The gambling problem in Wales seems to be escalating, as reports have come out that the Welsh spend over £1.6bn on gambling machines every year
According to the Wales Gambling Commission and Beat the Odds initiative, Wales is in the middle of an extreme gambling problem. The latest gambling news reports show that Wales bet over £1.6bn on fixed-odds betting terminals last year, with over £51.5 million lost.
In 2012, it was estimated that there were over 1,450 fixed-odds betting terminals in Wales. On average, there is over £3,000 spent on each gambling machine per day, with an overall equivalent of about £675 spent per year by every Welsh adult. The Cardiff-based Beat the Odds initiative is warning gamblers that debt collectors are “on the prowl,” and are contributing massively to the gambling problem in Wales.
Many options are available to find help
A number of politicians, gambling addiction specialists, and gamblers will gather for a conference on June 22 to discuss the gambling problem in Wales. This conference, called When Luck Runs Out, focuses on offering support to problem gamers. Since the first conference last year, 32 gambling addicts have sought help.
Wynford Ellis Owen, chief executive of Living Room Cardiff, gave her opinion on the current gambling situation in Wales. “It is very clear to us that the phenomenon of gambling, accentuated by accessibility through new technology, is one of the key challenges of our age.” She continued, “Spending on fixed-odds betting terminals in Cardiff , Newport and Wrexham , for example, is on a par with the more populated cities of Bristol, Coventry and Edinburgh. Gambling is a major cause of indebtedness.”
It remains to be seen how the government will tackle the gambling problem in Wales, but independent organizations such as Beat the Odds are doing a great job in the meantime. Check out GamingZion’s United Kingdom section to find more useful information on the current gambling situation in Wales.