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Paul Merson: Football, Gambling & Me

Did anyone else just see this on BBC1?

I thought it was really interesting, and disgusting too, the way gambling companies can see when people are addicted and making ridiculous numbers of bets and money transfers, but do nothing about it
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Comments

  • It was shocking, something must be done to stop this. A ban on advertising would be a good start.
  • Unfortunately, as pointed out in the show, whatever restrictions are put in place - the gambling companies will always seemingly find a way around them. 
  • cafctom said:
    Unfortunately, as pointed out in the show, whatever restrictions are put in place - the gambling companies will always seemingly find a way around them. 
    The Government probably makes too much money to have the will to properly regulate the gambling industry.

    It was heart breaking to see the families of gambling addicts who have taken their own lives.
  • Those statements from the gambling companies were a nonsense, as it's irrelevant that they state in their adverts that they tell people to gamble responsibly and set limits, as the problem gamblers are the EXACT people who won't/can't do this, and they're doing nothing to protect these people
  • YTS1978 said:
    Good program. The bit where they highlighted the data the betting company held on one gambler was particularly shocking! And the way they could target him/her to maximise profits. Horrible business really.
    Yeah this was the bot that got me as well. I guess it shouldn't be surprising, every company we register with online will have some form of this going on but it doesn't make it any less shocking. Especially when these bookies are essentially identifying people with problems and do nothing about it.
  • The betting companies are like a publican who instead of saying "sorry sir, I think you've had enough to drink already" suggests you order tequila shots, washed down with a bottle of expensive champagne
  • Some companies may be better than others @bobmunro, but we all know it goes on. To pretend otherwise would be ridiculous.
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  • Off_it said:
    Some companies may be better than others @bobmunro, but we all know it goes on. To pretend otherwise would be ridiculous.

    I'm not pretending it doesn't go on - and targeted marketing pretty much sums up e-commerce. If a customer is predominately a horse racing punter then we will present that product - but not if the analysis (ongoing) of that customer's business triggers one or more of any number of criteria that we have developed, with collaboration from external gambling harm bodies when it is needed, that have been identified as 'markers' of problem gambling. Getting the industry as a whole (most of which are PLCs with stakeholders wanting ever increasing profits) to go along with us is a challenge!

    Sports betting isn't anywhere near as big an issue in this area - online slots are the crack cocaine.
  • I can understand the joys of casinos, card games, and betting etc.
    We've all been there.

    It goes from being a one off, bit of casual fun...then eventually, to a quick fix (desperate) voice in your head.
    Soon as it becomes a need - then it is a problem.

    That's when reality flies away and the real world leaves you. It can probably happen to anyone.

    When feeling normal, gambling really is just rather boring pointless and kind of dull. It's a bit meh.
    I'm personally no longer a fan of it, at all.

    I can speak from experience ...I believe it is important not to win. It's better to not even come close.

    That will increase addiction. You will just lose a lot more, in the long run.




  • "William Hill said:

    We have also committed 20% of our advertising on TV and radio to promote important safe gambling initiatives like deposit limits and timeouts". 

    Does that mean that four our of five adverts promote gambling and one in five promotes safe gambling?

    "Ladbrokes did not respond to our request for comment."

    But if one of the Racing Channels requests them to provide their prices on an upcoming sporting event and they can't wait to avail themselves of the offer. Total cowards.
  • I bet occasionally perhaps ten times a year.
    I should imagine a couple of my mates bet weekly and perhaps daily.
    On the basis that the bookie usually wins, I assume that overall they lose money.
    They regularly get free bet offers from Bet365, that I very rarely get offered, although surprisingly I did get the £5 free bet offer for Newmarket last Saturday.
    I can only presume it's because they "give" Bet365 more money than me or perhaps when they get the free bet offers, they also put on other bets. 
  • Thought provoking programme.

    As someone who struggles with addictions (good and bad) I can appreciate where they are coming from and what causes it. I think some people (like me) just have a propensity to addictions, I'm fairly fortunate that in the main I can control it (aside from 3 sweetness in my tea!) but I could so easily get addicted to so many things, including gambling, and have to one extent or another particularly when I was younger, often not bad things, addicted to Golf & Snooker (although I guess skipping lots of school to go and play may not long term have been the best idea!).

    I've just never been a 'take it or leave it' kind of person, in anything.

