Gambling addiction is not something you can just ignore or pass by. Hannah Jane Parkinson, a Guardian columnist, related her story in a press release revealing her gambling addiction and describing the problems that unhealthy gambling causes.
In her piece, she relates how she began to wager. Until several years ago, she had never bought a lottery ticket or entered a casino or raffle. She had zero interest in gambling and odds. However, it all started with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic when everyone had to stay at home and had nothing to do. Being housebound brought many problems to players and a third of gamblers started to exhibit addictive behaviors.
Live Match Scores Instead of Twitter Notifications
In the second place, she reveals that before the COVID-19 pandemic she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). On some days, she preferred to stay in bed and not meet other people. She faced difficulties focusing, doing things she usually did, working, and reading, among other things. She had no motivation and even stopped to use her Twitter account despite the fact that previously she had been a keen user. When she felt a bit better and wanted to return to Twitter, she found out that her account was “buried.” Instead of reviewing Twitter notifications, Parkinson began to check live match scores. She replaced her real social life with gambling.
Tennis –the Perfect Sport for Bookmakers
Parkinson started to wager on tennis. This is the perfect sport for bookmakers because there are almost always tennis matches happening. Most tennis players take a month off around Christmas and in January, it all begins. In addition, there are multiple tournaments for men and women, such as the ATP tour, Challenger, and ITF Futures tournaments for men, the WTA tour, the 125 and 125K series, and the ITF (International Tennis Federation) matches for women. She related that in the end, she wagered even on unknown college players.
In her article, Parkinson states that prior to starting gambling, she enjoyed and even played tennis at school. However, when she began to bet, she became obsessed with following tennis matches and tournaments. She watched every single game and knew the personalities and characteristics of the umpires and the tennis players as well.
Parkinson confesses that she tried to quit many times, but without success. She even used her mother’s and sister’s bank cards to wager. She transferred money to their bank accounts and played her money. She had many identities but lost money with all of them.
Gambling Companies Fined, But Still Gained Millions of Pounds
She relates also that many leading gambling companies were fined millions of pounds, such as Bet365, 888 and Betway, for misleading marketing, non-compliance with “equitability, social responsibility, and anti-money laundering measures,” advertising on webpages aimed at children, among other infringements. Nevertheless, the gambling industry is worth billions, and 5% of players are responsible for 70% of the said revenue.
Per UK Health Security Agency, 2.2 million people in England suffer from a form of gambling addiction or are at risk. In 2021, more than 400 people in the UK committed suicide due to gambling-related problems.