London, England - “Can You Beat the Bookies?” recently aired on BBC, and sought to place the spotlight on the £14bn ($17 billion) that British people lose each year to gambling.
The documentary set out to determine whether Soccer AM co-host Lloyd Griffith could possibly double his £7,500 ($9,089) through betting. At the end of the experiment though, it was learned that Griffith lost nearly half his cash. Griffith revealed that he had just £4,500 ($5,455) left, having made a loss of £3,000 ($3,637).
Although he had links to the gambling industry, the presenter still ended up like most Englishmen and he tweeted about the experience, claiming that “it was a real eye-opener”.
Previously, Griffiths had appeared in a Ladbrokes advertisement that drew disapproval for endorsing mindless gambling.
The makers of the program asked tough questions, such as: “Are the bookies playing fair?”, “Can you win in the long term?”, and “Are the odds stacked against the average punter?”
The program begins with presenter Griffith heeding advice from his aunt, who has a £50-a-week ($60) scratchcard habit and backs horses in pink. However, he only really begins to rake in money from betting when he gets assistance from the professionals.
His techniques really start to change after talking to a full-time gambler, Ed, who spends 40 hours each week studying before gambling. He also from a gambler named Joe, a former roulette addict who has made quite a fortune for himself by traveling all around the world to tennis matches.
Giving away his trade secrets, Joe shows Griffith how he would feed information to clients with the use of a Bluetooth headset which he conceals under his long hair. This earns him between £300,000 ($363,000) to £350,000 ($424,000) each year despite the huge amount of expenses he racks up while traveling.
Thanks to his help, Griffith flips £800 ($969) and turns it to £3,331 ($4,037).
Keenly focused on the factors of up and down that gambling can bring, Griffith also talks to fellow gamblers outside a pub in Brentford FC. He locates one woman who has won over £3,000 ($3,635) on an accumulator, and another person who lost a month’s salary on gambling and went on to join Gamblers Anonymous.
In addition, he also converses with comedian John Robins, who narrated how he had become miserable because of his gambling habit and began harming himself when things got really out of hand. Robins believes that “if I had the same problem now as an 18-year-old as I did then, with access to the internet and apps on my phone, I would probably be dead.”
Despite critiquing particular industry techniques and advertising methods, the program did not talk to any bookmakers. Rather, it ended with a statement from the Gambling Commission which said: “We expect licensees to be just as focused on how they manage risks and protect consumers as they are on achieving their commercial objectives.”
The Commission also maintained that: “Operators must step in if any customer shows signs of problem gambling.”