THE number of TV gambling adverts is getting out of hand and they should be banned, a former Somerset head teacher claims.

Dave Dibb says viewers are bombarded with adverts from betting companies during sports programmes.

He is calling for action after discovering a friend became hooked on gambling and squandered £5,000.

Mr Dibb, of Geoffrey Farrant Walk, Taunton, has written to Jeremy Browne MP about his concerns.

The former primary school head said: “It’s ridiculous – halfway through a Sky Sports match you’ll be told if you bet £10 on Berbatov scoring next, and he does, you’ll win £120.

“It sounds tempting, but if you win, you want more. If you lose, you try to recoup your losses and it gets out of control.

“It’s commonly accepted that gambling’s an addiction, the same as smoking or drinking, and during periods of recession depressed people are looking to escape these hard times through a quick fix solution via gambling.

“I’m certain there are multitudes of families whose lives have been ruined through gambling addiction.

“It’s such a serious epidemic it needs to be discussed in Parliament, and there can only be one sensible outcome – all TV advertising for gambling/betting should be banned with immediate effect.”

Mr Browne believes people should be free to spend their money how they wish and that betting on events like the Grand National is ‘harmless enjoyment for millions of people’, but he added:

“Gambling can in extreme cases cause genuine social harm.

“The gambling industry does take action to address serious addiction, but the Government routinely monitors carefully what power’s needed to safeguard against the most harmful gambling addiction.

“I’ll be raising Mr Dibb’s points with the Secretary of State to make sure his concerns are fully understood in Government.”

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