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Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by jetset, Nov 25, 2006.

    Nov 25, 2006
  1. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    Newspaper claims that convenience and easy credit poses bankruptcy dangers

    The Scotsman newspaper carried an article this week in which author Eileen Blackburn argues that a combination of online gambling convenience and easy credit could pose the danger of players getting into financial trouble.

    "Until recently gamblers at least had to make a little effort in order to lose their hard earned cash," Blackburn writes. "For a start they had to leave the comfort of their own homes before withdrawing cash and heading to the nearest bookies.

    "But now, the growth of online gambling sites, and the ready availability of consumer credit, have combined to make it easier than ever for gamblers to lose a fortune."

    Blackburn goes on to claim that every month 4 million Britons place a bet on a gambling site. It did not exist five years ago, but the arrival of internet betting on games such as poker has created a market worth an estimated GBP 500 million in Scotland alone. She does not source her information.

    "Gambling in Scotland has hit record levels, with the average adult now spending nearly GBP1 900 a year on games of chance. Over recent months I have dealt with several cases of individuals who have been made bankrupt after having run up debts above GBP 100 000 on internet gambling," she claims. The writer is head of French Duncan's business recovery arm.

    "The latest figures show nearly three times as many Scots are going bankrupt in 2006 as in 1990. Today, with more households than ever having broadband access, readily available consumer credit means salary no longer acts as an effective restriction to anyone who fancies a flutter online because they can rack up exorbitant amounts of debt on credit cards any time of the day or night from the comfort of their own home," Blackburn argues.

    She describes the consequences of running up a huge credit card bill that the holder is unable to pay, with particular reference to bankruptcy and its future as well as present impact.

    "How long it takes before a bankrupt can once more be considered for mainstream financial products will depend on how long the credit reference agencies keep their details, though it will typically be at least six years," she points out. "During the course of bankruptcy, which lasts three years in Scotland but only a year in England and Wales, they are not allowed to take on credit of more than GBP250 without telling the lender they are bankrupt.

    "It would be quite wrong for bankruptcy to be considered as an easy way for gamblers who have suffered a losing streak to escape having to pay their spiralling debts. Although there might be the odd unscrupulous person who racks up debts with the intention of subsequently declaring his or herself bankrupt in order to escape their creditors, there are unlikely to be many individuals falling into that category.

    "While credit can be a convenient tool, in the hands of a gambler, convenience is not necessarily a good thing. If we are to see a decline in the overall number of bankrupts in Scotland, then we need to see more people striking the right balance between managing their credit and becoming a debtor. But though lenders provide the means to go into debt, responsibility for our personal finances rests ultimately with ourselves - and it's rarely worth the gamble."

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