Time for Online Gambling Reform

Subject: Time for Online Gambling Reform
Date: 2 Dec 2015

I am writing this not for sympathy, as I know my problems are of my own doing, but am writing this to highlight how easy it can be for people to get themselves in to trouble gambling, and hopefully stop at least one person getting themselves in to debt they cannot afford.
In the last three months, I have managed to lose nearly £50k gambling online. I am now on the verge of losing my house, and am drowning under the debt I have mounted up/
This process of losing money is all too easy online, and I truly believe some new legislation needs to be brought in to stop this happening to anyone else.
On a few occasions I have managed to get myself a large amount in profit, but due to the length of time it takes companies to process withdrawals (3-5 days in some cases) and the fact that it is all too easy to reverse withdrawals, all this money, and then more was lost.
I have imposed deposit limits on multiple sites, then just opened new accounts under a different email address. I have self-excluded myself from some sites, and then just gone and opened a new account with someone else. There are so many sites nowadays, it is all too easy to jump from company to company, losing money.
I read every day that more and more people are getting themselves in to debt gambling, so surely the time has come for change. Yes, the individual must be held accountable, and as I write this I am trying to work out a way to off the debt I have amassed, including securing a large loan against my house, or even selling my house.
But gambling is just as addictive as any drug, yet it is actively encouraged in this country, and it is becoming easier and easier to lose money to these companies. There are more and more online casinos opening every day, proving how much money the people in this country are losing.
Surely the time has come to change – whether it is making withdrawals instant, making them non reversible, make it illegal to deposit using credit cards, imposing initial account limits so you can’t gamble too much straight away when opening a new account, ensuring that once you self-exclude from one site all other companies must share this information and exclude you from their sites too, making it impossible to open more than one account with the same bookmaker so you can’t get around deposit limits/self-exclusion (I myself had 9 different accounts with a certain bookmaker, with different email address and have more than one account with at least 6 different companies)
These are just a few ideas I have had. I know I am a lone voice at the moment, and will be easily ignored, but if my plight helps just one person to stop and think before gambling more than they can afford, then this will have been all worthwhile.