Saturday 29 April 2017

Our gambling epidemic has its Liveline moment

Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

They were on Liveline for five days, these people describing their experiences of gambling addiction, either their own or that of family members, such as the son who committed suicide, the father who messed it up for everyone, the ones who found a solution in Gamblers Anonymous, the ones who didn't.

We heard of desperate tragedies and of dismal little scenes, like the betting shop employee trying to cajole punters into opening an online account by giving them free bets of €10, the listener almost feeling sorry for the employee who himself seemed to be under pressure to meet a target.

But to be hearing about any of this stuff on Liveline, for five days, is significant. I am certain that they would have no trouble filling the show for five weeks with such testimonies, but five days is still a decent indicator of something big lurking under the surface.

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