'A waste of life' - man died after running up £30k gambling debt

Watch Ken Goodwin's report

A couple from Wiltshire whose son took his own life after running up huge gambling debts are calling for changes in the law to stop betting sites sponsoring sports teams.

Josh Jones became addicted to gambling, and eventually ran up a debt of more than £30,000.

Despite treatment and the support of his family, an inquest found the 23-year-old he had taken his own life.

"He was borrowing from friends and on this last day he'd taken the day off work because it was payday, to gamble his whole month's salary, plus the £1,000 bonus he had that month," his mother Kim Jones told ITV News.

"He would have just thought I can't get money from anywhere else I've got to live another month before I get another payslip, this is it."

Josh's parents Kim and Martin Jones Credit: ITV News

Kim said: "I just remember the good times when he was young, he was such a character."

The gambling commission estimates there are about 430,000 gambling addicts in the country, including 55,000 children.

Josh's family are now campaigning for changes in the law which would prevent betting sites from being able to sponsor sports teams.

Kim added: "It's such a waste of a life which is really why we campaign as we do."

"The gambling act does need reform, it does need to put prevention of harm in the first priority place."

Martin and Kim have now planned to take part in the big step. The virtual walk will see hundreds of people cover the distance it would take to visit every football club in England, Wales and Scotland with a listed official gambling sponsor or partner.

The aim is to raise awareness of the harm gambling does and the relationship that football has with gambling in sponsorship and advertising.

When contacted by ITV News about the sponsorship of football clubs by gambling companies, the Football Association (FA) said: "We made a clear decision on The FA's relationship with gambling companies in June 2017 when we ended our partnership with Ladbrokes.

"The leagues and clubs govern their own relationships with gambling companies."

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