Who likes a flutter then? A bit on the horses and a football accumulator every weekend? Gambling can be fun, there’s no denying that.
When it’s enjoyed responsibly, it can be something to get the pulses racing and the tongues wagging about ‘that one came in’, or ‘that one that let you down’.
As we all know though, gambling can be highly addictive, and is one of the leading causes of financial difficulty in our society.
The fact that there are more bookies than bakeries in our town centres these days is a conversation for another time perhaps, as accessibility and advertising are things that we all have to deal with on a daily basis.
What we want to talk about is whether or not the banks themselves should be doing more to protect the vulnerable from the lures of gambling.
Banks are more than capable of applying limits or even blocks to individuals’ accounts, whenever gambling focused transactions are flagged.
Even with these advanced technologies though, not all banks make of use of them.
Even those that use gambling blockers don’t necessarily go as far as they possibly could.
But why should they?
It’s a good question.
People, in many ways, are the masters of their own fate, and if Joe Bloggs chooses to spend his money on slot machines and ‘odds on certainties’, then that’s his choice, right?
Maybe, but would you allow an alcoholic or a drug addict the same access to their chosen vice?
Without support or even restriction?
We’re not advocating a nanny state here, where the citizens are given their pocket money and told what not to spend it on, but a little more discretion and assistance from the banks wouldn’t go amiss.
Vulnerable people are prone to increasing their vulnerability by looking for quick fixes. We know that.
We see it with pay day loans, we see it with low level crime, and we see it with gambling.
How much responsibility the banks have to gamblers is up in the air then.
They could stop all card payments by certain individuals to certain sites, if they wanted to, but should they?
The gambling industry would have something to say on the matter, that’s for sure.
What are your thoughts?
Do you have any experience that you could share for discussion?
#TeamCES are on hand to support anyone who may be experiencing vulnerability as a result of gambling addiction and related money troubles.
We can put you in touch with the right people and help you find the right support.
They say it best themselves maybe - when the fun stops, stop.
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