are problem gamblers, but this is strongly disagreed by both ex-gambling addicts such as myself and many betting shop workers around the country , the very people that know what betting shops are often like inside which is a very different story. The industry thrives from gambling addiction.
Since the introduction of fixed odds betting terminals, which hosts games including electronic roulette , a lot of people have been addicted to this new fast paced form of gambling. You only need to spend an hour or so researching them on the internet to see how dangerous they have become, they have been dubbed the ‘Crack Cocaine of gambling’.
This is because once someone has had a big win (I won £500 from starting with £4) they get such a rush of dopamine that their brain becomes extremely dependant on it, like most addictions it tricks the brain into thinking this is a genuine act that will help us evolve, because dopamine’s purpose is to act as a ‘driver’ for us to get to the ‘reward’. These are neurological activities that it is hard for any person to control whatever their state of mind or social status.
The problem with this is that researchers and professors that have studied the effects of dopamine on the brain have found that excessive over-production of dopamine flooding the frontal lobe area of the brain is linked with schizophrenia, mania, Bi-polar, attention deficit disorders and many other mental health effects also including depression, loss of humour, rage and anxiety.It’s not uncommon to see people spitting, punching and swearing at machines in a betting shop these days, people are literally allowed to lose everything they have in a matter of minutes, with no intervention whatsoever from betting shop staff.
During my year or so campaigning I have never heard once of any betting shop staff voluntarily stopping a person gambling that has lost control. I have personally felt the effects of this myself and have seen that it is happening to many other people, betting shops are now open from morning until night often advertising things like “play for free and win money”.
Unfortunately a lot of people look at the situation only from an addicted gamblers point of view , often overlooking that it has huge impacts on not only their families, but on the rest of the community.How much more strain do we need on mental health services, social services and the police at a time when those very services are been cut? And do we really have to wonder if we really want to go to that local shop because it’s next to a betting shop with people that come out in a negative mental state.How much damage, disruption and crime do betting shops bring to the rest of the community? How much damaged property? How many more muggings and robberies? How many more neglected or abused children?
We don’t need even more broken characters walking around, it’s not good for neither themselves or anyone else. Mp’s that have links to the gambling industry are pushing for even more liberalisation of gambling , and are calling for up to 12 machines in any one betting shop (currently the maximum permitted is 4). A lot of lives, minds, families and communities are going to get effected by this is we don’t make a stand now, if people want to gamble they can know the risk and do it in a place that isn’t our town centres. It’s becoming quite unsafe, grim and unfriendly.
Please sign my petition to get betting shops removed from town centres, high streets and places that families and young people are likely to be by signing my petition at – http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/36386
and for more information on what im doing check out my blog at http://neuroliberation.blogspot.co.uk/
Thanks for reading!! Benp.s. If you support what I’m doing then please tell your friends, family, colleagues and internet contacts about the campaign and get them to sign the petition. Thank you