On a losing streak: when drinking and gambling collide

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There are many commonalities between alcohol consumption and gambling that go beyond the potential for dependence and harm for individuals and society; here, Prof Roderique-Davies looks at the growth of gambling in the UK, and what happens when punters bet under the influence of alcohol.


It’s increasingly difficult to watch TV or use a smartphone without being bombarded by gambling adverts, often including incentives such as free bets. These adverts also urge punters to “gamble responsibly”, which at surface level at least seems like a sensible suggestion. However, it can be argued that this focus on the actions of consumers deflects any responsibility away from the industry itself.

The impact of gambling on society extends beyond the notion of ‘irresponsible’ gamblers, with problem gambling now being highlighted as an emerging public health issue. The Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton, has stated that, “While it may be harmless fun for some, gambling has great potential to cause harm to individuals and can have devastating effects on the people closest to them, and communities.”

Read the full article on the Alcohol Change UK blog

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