Should Betting Shop Employees Be Trained to Detect Addicted Gamblers?
There is a serious question to be raised regarding the issues of addicted gamblers. Are betting shops going to be liable for allowing persons who are addicted to continue to gamble and therefore let themselves go down a path that is potentially destructive not only to the person themselves but their livelihood, their families and others? While it is a noble idea to have the law step in to try to prevent it, it is the same as it is with alcohol. While the law has made restrictions on drinking addicts, such as no drinking until 18 years of age, they are still able to get access to it whether legally or illegally.
In the same way, people who have a problem with gambling with find any way that they can to have access to it and no amount of pleading or incentives to stop will deter them unless they have a direct intervention by family or friends. Even when they, themselves realize that it is destroying their lives, they continue on until they hit rock bottom. Studies have found that the same medications used for other addictions and conditions such as ADHD, depression, bipolar disorders, and others, appear to work well with gambling addictions.
To ask a gambling establishment to be responsible for detecting these individuals is almost ludicrous, and also nearly impossible. Now, laws could be imposed requiring gambling establishments to place warning signs in prominent places, age restrictions, perhaps a listing of symptoms to look for to determine whether there is an addiction, or they could even place phone numbers, names of websites, or names of facilities to get help in visible places. Most acknowledge that for any addict, the key to beginning to solve the problem is to admit that there is one. Asking an employee to detect such a person would require recording the number of times the person graced the shop, and be able to recognize the said individual. An addict generally would be smart enough to avoid going to the same place repeatedly and most likely would be making the rounds at several different establishments to prevent detection in many cases. Gambling addictions have come to be recognized as an invisible illness due to the difficulty of detection.
So, to answer the question of whether employees of betting establishments should be required to detect persons with gambling addictions, it should just be no. Having employees attempt to take on such a task is utterly ridiculous as no one knows what the “face” of an addicted gambler looks like, they come from all walks of life, with no racial, social, or class divisions.