WE ACHIEVED THROUGH EbE BRAVITY
We. want to say a big thank you to all of the sufferers, disordered gamblers in various stages of their journeys, that we have engaged with over the past few months since Gamvisory came about at the latter end of January. Our initial plan was to have EbE involvement at the forefront of instilling change across an industry that clearly didn’t want to genuinely hear from those that had been affected, by telling a narrative that asked for accountability.
The CV19 virus meant that we had to consider a different approach and best utilise the time and resources we had available under the circumstances. The brave stories and evidence provided by EbEs made us feel that the best use of our skills was to ensure that as much evidence of harms and examples of wrongdoings, by the regulator and gambling companies, would be made public.
We knew that the APPG, The Public Accounts Committee and The Lords were all due to report so our aim was to ensure we had as much influence on these important findings as we could. We achieved this:
- We submitted additional evidence to The APPG from EbE submissions provided to us to show how the regulator had failed many of them.
- Gave evidence in person to The Lords Committee showing how both companies and the regulator failed vulnerable people.
- Featured in the recent report by The ABSG.
- Appeared in various media articles and TV media to reaffirm all such issues.
- Appeared in person to give evidence to Lord Chadlington’s proposed charity to ensure that funding for treatment, education and research became independent.
We have had the influence we set out to achieve and without the support of the EbEs that helped us to do this our voice wouldn’t have been heard. We now recognise that it’s time for the government and politics to take over. These brave people were the only real support we had and in truth, they were all that we needed. We gave a snapshot as to show the power that EbEs can have, without have their voices diluted.
We thank the APPG, The Lords, The PAC and the ABSG and other internal reviewers, for taking us seriously and listening to the evidence we provided through the power of EbEs.
THE MANTRA CONTINUES, FOR NOW
Now that the BGC have made sure that the £100m in staying ‘in-house’ we know that the industry won’t change until they’re forced to, the same is true of The Gambling Commission. Charities and small set-ups that don’t wish to continue a harmful narrative of education and treatment through a rigorous onus on personal responsibility and education by omission, won’t have a chance to be heard until a levy is introduced. It’s clear the industry knows that a levy is inevitable, hence why they have clung on to the last bit of power that they can continue to exert by ensuring their own agendas, through arms of them, can continue.
WE’VE ENLIGHTENED SUFFERERS
What has been more fruitful for us throughout this time is how we have managed to help and support many sufferers that have come to us for help and guidance. By passing on our knowledge and skills onto them we have managed to enlighten them through a careful process of showing them that the personal responsibility message rammed down their throats, causes their feelings of shame and guilt to be exacerbated and prolonged. We have helped them see the bigger picture and enlighten them upon how dual accountability should’ve existed but simply didn’t.
When sufferers have seen the bigger picture, quite rightly, they become angry at the failings of the industry and the regulator to protect them from harm. They become enlightened when they realise and accept that they were suffering from a mental disorder that was beyond their control and covert this anger into a meaningful recovery. They recognise that willpower alone was not going to work. Through a process of taking accountability themselves through a rounded picture of enlightenment, stopping gambling for good became a reality for the first time.
WE WILL FIGHT FOR FAIR JUSTICE
One of the topics we will continue to fight for is fair justice for those sufferers that have stolen vast sums of money to fuel their disordered gambling through crime. Neither we nor those sufferers wish to absolve them of accountability. We simply just want them to have a fair court hearing. This can only be achieved by The Gambling Commission investigating the companies that received these vast sums of stolen cash, without complying with laws and rules, before someone is convicted. If an investigation conducted by them clearly shows that such companies broke the law, it stands to reason that this means such findings should be considered within the court for those disordered gamblers that stand accused. It could and probably would have an impact on the sentences they receive.
Sadly, despite uncovering the fact that The Gambling Commission ignored disclosure about one such offence being committed a year ago, they have chosen not to work with us in ensuring that the individual that is now due to appear in court can be entitled to this information and indeed receive a fair hearing on this basis.
We are also supporting another individual that has yet to be charged who has stolen a vast sum to fuel his disordered gambling. We have seen clear evidence that companies have completely breached Money Laundering Regulations and Social Responsibility rules. Yet again, it is most obvious that the Gambling Commission aren’t even aware of the case, despite the companies clearly having an obligation to inform The gambling Commission when a case involving suspected breaches exists (we know that this repeatedly doesn’t happen).
Another troubling aspect of the court process involved with disordered gamblers that commit crime to gamble, is that they are also often subject to Proceeds Of Crime Act orders against them. In simple terms, these orders are requested by The CPS/police to ask the court that the accused is made to pay back the money in which he has made a gain from as a result of the crime. Unless such a disordered gambler was withdrawing frequent and vast sums of money, either straight into his own bank account or from the gambling account, then quite simply there has been no gain.
It is extremely troubling that whilst a gambling company sits with the huge majority of the proceeds of such crimes, this gets ignored and results in the disordered gambler receiving another aspect on injustice. By the Gambling Commission allowing disordered gamblers to face court before they complete their own investigations, mean that these people are hung out to dry without the full facts of what happened being heard. The POCA order can result in extended sentences and being crippled financially for life.
Now we look forward to rolling our sleeves up and doing what we know we do best, helping sufferers through enlightenment of the bigger picture. Our skills and lived experience will make a difference to many lives because it’s always been our passion to help those sufferers and we know it works. We know that the industry and arms of it, through vast funding, place such an onus on the individual to resolve their issues makes things worse for them.
Only when they are enlightened upon this and other key factors surrounding a lack of dual accountability and understanding can they truly be free from the shame and guilt that plagues them. We know this because we receive messages of thanks daily from those that we’ve helped in this way.