Daily: CRISIS IN COVID CASINO – How problem gambling exploded in the pandemic

Enforced isolation, powerlessness, boredom, even emasculation – lockdown was the perfect petri dish to create a pandemic of online gambling which affects young people worse than most. The Director of Clean Up Gambling Matt Zarb-Cousin was a problem gambler himself and betting almost destroyed his life. He talks to Andrew Harrison about how sponsorship and ads normalise dangerous betting behaviour, how the gambling industry capitalises on toxic masculinity, his personal experience with addiction, and what we need to do about this growing problem. 

  • “We’ve created a generation who believe that betting obsessively on football is all part of supporting your team.” 
  • “These are highly addictive products… I found myself missing sixth form classes to go to the bookies.”
  • “Gambling offers the illusion of control but people end up feeling subordinated to it.”  
  • “By advertising on football shirts, gambling companies can bypass advertising laws.” 

Presented and produced by Andrew Harrison. Assistant producers Jelena Sofronijevic and Jacob Archbold. Music by Kenny Dickinson. Audio production by Alex Rees. THE BUNKER is a Podmasters Production


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