In 2005 New Labour liberalised the gambling the laws, ending the ban on T.V. advertising, which is in line with neoliberal policies of decreasing state regulation of private companies.
12 years later and we have a situation where endless T.V. adverts glamorise gambling and hook new converts, and where online gambling companies such as 888 Sport and Paddy Power are targeting children with their online gambling games – exploiting a loophole in the law in which allows online games to advertise to children, but not casinos etc.
According to the industry’s own regulator, the Gambling Commission, around 450 000 children, or one in six of all those aged 11-15 now gamble at least once a week.
It seems that in this case, the right of gambling companies to make a profit trumps the well being of our children (*), and there’s also a nice example of Toxic Childhood here…. not only do our kids now have to deal with information overload, the contradictions of staying thin while being surrounded by junk and the pressures of over-testing, they’ve now got to deal with a potential life time of gambling addiction.
*Come on, that was good.