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Families’ appeal to ministers arguing over wagering reform, while mail check reveals casualty toll

Ministers have been told to “work and deliver” on gambling reform after an audit of the Daily Mail revealed the devastating effects of gambling addiction.

An investigation has uncovered nearly 100 suicides in a decade in which problem gambling was a major factor.

Activists said the tragic roll-call – 36 of which are pictured here – show “the stark reality” of the damage being caused by “greedy and amoral” companies.

Angered that once-in-a-generation reform seems to be watered down, senior Tories have urged Boris Johnson to ignore lobbyists and Treasury Penny-pinchers.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: “People are dying. Ministers have promised reforms and now they must deliver.”

A final announcement of the reforms was expected this week but is likely to be delayed.

Families whose loved ones have committed suicide because of gambling are calling on ministers to introduce reforms. Victims pictured left to right: Aaron Armstrong, Aaron Sluman, Chris Bruney, Chris Dyson, Huseyin Yaman and Jack Ritchie

Families whose loved ones have committed suicide because of gambling are calling on ministers to introduce reforms. Victims pictured left to right: Aaron Armstrong, Aaron Sluman, Chris Bruney, Chris Dyson, Huseyin Yaman and Jack Ritchie

Families whose loved ones have committed suicide because of gambling are calling on ministers to introduce reforms. Victims pictured left to right: Aaron Armstrong, Aaron Sluman, Chris Bruney, Chris Dyson, Huseyin Yaman and Jack Ritchie

Left to right: Jordan Feek, Joshua Hall, Lee Murphy, Lewis Keogh, Philip Tomlinson and Robert Shine

Left to right: Jordan Feek, Joshua Hall, Lee Murphy, Lewis Keogh, Philip Tomlinson and Robert Shine

Left to right: Jordan Feek, Joshua Hall, Lee Murphy, Lewis Keogh, Philip Tomlinson and Robert Shine

Key measures to stem the gambling death toll have been watered down following a split at the top of the Conservative Party.

Gambling Secretary Chris Philp and the Health Department are facing the Treasury, which is concerned the reform could hurt its gambling tax revenues.

Cabinet Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg has delayed reform after rejecting a tax to fund NHS gambling addiction treatment as “unconservative”, insiders have said. He is said to advocate a version of the current system in which betting companies voluntarily pay 0.1 percent of their earnings for research and treatment. Activists, however, want a legal obligation to pay 1 percent.

Mr. Rees-Mogg believes the rules shouldn’t prevent players who aren’t addicted or in debt from spending their money as they please.

The Mail understands he will be assisted by David Canzini, Mr Johnson’s deputy chief of staff, a former director of a firm that had Ladbrokes Coral as a client.

But the families want tough reforms.

Julie Martin, whose husband Bill Troshupa committed suicide in front of their 16-year-old son in November, said: “The gambling companies are monsters. Gambling must be securely regulated so people don’t lose their lives and families don’t lose loved ones.’

Left to right: Andrew David Nabb, Bill Troshupa, Daniel Clinkscales, David Armstrong, Jimmy Farrell and Joey Beauchamp

Left to right: Andrew David Nabb, Bill Troshupa, Daniel Clinkscales, David Armstrong, Jimmy Farrell and Joey Beauchamp

Left to right: Andrew David Nabb, Bill Troshupa, Daniel Clinkscales, David Armstrong, Jimmy Farrell and Joey Beauchamp

Left to right: Bradley Whitehall, Brandon Windeatt-Ball, Florin Batrincs, Fred Harper-McShane, John Anderson and Jordan Choudhury

Left to right: Bradley Whitehall, Brandon Windeatt-Ball, Florin Batrincs, Fred Harper-McShane, John Anderson and Jordan Choudhury

Left to right: Bradley Whitehall, Brandon Windeatt-Ball, Florin Batrincs, Fred Harper-McShane, John Anderson and Jordan Choudhury

Public Health England estimates there are 409 gambling-related suicides a year – more than one a day.

The 94 gambling-related deaths uncovered by the Mail constitute the largest list ever compiled. These included Brandon Windeatt-Ball, a 21-year-old who gambled away £10,000 on a house deposit, and NHS worker Joshua Hall, 28, who lost half his annual salary within days.

Rebecca Hanks, who tried to help her 20-year-old son Mason Moore fight his addiction by controlling his bank account, said: “The gambling companies are just greedy. People can do their best to kick their addiction, but the bookies are catching up with them.

Jordan Choudhury, 25, took his own life in February 2021 after playing slot sites “all night” and losing £11,000. He told his family, “Next time you see me, I’ll be in my box.”

His sister Michelle Bidder said: “I want the government to stop making it so easy for people to accumulate huge debts on gambling sites.”

The Mail found 47 named suicides. Charities helping bereaved families said they would support another 47 families who chose not to speak publicly.

Left to right: Kimberley Wadsworth, Lee Collins, Natsha White, Phil Stretton, Charleene Carlson and Ryan Myers

Left to right: Kimberley Wadsworth, Lee Collins, Natsha White, Phil Stretton, Charleene Carlson and Ryan Myers

Left to right: Kimberley Wadsworth, Lee Collins, Natsha White, Phil Stretton, Charleene Carlson and Ryan Myers

Left to right: Joshua Jones, Jowen Evans, Luke Ashton, Mason Moore, and Omair Abbas

Left to right: Joshua Jones, Jowen Evans, Luke Ashton, Mason Moore, and Omair Abbas

Left to right: Joshua Jones, Jowen Evans, Luke Ashton, Mason Moore, and Omair Abbas

Another 21 whose death certificates mentioned gambling were recorded by the Office for National Statistics between 2001 and 2016, meaning the total number of known suicides could be as high as 115, although activists stress that there is rarely a single factor that accounts leads to a person who takes their own life.

Last night, Mr Philp told his fellow ministers: “Gambling-related harm is a serious public health problem that can be devastating to life. I’ve heard too many cases of people being led down a path to a dark destination. A reform of our gambling laws is needed.’

Ministers are likely to allow gambling advertising and sponsorship in sports to continue with few restrictions, and free bets will only be banned for big losers, sources said.

But Sir Iain said: ‘People are dying who should not have died. Anti-reformists need to get their calculators down and out into the real world and see the damage this uncontrolled behavior is doing.

“It’s going to be bad if ministers don’t pull themselves together and do something. The Treasury makes a fuss about taxation and we’re committed to saving lives – tell me who has the moral high ground.’

Lord Chadlington, former chairman of Action On Addiction, said: “Everything I hear is disappointing. This is a unique moment for the government to save lives, protect the vulnerable and yet allow those who can play safely to do so with a minimum of risk.’

The Mail’s Stop The Gambling Predators campaign aims to curb online gambling.

It is estimated that there are 400,000 gamblers in the UK – possibly as many as 1.4 million.

Experts say that 5 percent of problem gamblers have attempted suicide in the past year.

For assistance, contact the Samaritans on freephone 116 123 or Gambling With Lives at [email protected] or 07864 299 158.

https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/families-plea-to-ministers-arguing-over-betting-reform-as-mail-audit-lays-bare-the-toll-of-victims/ Families’ appeal to ministers arguing over wagering reform, while mail check reveals casualty toll

Brian Ashcraft

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