There are many reasons to hate the Labour Party. There’s the big stuff of course, the economic mismanagement, the damaging levels of immigration, the Islamopandering, the political correctness and the attacks on free speech to name but a few. However, there is one policy brought in by the last Labour government that impacts every person, every day and even in their own homes, and that is deregulated gambling.
Why on earth the so called ‘people’s party’ thought that having heavily promoted gambling facilities available 24/7 would be beneficial to the nation I really don’t know, but who can see logic in Labour’s reasoning in any of their policies? It is beyond belief that a party that believes itself to be on the side of working men and women should think that encouraging people to gamble and to trust in the slippery phantom that is ‘luck’ was a good thing.
Now I’m not one of those who wish to ban gambling and I would be two-faced if I claimed that I didn’t gamble myself, because I do have a flutter now and again on the Grand National or the Boat Race or the National Lottery, but do we as a society really need so much in your face gambling all the time? People should be allowed to indulge in off course betting and having licensed bookmakers did, it should be remembered, remove much of the criminal element from the gambling industry. But, there should be a distinction made between allowing gambling on specifically licensed premises or environments, and the saturation marketing of gambling that Labour allowed and indeed encouraged to happen.
Some of the figures that have come out since Labour deregulated gambling advertising in 2007 should really give cause for concern.
According to a Guardian article from November 2013, Labour’s deregualtion of gambling and of gambling advertising has seen a massive rise in adverts for gambling services. In the last year before deregulation there were approximately 234,000 gambling adverts for bingo halls, football pools and the national lottery. In 2012, after 7 years of Labours gambling deregulation, viewers were shown 1.39 million gambling advertisments. The Guardian also provides us with the worrying information that under-16’s see at least 211 gambling adverts per year. It worries me because gambling adverts are encouraging a whole new generation to become hooked on a form of instant gratification gambling, quite unlike the sort of legal gambling that Britons have lived with and accepted in the past. How is encouraging of the enslavement of young people to gambling and the damage it can do to some individuals, in any way in keeping with Labour’s professed care for Britain’s working classes? Should not such a party of the workers want more for the country’s young people than just to be seen as and treated as distracted cash-cows for gambling companies? A world like that is not what I want for any child.
The Guardian said:
“The number of gambling commercials on British TV has rocketed from 234,000 a year to nearly 1.4m annually since the deregulation of the sector six years ago, according to new research.
Media regulator Ofcom on Tuesday published research showing that viewers were bombarded with 1.39m gambling ads ran last year, with under-16s exposed to an average of 211 ads each.
This is an increase of nearly 600% since the Gambling Act 2005 came into force in September 2007, which opened the door to TV advertising for sports betting, online casinos and poker. Prior to that legislation only allowed ads for football pools, the National Lottery and bingo premises.
In 2007, some 234,000 gambling ads were aired – two years before that the figure was just 90,000. This rose to 537,000 in 2008 after the market was liberalised.
Ofcom pointed out that between 2005 and 2012, a period that has seen significant growth in the number of digital TV channels available to viewers, the total amount of TV advertising airtime also doubled from 17.4m to 34.2m spots.
Over this period the proportion of commercials accounted for by gambling ads rose from 0.5% to 4.1% of all TV advertising.
Read the rest of the Guardian article here: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/nov/19/tv-gambling-ads
Of course we need to take into account that we now live in a much more multichannel TV world and there is more airtime available to advertisers but that doesn’t change the fact that there is more, a lot more, gambling advertisments being broadcast. We do need to ask what this constant pushing of gambling is going to do to our country? I find it difficult to believe that the outcome of free for all gambling will be at all positive.
I was innoculated against gambling at a young age, partly by the sight of broken looking men emerging from betting offices and hearing the tales of women whose families faced a week of starvation, because their husbands had popped into the bookies on their way home from work with the pay packet on a Friday or a Saturday. I grew up not seeing much that was positive about gambling and learned that when it comes to gambling the only real winners are the Bookie or the House. Despite seeing these things I still would not ban gambling but we do need a social debate about how Labour’s deregulation of gambling, and the free for all in advertising of gambling is affecting our nation. It’s not enough to sprinkle the words ‘play responsibly’ into gambling adverts, those who are likely to gamble responsibly already do so whilst those who are liable to be problem gamblers will ignore such warnings. Exhortations to ‘play responsibly’ have about as much impact as putting ‘drink responsibly’ on cans of Super Tennants, do you think a Tennants quaffing problem drinker is going to drink less just because the word ‘drink responsibly’ is emblazoned on the can? Of course not. The ‘play responsibly’ messages are just so much fluff, put there by the gambling companies to make it seem as if gambling advertising is being regulated when it plainly is not.
Maybe it is time to see Labour’s deregulation of gambling and of gambling advertising in the same way as we see other failed Labour policies? We can see how Labour’s policies on immigration wrecked our cities and is impoverishing and putting pressure on Britons of all faiths and races and we should start to treat Labour’s gambling policy in the same way and call it out for being the disaster that it is.
At the very least I believe there should be consideration given by Government for a return to the gambling advertising situation that existed prior to the 2005 Gambling Act and which was implemented in 2007. There should maybe even be a return to having ‘closed fronted’ gambling establishments in order to make gambling less attractive to the normally non-gambling passer-by. Gambling is a legal activity and should remain so, but I can’t help but wonder whether the constant pushing of gambling activity is in the long term interest of the United Kingdom and its people.
So, to conclude, if you have a member of your family who is descending into problem gambling or who are addicted to the pernicious phenomenon of ‘fixed odds betting’, or you are worried about your children being exposed to so much pro-gambling propaganda, then you know who to blame. It is now pretty clear that the Labour party should take responsibility for an increase in gambling problems just as they should take responsibility for all the other disasters that they have brought upon this country.
Remember, if you want a bookie or a casino as your neighbour, then vote Labour. There are any reasons to not vote Labour, and the encroachment of gambling into everyone’s daily life is just another of them.