A key problem with the current debate on gambling

Jon Bryan The Great Debate key problem gambling
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The average anti-gambling campaigner’s view of the working class is a key problem with the current debate on gambling, according to Jon Bryan, treasurer of debating society The Great Debate.


After witnessing the typical outrage surrounding cherry-picked gambling statistics – this time about bookmakers in deprived areas, Bryan called out campaigners for presenting the working class as entirely passive.

“In truth, these campaigners just want to protect working-class people from themselves,” wrote Bryan for Spiked magazine. “Some commentators clearly just have a problem with betting – in particular, betting in working-class communities.”

Bryan, an avid poker player, believes the picture campaigners paint of the working class being victims to gambling companies is far from the truth.

“In reality, betting shops have been in decline for many years. The past 18 months of Covid restrictions will likely accelerate that decline,” he concluded. “The government is currently considering what to include in its upcoming white paper on gambling, so it is particularly important that we stop misrepresenting gamblers. This view of working-class people as passive and in need of constant paternalistic oversight has got to be challenged.”

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