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An Unsafe Bet?: The Dangerous Rise of Gambling and the Debate We Should Be Having

ISBN: 978-0-470-66119-2
300 pages
December 2010
An Unsafe Bet?: The Dangerous Rise of Gambling and the Debate We Should Be Having (0470661194) cover image


An Unsafe Bet? The Dangerous Rise of Gambling and the Debate We Should Be Having reveals how gambling represents a danger to public health due to its inherent addiction potential, which is being intentionally downplayed by the gambling industry and governments. 
  • Lays bare the extent of gambling and its effects on society
  • Exposes the dilemma for policy makers, who are charged with protecting public health but also increasingly dependent on revenues earned from gambling
  • Written by Jim Orford, an internationally respected authority on the topic
  • International examples broaden the argument and reveal the global stakes involved
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Table of Contents


Section I: Gambling is Growing.

1. The Extraordinary International Growth of Gambling.

2. The Rise of Gambling in Britain.

Section II: Gambling is Dangerous.

3. Gambling Addiction.

4. Modern Addiction Theory Applied to Gambling.

5. Does the Fault Lie in the Person or in the Product?

Section III: Gambling is Controversial.

6. Discourses of Gambling: ElevenWays of Talking About the Subject.

7. Public Attitudes Towards Gambling Are Negative.

8. The Costs and Benefits of Gambling for Society: A Hotly Contested Subject.

Section IV: Gambling Expansion is Not Being Challenged.

9. Governments Are Complicit in Supporting the Interests of the Gambling Industry.

10. Trapped: The Disempowering Effects of Failure to Challenge the Growth of Gambling.

11. Conclusions and Recommendations: The DebateWe Should be Having.




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Author Information

Jim Orford is Emeritus Professor of Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of several books on addictions including Excessive Appetites (1985, 2001), Community Psychology (1992, 2008) and, with colleagues, Gambling and Problem Gambling in Britain (2003).
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“Gambling pervades society – from online gamblers, casino regulars and betting office punters to those buying lottery tickets and scratch cards. This book explores the extent of gambling and opens a debate on the crucially important topic of its effects on society. The author is an internationally respected leader in his field – I can think of nobody better qualified to produce a work which will no doubt have a profound influence in policy terms and at the same time be a ‘good read’.”
Professor Roy Light, Director of Research, Bristol Law School, UK

"There is growing interest in this topic internationally, coinciding with continued expansion of gambling and increased awareness of individual and societal harms associated with some gambling forms. Jim Orford has a solid understanding of the UK situation and its international context, and writes in a clear, interesting manner. His singular, coherent presentation will help inform public and political debate regarding gambling policy."
Professor Max Abbott, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology

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An Unsafe Bet?: The Dangerous Rise of Gambling and the Debate We Should Be Having (US $115.95)

-and- Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment (US $65.00)

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