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I lost my son to a gambling addiction. Firms must change, not pay fines that are dwarfed by profits | Liz Ritchie

The greed of gambling companies can be linked to hundreds of suicides in the UK every year My wonderful son Jack took his life in 2017 after he had been drawn into a gambling addiction . Soon afterwards, I visited William Hill’s London office with my husband, Charles. We were more naive back then; they’d just admitted shortcomings and we wanted to warn people and thought they would listen. Jack had started gambling online with William Hill, and did so, on and off, until he died. We requested a meeting with the chief executive, but instead met with the director of sustainability and our calls for further measures were dismissed.Soon after we were escorted out of the building, quickly and rudely. Yesterday’s news that the company has been fined a record £19.2m for multiple failings did not surprise us. The list of failures is extensive, including allowing obviously addicted customers to lose tens of thousands of pounds in minutes, even after they’d tried to self-exclude . Liz Ritchie MBE is co-founder of the charity Gambling with Lives , which supports families bereaved by gambling-related suicide In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on freephone 116 123, or email [email protected] or [email protected] . In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 988 or chat for support. You can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis text line counselor. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at In the UK, support for problem gambling can be found through GamCare on 0808 8020 133. In the US, the National Council on Problem Gambling is on 800-522-4700. In Australia, Gambling Help Online is available on 1800 858 858 and the National Debt Helpline is at 1800 007 007 Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here . Continue reading... always shares this Contents with License.

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