Staff in Islington betting shops this week explained how to beat addiction when it comes to gambling, also touching on how to avoid it completely.
“Come in with a budget, whether that be betting on a race or whatever. That way you don’t lose your cool,” said Paddy Power assistant Leslie in her early 40’s, who declined to give her surname.
Gambling can affect people’s personal lives, causing them to become agitated when the odds are against them, she said. “I tend not to speak to people if they are frustrated,” added Leslie, “it’s suicide.”
(PaddyPower on Holloway Road)
An anonymous staff member at Ladbrokes over the road, who did not want to reveal her identity also talked about “self-bans” to prevent addiction.
“We do get customers who do that, our job is to send them the right way,” she said.
“Our duty of care is to ask them “maybe you should stop now?” give them any other options they would like to consider. Like any addiction, it’s difficult to admit.”
Karl Philpot, 23, who works at BetFred, said his company also encourages people with addiction to exclude themselves.
“We also can provide help if they need it through gamble aware, basically a rehab for problem gamblers. So we give them a leaflet and if they choose to get help Gamble Aware deals with it externally,” he said.
“We also suggest self-exclusions if we think they have a problem. So like if they are spending/losing large amounts every day or if they’re getting angry/aggressive/upset about how much they’re spending.”
Whether people choose to offer the hand that is held out to them though is a different story, as Philpot says it “doesn’t happen very often”.