Gambling has long ruined the lives of people who get hooked on its adrenalin rush – but online betting and games are becoming a dangerous new problem.
That’s the view of the Royal Society for Public Health, which has major concerns about gambling and its impact on people’s lives.
Ms Cramer argues online is “hidden” and many people gambling online would not use a high street betting shop.
She adds: “Online is an area where firms can still target people. There’s also a worrying trend of people getting hooked on gaming, and that addiction turning to gambling.
“People blame the victim, but they are targeted the same as those taking on payday loans and high-cost credit.”
Danny Cheetham lost most of his wages to gambling. Despite having two jobs, he still couldn’t make ends meet.
He ended up trapped in a cycle of earning a wage, gambling it away, then borrowing from payday lenders and finding himself deeper in debt.
He says: “Over the past decade I’ve had a fair share of hurdles to overcome, from addictions to grief and debts that felt unbeatable.
“Each month I would have the same determination to make it different.
“I would set out spreadsheets a week before payday, allocating money to each debt and expense
Shirley Cramer, chief executive of RSPH and chairwoman of the End High Cost Credit Alliance, says: “We are concerned about online gambling. The algorithms the industry uses target people who are already vulnerable gamblers.
“It’s an area that needs urgent consideration by government and regulators. This is where the most vulnerable are preyed upon by the gambling industry.”