Press Centre

Ross Kemp Living With….

  • Episode:

    4 of 4

  • Title:

    Online Gambling Addiction

  • Transmission (TX):

    Thu 15 Aug 2019

  • TX Confirmed

    Yes

  • Time

    7.30pm - 8.00pm

  • Week:

    Week 33 2019 : Sat 10 Aug - Fri 16 Aug

  • Channel:

    ITV

  • Published:

    Tue 30 Jul 2019

This information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 6 August.

 

Episode 4: Ross Kemp Living With Online Gambling Addiction

 

Ross Kemp presents Living With…. a brand new four-part series on ITV in which he travels across the country to meet people living with some of the biggest issues affecting Britain today, including immersing himself in situations to gain a first-hand taste of the difficulties they face and highlight what is really going on, often unnoticed, under the nose of mainstream society.

 

In this final episode, Ross meets some of Britain's problem online gamblers. Among those, he speaks to one who cannot afford to buy their kids birthday presents because they've gambled their gift money away, another who has to go off grid to escape their addictions and visits the parents of men who took their own lives after racking up crippling debt.

 

Ross says: “Britain has the biggest regulated online gambling market in the world, worth estimated 5.4.billion pounds a year. Instead of going to the bookies or casinos to place bets people use their smart phones and lap tops with 24hr accessibility. I find out what impact that’s having on some Britain’s gamblers.”

 

Ross meets Alex, a 35-year-old teacher who became so heavily addicted to gambling apps he decided to take the very drastic measure of going off grid.  He reveals to a visibly shocked Ross that he once reached winnings of more than £120,000 before losing it all again in less than half an hour on an online roulette game.

 

Alex says: “It’s just about limiting everything possible, no mobile phone, no car.” Adding: “Online just has a completely different impact to it, its phones, its laptops, smart tellies, it’s just crazy it just so scary.” 

 

Michael, a 34-year old engineer from Bolton got hooked on fruit machines aged 15, soon progressed to online gambling on his smart phone. Michael says: “If I got a 15 minute break at work I will be on me phone, I gamble then. Obviously if me girlfriends, or if the kids are about I won’t just sit here doing it, I do it like in secret, if that makes sense. Inside I’m thinking like, ‘Oh hurry up and go to bed,’ because I can’t wait to get back to gambling to try and win me money back.”

 

Last year, Michael revealed the extent of his addiction to his partner, Jen. She says: “In my eyes it was selfish, I couldn’t understand the addiction side to it, because I thought in my head, I wouldn’t be selfish enough to do that, to gamble that amount of money.”

 

Ross meets a woman who has been addicted to online jackpot machines for five years. She first started gambling online 12 years ago on the national lottery website, and soon progressed to casino sites. The woman, whose identity is concealed, said: “This last couple of weeks, I spent my last two hundred pound on gambling to try and get a bit more. It’s my son’s birthday today, I’ve spent all the money gambling and I haven’t been able to buy him the presents that he’s wanted.”

 

Ross says: “Online Gambling companies generated 5.4 billion pounds last year, and made a voluntary contribution of 0.1% of that towards the issue of problem gambling.” 

 

The programme makes it clear that, last month, five of the UK's biggest gambling firms announced they would raise their voluntary levy to help problem gamblers, to one per cent of their profits up to the year 2023 

 

He meets two couples whose worlds were torn apart when their sons who had serious gambling problems, took their own lives.  They tell Ross why believe the gambling industry needs to do more to address the issue. 

 

Finally Ross says: “ Online gambling is big business, It’s worth billions of pounds a year, I’ve bet in the past as have half of the people in the country and most of us manage to do so responsibly, but there are those that can’t, and as we have heard from the people in this film, a gamblers addiction impacts not only them but all those around them, and can end up costing more than just money.”