An insight into the types of people who bet on sport over the past year
Pay your gambling debts?
It’s a disturbing and delicate part of the story that Sky News has discovered.
It reveals just how easy it is for people to get into debt betting on sport.
Our investigation has found a huge range of problems on social media. We’ve spoken to people in debt for as little as one bet. We have also seen offers on sites to pay gambling debts in kind.
Nobody wants to get into debt. But, some people are increasingly turning to the internet in the hope of settling their debts.
Social media has been praised for giving an outlet for people in distress to share their problems.
But a source familiar with gambling companies says many gamblers have grown to exploit social media and the encouragement it sometimes provides.
Online poker involves a race to build up an imaginary balance sheet. But it’s not real money. And it’s easy to get carried away.
In one exchange, our source who we’ve agreed not to name, poses as a man with debts of thousands of dollars. He says he has three credit cards with cards companies to which he owes millions of dollars. He now plans to use a line of credit.
In the same conversation, he receives a message from one of the companies he owes.
It says: “I have a [hecks] coupon for you that I hope to get you in the next hour for the amount you owe. This coupon must be used within a specific timeframe for it to be valid. So the offer won’t last long, and if you want it we need to make this deal as quick as possible. It’s only for new customers, but this is a good opportunity to pay your debts.”
The source, who works in construction and has no gambling debts, says he felt like he had been robbed. “It’s disgusting. It’s horrible. It’s despicable,” he said.
The offer he was told about was a discount coupon for the online casino, Newzbin.
Image copyright Newzbin
A spokesperson for Newzbin said: “The way we see it, if a person has a debt, then they have a duty to pay their debts.”
Newzbin said it used the coupon option to encourage people who found it difficult to pay the minimum fees, which would usually be around £2 a day, to instead make small contributions to a trust fund which helps people in similar circumstances.
“We would obviously say not to get involved with it,” he said.
“But if you’ve got a problem, you’ve got a debt, you need help, then you should turn to Newzbin.
“We’re a good people to turn to for help.
“If people want to go in and visit a casino they can, but it would be a big decision to make. It’s not something that’s easy to make, it’s not something that’s easy to wrap your head around.”
He says the offer on his old account has now been removed and he was not approached by Newzbin for comment.
View from a gambling professional
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola has agreed to pay his players £15,000 in bonuses if they can avoid relegation
Charles Rudd is a former player turned bookmaker’s assistant. He is now a gambling adviser.