    Thought it was very sad to see how consumed Merson still was, I hope he manages to continue to battle his demons and get through it, and well done him for being so open to highlight the issues surrounding gambling. In my experience his only way to beat it will be to find another, positive, addiction, but not easy when he's been addicted for so long.
  • The bit that got me was telling someone who obviously had problem that he hadn’t deposited enough and so missed a bonus.

  • If they let you bet it’s cos the numbers / computer programs or whatever indicate you’re a loser 
    Anyone with even half a clue isn’t allowed to bet .

    lame the lot of em 
  • bobmunro said:
    Off_it said:
    There's a reason these companies make so much money.
    There's a reason why there are so many different companies all trying to get a slice of the action.
    There's a reason why they all spend so much on advertising. 

    As it said on the programme, unlike your local bookie in the past, these companies have access to data which can indicate whether someone has a problem or not. But they use it to target customers with offers and promotions knowing exactly what buttons to push.

    What chance has your vulnerable average Joe got against a huge corporate spending millions a year to know exactly how to extract money from you?

    I'm not anti-betting, far from it. But this sort of thing has been going on for a while now and something needs to change.
    I was going to avoid comment on this thread, knowing that I would almost certainly be shot down. I will however comment on the bit I've highlighted and then crawl back under my rock.

    Yes, like any account based activity (bank, credit card, Amazon, Facebook et al) the operator has data by the bucket load. If an operator is using that data to prey on customers who are showing signs of problem gambling then they are in breach of the Licence Conditions and Code of Practice as dictated by the Gambling Act 2005 and the Gambling Commission. I cannot comment on Ladbrokes or William Hill (well I could but I won't) who I believe were the target of the programme (I only caught the last 15 minutes) but I can categorically state (and stake my reputation) that we invest vast sums of money by analysing that data, with very, very complex machine learning, in trying all we can to identify problem gamblers at the earliest opportunity and then take whatever action we can to protect them. We have very large teams dedicated to doing just that.

    Now where's that rock?




    I also work in the gambling industry and for a responsible gambling department and as Bob said if this was to happen the gambling commission would revoke your license with immediate effect. We have hundreds of processes and algorithms which use the data for exactly the opposite of what is being suggested. Granted this wasn't always the case in years gone by  but is now a mandatory requirement for anyone licensed in the UK. VIP schemes such as the ones that will have targeted Merse and other high rollers still exist but , source of funds and extra due diligence will have been checked thoroughly before anything is offered, Im going to find that rock now also!
  • The families of the blokes who had taken their own lives upset me. I have always had time to listen to Paul Merson talk about this ever since he came out about his problems years ago at Arsenal. Years later I remember him talking and being quite flippant about how he had well and truly beaten drugs and alcohol but the gambling had got him and he would always be putting money on anything. Which saddened me to hear and I'd guess this would have been about 2008. Since then I've seen him open up in a couple of documentaries and its incredible how that addiction has properly got him and more so I found it upsetting because he is clearly surrounded by family who care for him and he knows this. 

    The transcripts where the company were aggressively targeting the guy who obviously had a problem could have been compared to a landlord chasing an alcoholic down the road offering them 2 for 1 shots and stuff like that happened. I met George Best twice and one of those times was in a pub in Fulham/Parsons Green when he was sat on his own and was constantly having drinks sent over to him by the clientele of the pub, everyone knew he had a well documented problem with drink yet were literally feeding it to him. 

    I count myself as lucky, whilst I like a bet most weekends I am definitely in the camp of only staking what I can afford to lose. Means I'll never be paying to mortgage off when I win but also means I'm only down 10 or 20 quid when I inevitably lose. My heart went out to the families of the people who had taken their own lives because of a gambling addiction 
  • "William Hill said:

    We have also committed 20% of our advertising on TV and radio to promote important safe gambling initiatives like deposit limits and timeouts". 

    Does that mean that four our of five adverts promote gambling and one in five promotes safe gambling?

    It could be 1 in 100 and it’s a lot more expensive.
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  • Bournesnr said:
    The bit that got me was telling someone who obviously had problem that he hadn’t deposited enough and so missed a bonus.

