Sounding Off: The Rising Tide of Gambling

Does anybody else feel, as I do, that the steadily rising tide of gambling in the U.K. is a disturbing thing? I don’t know the facts on gambling itself, but the amount of ads in the media, most especially noticeably on TV, seem very obviously to be on the increase.

Like formation dancing, all-smiling multiracial couples/families*, and sickeningly smug car adverts, there’s an increasing ubiquity of a whole plethora of gambling: bingo, sports betting and, most worryingly of all to me, the ‘raising money for worthy causes’ lotteries.

When the National Lottery was introduced, many moons ago, someone called it, I think rather astutely, a ‘tax on hope’. Speaking of taxes, isn’t that the way we ought to be addressing worthy causes? But with the Conservative government slowly dismembering and privatising the welfare state, we’re blithely heading the opposite way.

Hmmm? Brexit is a worrying mess, and with gambling on the rise, it seems to signal to me that we are living in a reckless world of fantasy. Where are we headed!?

* What bugs me about this is the blithely unreal gloss on issues of racism this suggests. It irks me that I feel obliged to mention this, but I’m in a happy marriage with a lady differently coloured to myself. Whilst such ads are laudable for trying to normalise such things, and show them in a positive light, advertising is also insidious in how it contrasts the fake world of consumer bliss with our real flawed mundane realities. And there in lies the ‘rub’… But this is supposed to be a post about the sordid Vegas-ification of gambling!