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— on a cynical accommodation with the gambling firms which bankroll both football clubs and the television channels that broadcast their matches.
These advertisements typically portray gambling as a joyous social activity, with happy and laughing young people making their bets on a smartphone while talking with a group of friends.
These and other firms appear to be exploiting a loophole in the regulations.
The Gambling Commission bans bookmakers and casinos from providing 'facilities for gambling in such a way as to appeal particularly to children': but this rule does not, for some reason, apply to online games.
A rare insight into what the companies involved really think was provided last month by an ex-employee of an online bookie, who published an article (anonymously) about his experiences.
The Advertising Standards Authority last month upheld complaints against ads, pictured above, appearing on three websites which told how 'William' who was '£130,000 in debt won 'over 30 times his annual salary in a single spin''When I sat down for my interview, the first thing I was asked was whether I minded working for an industry without a moral compass.
And young people, more than any other section of society, have the internet — and, in particular, the smartphones for which so many of these gambling games are designed — at the centre of their lives.
The bookmakers concerned said that they had not approved or condoned the 'fake news' posted by their affiliates: but they all stood to benefit from the gullible fools who believed the story was real.He never spoke to any of his neighbours, one of whom explained: 'He would gamble all night and sleep during the day, and that's why we never saw him.'I'm not saying Paddock's murderousness was related to his online gambling obsession: we will probably never know what caused him to carry out an action of such monumental wickedness.But by spending every waking hour alone, focused entirely on the arid, sterile, meaninglessness of these so-called 'games' — devoid of any form of moral engagement with the real world — it was possible for him to become so detached from humanity that he acted as inhumanely as he did.In each case, the bereaved wife suddenly had to cope with the discovery that her financial security was a chimera. Both had to sell their home to pay off their dead spouse's gambling debts.Marriages are also destroyed when the wife (and it is usually the men who are the addicts) realises what is going on. Divorce Online, a firm which logs all uncontested divorce petitions, last year revealed that gambling is now cited as a cause for the marital break-up in no fewer than one in five of such petitions.