A father and son from Sheffield have taken their campaign to Downing Street today to demand tighter regulation of the gambling industry.
David Bradford spent eight months in prison after stealing £50,000 from his employers to fund his secret gambling addiction.
His family were only told of the shock revelations in full in a letter which David wrote from prison.
Later, they discovered their home had been re-mortgaged to pay off David’s debts. Now they face losing their family home of 30 years in the next couple of weeks. David’s debts total nearly half a million pounds.
Since the sentencing, David’s son Adam launched a campaign to raise awareness of gambling addiction and to push for tighter control of the industry’s products and advertising. He also wants more support to be available for for gambling addicts.
David Bradford has spoken out about the emotional toll of his gambling addiction.
In April of this year, Adam attracted the attention of Prime Minister David Cameron after launching an open letter to all the political party leaders calling for stricter regulation and controls over the industry.
The Prime Minister responded praising Adam's campaign and detailing some of the measures the Government has introduced to protect gamblers.
Now months into David’s addiction treatment, the family say David Cameron’s letter does not go far enough and they have gained the support of Sheffield’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Group who are helping them to raise awareness of gambling addiction through publicity support for GPs to better understand the addiction and its effects.
The 2010 British Gambling Prevalence survey highlighted that around half a million people could suffer with a gambling related problem but David and his son Adam believe the real figure could be more than double that. Research also suggests that a gambling addict’s actions can affect up to 10 other individuals around them, including family and friends, so the real figure of people affected by gambling addiction could be approaching 20 million – a third of Britain’s population.
With the knock-on cost to society of Britain’s drug problem reaching £13bn, with 2.7million addicts, the cost of gambling addiction to society could soon be exposed as Britain’s new multi-billion-pound addiction.
Adam is now calling for an independent inquiry into gambling addiction in Britain.