The Anti-Christ of Gambling Recovery

 

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The Anti-Christ of Gambling Recovery

Something that has made my blood boil over the last few days is news that emerged from Twitter about a new gambling blog. The website targets vulnerable gamblers by offering them alternatives to UK online casinos and directs them via affiliate links to casinos that are unlicensed in the UK.

It directly flies in the face of what Quit The Casino and many others want to achieve, and has prompted me to think of a way I could legitimately tackle its existence. This website has made me angry and the morally corrupt low life that is running it deserves to be challenged. However, to effectively make such a challenge I need to cover a few different subjects, and the language I use may appear to be a bit strange. You may wonder why I’ve titled this blog in the way that I have, and I will explain this, but first I need to give a bit of background to add some context.

Quit The Casino

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, Quit The Casino existed in the first place as gambling therapy for myself before I converted it into a website where anyone could come for help with gambling addiction. It’s still very much a work in progress but something I enjoy immensely. There are a wide variety of similar blogs out there, as well as worthy organisations that carry out vital work by campaigning for a much-needed clean-up of the UK gambling industry. Gamvisory, Gambling With Lives, and Gambling Insight GB (Twitter,) are all shining examples of people that dedicate a vast amount of time to the cause which ultimately aims to protect people from gambling related harm. There are many others that want the same thing, and many will speak of their horrific experiences with gambling addiction.

In my case, turning Quit The Casino into a successful website with lots of visitors has become a long haul and is something that I’m yet to achieve. It certainly isn’t something that I want undermining by such unscrupulous websites whose only aim is to profit from the vulnerability of others. However, before I call out the sins of this particular website, I should probably take the opportunity to be transparent about Quit The Casino. This is because you may well ask why I want to run something that clearly costs money with no financial incentive.

The answer is that Quit The Casino exists for two reasons with the second reason only recently becoming apparent. First and foremost, I designed Quit The Casino to help people avoid destroying their lives through gambling addiction– as I have. I always thought that if I could offer advice that helps even a few people, then it’s a worthwhile cause. Some of the £1,500 per month I used to spend gambling now goes to maintaining the website. I still enjoy attempting to grow the site and it’s become a hobby that distracts from my recent past of gambling carnage. I still live with that carnage every day. Despite throwing virtually everything I have at my debt mountain, I still recoil at the knowledge that my past has left me with a very uncertain future. This leads me to the second reason that only became apparent in the design of Quit The Casino.

You see, I quickly realised that by putting so much effort into my website, I was acquiring skills that I never had before. This will become evident in a moment, and I promise I’ll get back to the main point of this blog! I hope to use these new skills to provide a second income perhaps in e-commerce or internet marketing. Maybe one day I’ll even repair the damage I’ve done and secure my future again. Quit The Casino however will always be free and will never seek to capitalise on the misery of others. It’s for that reason I write this blog and it is the reason this new website has angered me so much.

Non- UK Gambling

I’m deliberately not specifically mentioning the name of this website or the name of the morally corrupt owner. This isn’t because I fear repercussions but it’s simply because I don’t want to feed him the publicity he craves. However, I will tell you about the multitude of sins he has committed by creating the site in the first place, and why it has massive potential for gambling related harm.

Why would anyone spend their entire wages gambling? Why would anyone get themselves into massive debt by gambling? Why would anyone risk their relationships, their homes, their livelihoods, their reputation, or even their freedom just so they could gamble?

The answer is because these people are not in their right minds. They are not functioning normally, and I know I certainly wasn’t when I was gambling! You can use whatever term you wish but they all have the same result. Gambling addiction, compulsive gambling, pathological gambling, or disordered gambling, all cause a staggering amount of harm. No-one in their right mind would put themselves through that voluntarily, but a disordered gambler will never be in their right mind. This is why safety measures and self-exclusion exists. The UK clearly has a massive amount to do in order to protect those most vulnerable, and corruption is rife within the gambling industry. However, the UK has arguably one of the best defences in terms of self-exclusion. So when a so-called Manchester based businessman comes along with a profit making website that encourages users to circumvent GamStop by recommending non-UK gambling websites, then clearly it warrants challenge.

The owner of this website masquerades as someone doing UK residents a favour by providing them with a ‘safe alternative to UK gambling.’ He states you can ‘broaden your horizons’ by doing so. He even implies that a decision to use GamStop may have been a mistake and provides affiliate links to non-UK casino websites to circumvent this. For those who don’t know, I explain more about gambling affiliates here. However, there is only one reason for this website to exist and that is to profit from vulnerable people desperate to gamble again when they might be second guessing their decision to join GamStop. How do I know this? Well, remember those new skills I was talking about?

SEO

Building Quit The Casino has led me to be a half decent novice in the world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO.) Now you may wonder why this is relevant to our mortal sinning nemesis over at this morally bankrupt website.

It’s relevant because I’m able to tell that he is deliberately targeting gambling addicts to visit his website by the language he’s using in his blogs.

It is the goal of most websites legitimate or not, to want to appear on the first page of Google. Doing so will increase your audience, and if you are a business it will translate to more sales and profit. Using SEO correctly and ethically is complicated and time consuming. A major factor to ensure you climb the ranks of Google’s search results is providing relevant and useful content that matches a user’s search query. For example, this website is broadly concerned with gambling addiction. I know that many thousands of people will search ‘gambling addiction’ in Google. Since many of those people will be suffering, I want my website to appear at the top of the results when they do search for that, because I think I can provide help. I therefore ensure that my articles and blogs always contain that phrase. That is SEO at its most basic, but it gets way more complex. However, despite being complex, it is also easy to exploit and that is exactly what this low life is doing on his website for financial gain.

is gambling a sin

The Gambling Recovery Anti-Christ

He has dedicated quite a sizable chunk of his site to articles that cover the topic of responsible gambling. In one breath he is recommending the use of non-UK based casino websites, whilst at the same time pointing out that he is all for responsible gambling. This is absolute rubbish, and nothing could be further from the truth. He has stuffed these articles with the types of keywords that anyone looking for help with gambling addiction would type into Google. Keywords (or close variants) such as ‘help with gambling addiction,’ ‘responsible gambling,’ and ‘GamStop.’