    Even worse was the fact that the reason that they hadn't deposited enough, was because they had taken their own life.
  • My son got married about 8 years ago,I know he earned good money but always seemed skint,I never pushed him on why this was,every time the subject came up,it was met with stoney silence.When he left home,I had the dubious pleasure of disposing of his left behinds.I was shocked ,throughout his room where statements from bookies,Paddy Power etc.,he had lost thousands over the years.He should have spoke to me,I could have helped.Luckily,he did not get into serious debt,seemingly,when his wages run out,he stopped for the time being(he may have borrowed money I dont know).He is lucky,no doubt getting married helped and I am pretty sure the addiction is passed.The government earn too much from this industry,so they wont ban advertising,(although they banned smoking adverts ),but such is the coverage on TV etc.and the ease a child can become addicted,something must be done.Peronally I would make gambling debts unenforcable by Law,that would stop the betting companies pushing for money from people already in trouble.
  • As an autistic person I fall into habits/routines very easily - hence my decision to just not gamble at all, ever. Even if it was "affordable" amounts, I'd end up doing it when it wasn't affordable too.

    Obviously this is my own perspective and those who are better able to manage it are more than welcome to - I have mates who put money on accumulators etc and I have no problem with them doing so.

    I just know that I unfortunately would most likely end up one of the "problem" gamblers. 
  • It's all about the data with all these companies. I'd say my mrs has a problem with online shopping the amount of fcking parcels that arrive every day.

    I can only imagine what her emails must look like from some of these shops. 'Spend £30 for free delivery' etc

    Pretty sure she even said if she has something in her basket for a day or two and it's just sitting there they end up giving her a discount in the hope she buys it 🙄
  • edited October 12
    My son got married about 8 years ago,I know he earned good money but always seemed skint,I never pushed him on why this was,every time the subject came up,it was met with stoney silence.When he left home,I had the dubious pleasure of disposing of his left behinds.I was shocked ,throughout his room where statements from bookies,Paddy Power etc.,he had lost thousands over the years.He should have spoke to me,I could have helped.Luckily,he did not get into serious debt,seemingly,when his wages run out,he stopped for the time being(he may have borrowed money I dont know).He is lucky,no doubt getting married helped and I am pretty sure the addiction is passed.The government earn too much from this industry,so they wont ban advertising,(although they banned smoking adverts ),but such is the coverage on TV etc.and the ease a child can become addicted,something must be done.Peronally I would make gambling debts unenforcable by Law,that would stop the betting companies pushing for money from people already in trouble.
    But surely you pay up front to the the vast majority of the bookies.......so any corresponding debts would manifest themselves elsewhere?
  • edited October 12
    bobmunro said:
    Off_it said:
    Some companies may be better than others @bobmunro, but we all know it goes on. To pretend otherwise would be ridiculous.

    I'm not pretending it doesn't go on - and targeted marketing pretty much sums up e-commerce. If a customer is predominately a horse racing punter then we will present that product - but not if the analysis (ongoing) of that customer's business triggers one or more of any number of criteria that we have developed, with collaboration from external gambling harm bodies when it is needed, that have been identified as 'markers' of problem gambling. Getting the industry as a whole (most of which are PLCs with stakeholders wanting ever increasing profits) to go along with us is a challenge!

    Sports betting isn't anywhere near as big an issue in this area - online slots are the crack cocaine.
    I was going to say the physical "real life" slots too. I don't know the exact figures as far as what type of gambling is worse when it comes to addiction, although would've thought that online gambling is obviously easier to analyse, but reckon there's a massive (bigger problem) with people putting £20 after £20 in fruities, especially the roulette slot machines they have in betting shops. 

    Also known a few over the years who would be stuck to the fruities in the pubs all night. Any change from beers bought, straight into the machine, and when the pound note machines we're rolled out, I dread to think what some of those people were slidding in them.

    Edit* And you don't need to go to the hassle of having an account with the above either
  • edited October 12
    My son got married about 8 years ago,I know he earned good money but always seemed skint,I never pushed him on why this was,every time the subject came up,it was met with stoney silence.When he left home,I had the dubious pleasure of disposing of his left behinds.I was shocked ,throughout his room where statements from bookies,Paddy Power etc.,he had lost thousands over the years.He should have spoke to me,I could have helped.Luckily,he did not get into serious debt,seemingly,when his wages run out,he stopped for the time being(he may have borrowed money I dont know).He is lucky,no doubt getting married helped and I am pretty sure the addiction is passed.The government earn too much from this industry,so they wont ban advertising,(although they banned smoking adverts ),but such is the coverage on TV etc.and the ease a child can become addicted,something must be done.Peronally I would make gambling debts unenforcable by Law,that would stop the betting companies pushing for money from people already in trouble.
    But surely you pay up front to the the vast majority of the bookies.......so any corresponding debts would manifest themselves elsewhere?

    Correct. There are very, very few credit accounts these days and credit cards cannot be used. So the money is up front.

