Its still a little disheartening being a campaigner sometimes.

I started the Neuroliberation campaign before I met any other gambling campaign groups such as GRASP,  James Petherick from 'Diary of a Compulsive Gambler' and many other concerned groups and individuals  that were trying to raise awareness of how the gambling industry is transforming Britain into a gambling addicted nation. If it wasn't for meeting those people though, I may have given up by now.
But knowing that others out there share my concern to the same degree of passion that I do really spurs me on to keep fighting the good fight.

GRASP                  James Petherick                                

But I'm still meeting new people almost every day that confess to me about their gambling addiction after I'v told them about the campaign I'm doing. Pretty much everyone I speak to on the street at least knows someone that knows someone with a gambling addiction. 

When I first started the campaign I had been naive.
I used to think that most of the staff in the William Hill's. Ladbrokes and coral shops ect would have seen and be concerned with the devastation that roulette machines cause for so many people. I thought that if anyone would understand and support my campaign then it would be them. But I was wrong. Their jobs were at stake and many unfortunately seemed to be more concerned with keeping their jobs.
It pays the bills they say. It puts bread on their table. A job to keep in tough economic times.

The deadline for the petition ran out and it wasn't much of a success at all really. I threw it out there to see how people would react and to give a voice for people that thought about it like me and  that particular action is now over and it's time to move on in other directions.
 I'm glad though because as I got further into the campaign , I wanted to re-shape it's aims and focus's on how it can help slow down the devastation caused by the gambling industry.

 It became an issue that the definition of 'betting shops being away from 'high streets and town centres and away from where children and young people are likely to be' was mistakenly quite vague and unclear.
People were calling me a 'gambling Nazi', 'anti-gambling' and claimed that I wanted to take away peoples rights. It was never about that. It was about a genuine concern for public safety, on a deep level. A deeper level than the industry themselves would like us to think.

What disheartens me though, is that betting shop staff see addicted gamblers all the time but they seem to be in denial and make excuses on how it might not be a problem gambler. Whether it's the queues of people waiting to feed their gambling addiction to the machine, or the lonely man gambling every penny he has in the late evening hours. A lot of them see the tragic stories, many claim they can't intervene or successfully help a problem gambler.

To me it's just another reflection of a 'me,me,me' world where everyone is walking around on their own trip. It's almost like people are getting numb to it all.

Many have told me that they don't get paid enough to be a councillor, and that recommending a person to self-exclude can often be daunting and uncomfortable, especially for the many young girls women that are now employed by the industry. Many of them fear that even if they were able to intervene then customers would sometimes become aggressive and be in complete denial about their addiction.

But there's a huge contradiction. How come the Association of British Bookmakers and many betting shop staff claim that betting shops bring 'life and joy' to britains high streets and general public when betting shop staff have all these stories  about 'unhygienic' customers, people getting aggressive and Facebooking how 'some saddo has been on the machine for five hours and just lost a grand'.

All the unfortunate stories I feared that would happen from the rise in gambling in the UK is already here. It was already here before I thought about it, I guess that I was just lacking experience.

Staff say that usually betting shops are pleasant places to work at but I'v already witnessed for myself the groups of desperate men and the lonely beggars trying to convince you that they know the numbers that are about to come up on the roulette in the hope you'l give them some money if the number comes in.
I'v seen the men hitting the machines, walking away ruining. What can betting shop staff do but allow it to happen?

I'v even tried to point them towards the research that's been done for years about how gambling effects and influences the mind, and how it is easily manipulated by common methods of mind control, triggers and neurological manipulation.

But even with the facts it seems that people warning others about the dangers of fixed odds betting terminals are at a standstill with the very people working front-line for the industry as well as pro-industry lobbyists.
We'r seen as party-poopers, fun nazi's when in reality we'r just trying to warn people of what we have experienced, what we'v researched and how it ruins the community and influences our future and our 'national mental health'.

Unfortunately a lot of shop staff seem to have the opinion that anyone addicted to the machines is simply greedy and a fool for not taking control. They believe that addiction is a simply black and white choice.
 Even with educational and scientific evidence on YouTube videos they seem dedicated to fight against it and defend the industry with a passion.

A lot claim that they often find it difficult to spot a problem gambler, and say that one man may be a millionaire that comes in and spends a hundred pound and another man may be playing with his last £1 coin.
A hundred pounds is quite a lot to spend on an electronic game, and although some people walk away with winnings, I'v seen for myself hundreds of times how hard it is for anyone to get off these machines.


 So there are really no clear guidelines on how staff can intervene and help problem gamblers, even for the very few who decide to step in and show a bit of community compassion. The gambling industry recently claimed it was working on this but I'l believe it when I see it.

I won't rant on and keep you reading much longer, but I wanted to say that I don't want this to seem like an attack on betting shop staff. But for anyone out there that reads this that may work in a betting shop , all I ask is one thing.

Please , please , please don't hold back from looking at information outside of the 'training manual perspective'. Taking the time to understand addiction and look into the many years of research into the neurological workings of the brain will educate you on how the mind gets attacked by thousands of business simply so they can reap a profit from people.

I'v said it before and I'l say it again...the knowledge of the brain that the gambling industry uses to lure people in and get them addicted is the same knowledge that can set you free.
It's knowledge that's got into the wrong hands, and the wrong hands love it when your ignorant to it.

Here's an old one...but you kinda get the message.