Gambling With Lives Parents Condemn Plans for 24-Hour Betting Shop in UK Town

  • Liz and Charles Ritchie lost their son Jack to suicide
  • Charles said late-night gamblers were much more likely to suffer harm
  • Merkur Slots said it had yet to submit its application for a 24-hour license
Spalding on a road sign
The couple behind Gambling With Lives have opposed a betting shop’s plan to open 24 hours in a UK market town. [Image:]

The Yorkshire parents who lost their son to suicide and set up the charity Gambling With Lives have opposed plans for a 24-hour betting shop in the Lincolnshire market town of Spalding. Liz and Charles Ritchie, who established the charity following their son Jack’s suicide in 2017, caught wind of Merkur Slots’ plan to apply for a 24-hour license at its town center branch.

The last thing you need is a kind of all-night facility.”

According to the BBC, Charles Ritchie said the move was “not healthy” because there is “already a concentration” of betting shops in Spalding’s center. The bereaved father said there were nine or ten gambling shops in the town, adding: “The last thing you need is a kind of all-night facility.”

Richie then said: “clear stats that show that people who gamble late at night or through the night are much, much more likely to be harmed.” The couple’s opposition to the betting shop comes after they were recently awarded MBEs at Windsor Castle for their charity work.

A spokesperson for Merkur, a UK subsidiary of German entertainment and leisure giant the Gauselmann Group, told the BBC it was unable to comment because: “We haven’t yet submitted an application.”

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