“But isn’t matched betting promoting gambling?” – This question makes our hearts sink at Heads&Heads! What we do here could not be further removed from gambling! Our whole ethos revolves around reducing the risk (ideally to zero) and beating the bookmakers at their own game. You are not going to become a millionaire with Heads&Heads (and matched betting) but you’ll never lose. However, it is statements like this that sound suspicious to those who are quick to combine the phrase ‘too good to be true’ with reports like the one we are about to discuss from GambleAware, and all without having ever tried our service.
Does this all mean that Heads&Heads hates GambleAware? Absolutely not! Their presence is crucial to controlling what is a very controversial industry. In fact, we hope one day to work with GambleAware to show people that there are ways to enjoy the bookmakers’ services which do not result in or promote addiction.
For those that don’t know, GambleAware is a charitable organisation that tackles the issue of gambling addiction. Their recent report indicates that problem gambling costs the UK Government between £260 million and £1.2 billion a year, with 0.4 - 1.1% of the UK adult population victims of gambling addiction. Researching the impact of problem gambling to the health sector, results showed that problem gambling cost the NHS: £140m - £610m in hospital inpatient services, £10m - £40m in mental health primary care, and £30m - £110m in secondary mental health services. In terms of “welfare & employment”, problem gambling costs the government £40m - £160m in Job Seekers Allowance claimant costs and lost labour tax receipts. According to the report, problem gambling costs the Government a further £10m - £60m in housing, and £40m - £190m in the criminal justice sector.
The hardest bit to read for us here at Heads&Heads is the Job Seekers Allowance costs. Given that our service provides people with a manageable and sustainable income that would be the equivalent of £21,600 a year, this seems such a shame. We are obviously a little biased but we genuinely feel that matched betting would be a great way to ween those addicted to gambling off of the habit. Maybe it is a little too much to compare us to a Nicotine patch, however we feel the comparison is not entirely unreasonable.
Ultimately, we need the help of our members to remove any prejudice or suspicion around the world of matched betting. Who knows, maybe one day Heads&Heads will do a joint ad campaign with Job Seekers Allowance and show people, that with our help, the balance of power can be shifted back in the favour of the user.