started this petition to
Maria Miller, Culture Minister
They call them the crack-cocaine of gambling. Across the country, a network of highly addictive gambling machines that can cost up to £300 a minute to play have been rolled out, enabling bookmakers to suck money out of the pockets of people who can’t afford to lose it.
I learned about these machines the hard way: I lost every penny I had, and a whole lot more. My beautiful girlfriend, my friends, my career, my home: all gone. I once pumped over £2500 into a machine in a single day, and ended up homeless, sleeping in my car. Even though I could see my life falling apart, I was hooked and I simply couldn't see a way out. At my lowest moment, I even considered taking my own life.
I was drawn in with the promise of enormous cash wins. But the odds are stacked in the bookies’ favour. Play them for long enough, and you are guaranteed to lose – and lose heavily. The average machine makes up to £1000 a week.
It’s been tough, but at the moment I've managed to kick my gambling habit, and although I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from what I’ve been through, I desperately want to stop others falling into this trap.
The only way we can solve this is if politicians get involved. I’m appealing to Maria Miller, the Minister of Culture, Media and Sport, to change the law to put a limit on the maximum stake per spin – dropping it from £100 to £2.
She knows this small change would transform the lives of people like me all over the country, stopping the vampire bookmakers sucking the life-blood from the vulnerable. But her Ministry has been the target of a lobbying campaign by the gambling industry as they try to keep their cash cows alive - some bookies make most of their profits from these machines now. But if enough of us sign this petition we can send her a message she simply cannot ignore. People should come before the profits of the likes of Ladbrokes and William Hill. We have to act now to stop more lives being ruined.
Together we can try to beat Britain’s new deadly addiction: high speed, high stakes gambling on every street corner. Sign the petition today, and forward it to everyone, and we can stop the gambling industry making easy money from people who simply can’t afford to lose it, and destroying lives in the process.