It has been reported today that a UK widow is calling for a new law to be introduced in England following the death of her husband, in which he took his own life after developing a problem gambling disorder.
Last year, on 22nd April 2021, Luke Ashton committed suicide, leaving behind widow wife Annie and two children, after struggling with gambling addiction during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Reportedly, the problem began with Luke gambling online by placing bets on sports, whereby free bet offers inticed him to sign-up via ‘aggressive marketing’ promos received through email.
During the gambling period, the man gambled on his mobile phone and bet more than he could afford, building up debts and struggling to pay for regular recreational expenses.
However, the problem only became apparent to his wife during a reoccuring stint when evidence on his phone, following his death, showed that he had reactivated many of his old gambling accounts and took advantage of free bet offers.
According to reports, more can still be done by both governments and gambling companies to tackle problem gambling, such as addiction, as a report from last year showed that there are more than 400 suicides related to gambling problems every year in England.
The new law proposal would ban gambling adverts that are incentives, encouraging people to sign up, such as free bets, and gamble.
Annie’s idea behind such advert bans though the law is to ‘alleviate the misery’ that gambling firms can cause with incentives that are deemed ‘predatory’, stating that ‘we banned tobacco marketing; we can do the same for gambling.’