    Gambling debts became enforceable with the advent of the Gambling Act 2005. Taking into account the above, being enforceable primarily gives the right to a customer to enforce a payout - so be careful what you wish for @thickandthin63
  • CH4RLTON said:
    bobmunro said:
    Off_it said:
    There's a reason these companies make so much money.
    There's a reason why there are so many different companies all trying to get a slice of the action.
    There's a reason why they all spend so much on advertising. 

    As it said on the programme, unlike your local bookie in the past, these companies have access to data which can indicate whether someone has a problem or not. But they use it to target customers with offers and promotions knowing exactly what buttons to push.

    What chance has your vulnerable average Joe got against a huge corporate spending millions a year to know exactly how to extract money from you?

    I'm not anti-betting, far from it. But this sort of thing has been going on for a while now and something needs to change.
    I was going to avoid comment on this thread, knowing that I would almost certainly be shot down. I will however comment on the bit I've highlighted and then crawl back under my rock.

    Yes, like any account based activity (bank, credit card, Amazon, Facebook et al) the operator has data by the bucket load. If an operator is using that data to prey on customers who are showing signs of problem gambling then they are in breach of the Licence Conditions and Code of Practice as dictated by the Gambling Act 2005 and the Gambling Commission. I cannot comment on Ladbrokes or William Hill (well I could but I won't) who I believe were the target of the programme (I only caught the last 15 minutes) but I can categorically state (and stake my reputation) that we invest vast sums of money by analysing that data, with very, very complex machine learning, in trying all we can to identify problem gamblers at the earliest opportunity and then take whatever action we can to protect them. We have very large teams dedicated to doing just that.

    Now where's that rock?




    I also work in the gambling industry and for a responsible gambling department and as Bob said if this was to happen the gambling commission would revoke your license with immediate effect. We have hundreds of processes and algorithms which use the data for exactly the opposite of what is being suggested. Granted this wasn't always the case in years gone by  but is now a mandatory requirement for anyone licensed in the UK. VIP schemes such as the ones that will have targeted Merse and other high rollers still exist but , source of funds and extra due diligence will have been checked thoroughly before anything is offered, Im going to find that rock now also!
    I was going to ask about VIP schemes. Surely these shouldn't be allowed to exist, I mean bookies aren't going to be offering lovely perks to customers who consistently cost them money.
  • colthe3rd said:
    CH4RLTON said:
    bobmunro said:
    Off_it said:
    There's a reason these companies make so much money.
    There's a reason why there are so many different companies all trying to get a slice of the action.
    There's a reason why they all spend so much on advertising. 

    As it said on the programme, unlike your local bookie in the past, these companies have access to data which can indicate whether someone has a problem or not. But they use it to target customers with offers and promotions knowing exactly what buttons to push.

    What chance has your vulnerable average Joe got against a huge corporate spending millions a year to know exactly how to extract money from you?

    I'm not anti-betting, far from it. But this sort of thing has been going on for a while now and something needs to change.
    I was going to avoid comment on this thread, knowing that I would almost certainly be shot down. I will however comment on the bit I've highlighted and then crawl back under my rock.

    Yes, like any account based activity (bank, credit card, Amazon, Facebook et al) the operator has data by the bucket load. If an operator is using that data to prey on customers who are showing signs of problem gambling then they are in breach of the Licence Conditions and Code of Practice as dictated by the Gambling Act 2005 and the Gambling Commission. I cannot comment on Ladbrokes or William Hill (well I could but I won't) who I believe were the target of the programme (I only caught the last 15 minutes) but I can categorically state (and stake my reputation) that we invest vast sums of money by analysing that data, with very, very complex machine learning, in trying all we can to identify problem gamblers at the earliest opportunity and then take whatever action we can to protect them. We have very large teams dedicated to doing just that.

    Now where's that rock?




    I also work in the gambling industry and for a responsible gambling department and as Bob said if this was to happen the gambling commission would revoke your license with immediate effect. We have hundreds of processes and algorithms which use the data for exactly the opposite of what is being suggested. Granted this wasn't always the case in years gone by  but is now a mandatory requirement for anyone licensed in the UK. VIP schemes such as the ones that will have targeted Merse and other high rollers still exist but , source of funds and extra due diligence will have been checked thoroughly before anything is offered, Im going to find that rock now also!
    I was going to ask about VIP schemes. Surely these shouldn't be allowed to exist, I mean bookies aren't going to be offering lovely perks to customers who consistently cost them money.
    Bookies aren’t gonna offer a bet over a tenner to anyone who consistently wins .

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