Gamble responsibly

There are some statements that just strike me as oxymoronic – gamble responsibly and drink responsibly being two of them. Both are addictive, one a behaviour and the other a behaviour driven by a substance.  Yet the purveyor’s of these industries feel that if they’ve made this statement that somehow what happens to that person has nothing to do with them.  No lawsuits here – we told you and you didn’t listen …… GRRRR

In every bookies/betting shop window here in the UK are big signs showing the odds of a particular game or race and then underneath: Gamble Responsibly.  And a telephone number to call if  you need help.  Laudible I’m sure but not really helpful for the gambling addict who is about to cross the threshold to place a bet.  Oh and it’s also a charity funded by the winnings of the industry – conflict of interest much?

I suppose I shouldn’t complain as at least there is a phone number advertised as with drink – not so.  Yes the bottle says ‘drink responsibly’ but there is no telephone number to call if you need help with this substance on the bottle.  Well the industry wouldn’t want you thinking that anyone actually has a problem with booze or controlling the amount they drink now would you?  You have to find your way on to the Drinkaware website to find any helpful numbers.  It all just smacks of ‘caveat emptor’ – buyer beware – doesn’t it?  You are the problem not the substance or the betting shop.

I guess a post about sports sponsorship by the alcohol industry would follow on nicely from this wouldn’t it? 😉

What do you think?  Is it just me getting crimped about this?

10 thoughts on “Gamble responsibly

  1. I note that no-one urges us to “smoke responsibly” on cigarette packets. There’s a lot of culturally driven expectations here – we’re supposed to see gambling like we do booze. just a bit of a laugh, have a flutter, move on. I’m not a gambler myself – have never enjoyed it, and therefore would never have any problem “gambling responsibly” (a fiver on a world cup sweepstake once every four years, that’s me), just like someone who doesn’t enjoy getting pissed has no problem drinking responsibly. The ones who like it too much and need to think about the problem will not heed the message, and rest don’t need to worry. Utterly pointless. I’m with you. Proper warnings on bottles, like we have on cigarette packets. Not industry regulated. Oh yes – and better regulations on bookies too, and on slot machines etc that they place inside.
    (Am I no fun? A kill joy? This is all sounding very grumpy.)

    1. Not a kill joy at all MTM! To use ‘their’ word – it is about being responsible, not us but THEM!! 🙂 xx PS Them meaning the industry

  2. I am with you. Although warnings don’t really seem to help; the more scared people are, the more they smoke. So the awful photo’s on packages actually keep addicts addicted.

    I would like to go for a no advertisments, no sponsorship and no drinking alcohol or smoking in television, movies or other media and a minimum unit price. It is a hard drug after all.

  3. re alcohol labelling – yes indeed. calorie count, no of units, phone number to call if you have a problem, national website offering gateway to non-industry-sponsored free support in GIVING UP NOT CUTTING DOWN – all on the label of everything with alcohol in it – when I am Queen!

    as far as I could see in very basic research no such labelling requirement in any country in the whole wide world 🙁

    re the gambling comparison – as they would say on the television… ‘if you have been affected by the issues raised in this programme’ then have a look at this article on online gambling:

    and his charity on rethinking gambling which is NOT funded by the gambling industry – it’s a whole rabbit hole I’ve never been down but I know people who have 🙁 🙁

    1. Indeed Prim. Another addiction that doesn’t get taken seriously enough 🙁

  4. GRRRRR Indeed! This is a big peeve of mine…”please drink/gamble responsibly”, and like you said, the industry says “ok we’ve said to do this responsibly now you’re on your own” they don’t want to hear about the people who have lost everything because of these addictions. Here in the US there are some pretty graphic ads on TV showing the effects of smoking, I guess it will be a long time before we see something similar related to gambling and drinking. xx

  5. Most people *can* gamble responsibly. I can put some quarters in a slot machine at the Vegas airport, pull the handle, and walk away whether I’ve won or lost. Most people can drink responsibly, too.

    Maybe this is just me being in the USA instead of in a more nanny-state country, but the idea of putting warning labels and cautionary reminders on anything that might possibly be linked to addiction honestly makes me laugh at the control-freak futility of it all.

    Imagine if we had “Eat Responsibly” on cartons of ice cream, for food addicts. Or “F*** Responsibly” on birth control products, for sex addicts. Where does it end?

    The whole thing is a legalistic, regulatory absurdity. People will still eat/drink/screw/gamble as much as they want, and some may become addicted to it, but most won’t, and a reminder label won’t change that.

    1. Hi SC Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog and for sharing your view 🙂

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