In a press release, the chief executive of the UK's Gambling Commission, Neil McArthur said: "I want gambling consumers in Britain to be able to enjoy the fairest and safest gambling in the world..."

Also, he has revealed in a radio interview that there are over 23 million gamblers in the UK.

I cannot believe that over a third of the population are willingly partaking in a purported leisure activity in which they lose money.

It sounds to me that the UK now has an epidemic of addiction.

Gambling is certainly not fair or safe.

Unscrupulous operators exploit the natural tendency of humans towards addictive behaviour to feather their own nests.

Everyone is susceptible to this sort of physiological dependency, but especially children.

The government should step in for the good of all and treat this crisis as both a national mental health and social emergency.

Geoff Naylor

Colden Common