There's no such thing as a free bet

Boosted odds, bonus spins and free bets are tactics designed to keep us playing, risking bigger and bigger losses.

About the campaign

Why we need to do something

It’s time to expose the tactics behind gambling and betting products and highlight how we are drawn in and encouraged to gamble despite the potential harms. We need to be openly told about the real risks and make everyone aware of the way that gambling companies profit from our losses.

We want to clue people up on the addictive nature of gambling products and how they are designed to keep us playing, even when we’re losing.

Free bets and bonus spins are only there to keep us playing and risking bigger and bigger losses. Gambling-related harms are the negative impacts on our lives. These harms can range from changes in mood and mental health, feelings of shame, poor general health, job loss, debt, desperation that leads to crime and the breakdown of relationships. At its worst, gambling can contribute to loss of life through suicide. Harms can be experienced not just by people who gamble, but by their loved ones too, and you don’t have to be addicted to gambling to experience harms.

The Gambling Commission reported that 71% of us feel that gambling is dangerous for family life and 78% believe there are too many opportunities to gamble[1].

Gambling Understood is free from gambling industry influence.

  1. See the evidence
“Gambling related-harm has made the lives of two million people miserable. It leads to hundreds of people each year taking their own lives, leaving families and friends devastated.”
Lord Grade of Yarmouth, Chair of the House of Lords Gambling Industry Committee

Do something about it

Knowledge is power and by understanding the scale of the problem, the addictive nature of gambling products and the tactics used to get us spending, we can begin to take on the gambling industry. By knowing the real risks of gambling and the harm it can cause we can act with all the facts, protecting ourselves and our loved ones.

Know the facts

Share your stories

Gambling adverts focus on wins, but never losses. The reality is different. We are told that gambling is a fun and enjoyable experience, but we’re rarely told about the downsides. The more we talk honestly about the harms gambling can cause and share our experiences, the more we can highlight the problems with the way gambling and betting is being sold and promoted to us, and call for real change.
Share yours