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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My wife has a serious gambling addiction, and has lost around

Customer Question

My wife has a serious gambling addiction, and has lost around £135,000 through online bingo over the past 5 years. She is extremely vulnerable. She has had cancer, and has a very weak heart, and is on support allowance, with alcoholism and depression. We have two sons (31/30) and I am worried that she will completely destroy family finances - we have a large mortgage and all savings have been wiped out. She no longer has any bank account but the last time she used my son's bank card to lose nearly £10,000 in a two week spell. When she gambles she is normally very drunk and doesn't know what she has done. I feel that gambling sites should not make money out of people like us, but what can I do to protect the equity we have left in our house? Any advice appreciated
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
I understand your pain - my sister also has a gaming addiction. However sadly they are based abroad and therefore you can't stop them trading.
All you can do is get blocking software that stops gaming sites coming up. You could also as your bank to block these types of transactions but some sites are very clever and do not bill as a gaming site.
Sadly these are the only ways as they are based abroad their own local laws apply.
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Alex
Thank you for your reply but sadly there is nothing helpful here.
I have used blocking software on PCs and laptops but there are many devices that she can use, and she also once uninstalled the software I was relying on. I have spoken to my bank's relationship manager and he could only suggest an account with no overdraft facility, but the gambling sites seem able to delay debits so they take whatever credits come in, and as I mentioned she has used my sons' accounts.
With all respect the answer is of no value to me.
Kind regards
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
I understand that but legally there is no other answer. I am sorry/
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
For what its worth, I thought that the gambling companies must be operating under some sort of a license to trade in the UK, and by taking large sums of money from vulnerable / mentally incapacitated people they should be in breach of the terms of any reasonable license. It is surprising if they can callously wreck lives with impunity.
I also thought that in order to protect my family's finances from my wife's addiction, and also to protect her from herself, that there may be options in terms of transferring the legal title of assets, or taking out a power of attorney, or in some way limiting the financial damage that she can do to her family through mentally incapacitated gambling.
I find it hard to believe that there is nothing I can do, legally, to protect my family, and for that reason I would request a refund for the advice given.
I understand that I am supposed to tell you this, as - although the site said I would only pay for advice if satisfied - it seems I have been charged and can only reclaim if dissatisfied (which of course is not the same thing).
Do you need to approve the refund?
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
They are generally based offshore such as Gibraltar or Antigua. That is where their gaming licence is and that is the jurisdiction they need to operate. There is nothing the UK authorities can do sadly.
Its legal and authorised by the country of origin. It would be impossible to make them have a licence in each and every country they operated in. Any billing questions would need to be send to customer services please as I can only see the questions being asked.
Can I clarify anything else for you?