In fact, he references GamStop on dozens of occasions throughout his website. As you can imagine, this could be the first thing that a disordered gambler might type into Google to get help. Imagine if this abomination of a website appears alongside GamStop in the results! That is what the owner of this shady website wants. You will notice that I have typed GamStop on multiple occasions in this post and throughout my website. I have repeatedly created a hyperlink to their website because that’s the ethical thing to do. It provides value to the reader and allows them to go straight to their website if they feel the need to. Our gambling recovery Anti-Christ on the other hand simply uses GamStop to link to his own article about the self-exclusion service. So what exactly is he saying about GamStop? The quotes below speak for themselves.

‘GamStop is a site which puts your regular online gambling activities on pause. Most players that want to control their activities will join this site without fully knowing the consequences. In this case, non-UK regulated sites are the best option. I am here to make sure you stick to sites which passed my thorough check.’

In a so-called FAQ section, he answers the question, “Are there alternatives to GamStop?”

Answer: ‘There are of course many alternative ways that you can give up gambling without having to self-exclude yourself from every UK licensed gambling site that is part of the Gamstop scheme, and I would advise you to explore those avenues first.’

He then lists the cons of joining GamStop:

Cons 

‘Keep in mind that as soon as you do add your name to the Gamstop register then very, very soon after doing so you are going to find all accounts at UK licensed gambling sites and apps that are part of that scheme closed.’

‘Long Term Self-Exclusion

Finally, please do keep in mind that you are going to be self-excluded from all GamStop member gambling site and app operators when you joining up to that register and as such you are not going to be able to place a bet or gamble at any of those sites or apps.’

Other quality quotes are:

‘Furthermore, you can only profit from joining a Non-UK Gambling site.’  

‘As I mentioned, I wanted to share everything I learned about gambling on sites not regulated by UK laws. The primary purpose of this website is to help gamblers that are looking to broaden their horizons while enjoying a secure gambling experience.’

The Holy Grail of Non-UK Gambling?

So with his vulnerable audience now convinced that any decision to use GamStop may have been a mistake, he then proceeds to direct you to his list of non-UK licensed casinos where you can leave the hassle of self-exclusion behind.

I decided to have a look at his top-rated recommendation. This is a Panama based casino where interestingly, Panamanian citizens are prohibited from playing there. I then examined their responsible gambling policy and to be fair, they’ve outdone themselves in this regard. Their website tells me that they care and as such provided a link to Gamblers Anonymous. The link didn’t work.

I then investigated how someone might deposit at their casino and learned that the preferred method was Bitcoin. I wonder why that might be? Clearly the 87% of customers that prefer to deposit using that method (according to them) know the answer. However, for someone like me who doesn’t have Bitcoin left over from my latest drug transaction, does have the option of using a credit card. Clearly, the decision to ban credit card deposits at UK casinos didn’t quite catch on in Panama. I needn’t have worried though because I could always refer myself to Gamblers Anonymous once I had destroyed my life.

I then reasoned that I may have been a little pessimistic with this site and I allowed myself to imagine what it would have been like if I would have played there and won. Images flashed into my mind of me skipping down the street, finally free of my debt mountain. I would rejoice in financial freedom and may even have tossed bank notes into the air in celebration. However, I brought myself back down to earth eager to check their terms and conditions that would surely make the dream a reality. Not quite. Not only do they say that any money deposited must be played through ‘at least once,’ before a withdrawal is allowed, but they actually quote their processing times as ‘at least 7 days.’ Their terms and conditions actually make withdrawal times open ended. That’s okay though because the so-called ‘editor in chief’ at our non-UK gambling site says it’s safe to play there.

At this point, my polite feelings about the owner of this blog are that he disgusts me. My not so polite feelings are that he and his website deserve to burn in hell for the misery that will undoubtedly result.

Back To SEO

Much of what I have talked about so far are examples of an underhand use of SEO designed to promote his website ahead of those genuinely wanting to help people. The specific intent is to draw vulnerable people away from help and firmly in the direction of his affiliate links.

However, it doesn’t stop there, and he isn’t content with that. This cretin wants to achieve a slam dunk with SEO. I mentioned that it is a complicated skill and what I have described is called ‘on page SEO.’ However, there is another vital component to it that ensures a website climbs to the top of Google. It’s the very reason I’m not naming him or his website.

Google is all about providing quality content to its users. If on-page SEO was the end of the story then there would be nothing stopping me from creating a 1000 blog about compulsive gambling that was utter rubbish. All I would need to do is make sure I used the phrase, ‘compulsive gambling’ enough times. Fortunately, that isn’t the case. So how does Google know if an article is quality or utter rubbish?

Well the answer lies in ‘off-page’ SEO and domain authority. If I were to write dozens of high-quality blogs on the subject that were all informative, then it is likely that other websites will talk about them and link back to my website. When this happens my domain authority increases because Google would quite rightly assume that I was an authority on the subject. As mentioned, I have linked to GamStop numerous times. They provide a great tool for self-exclusion and although not without its flaws, they rightly deserve their domain authority. Sadly however, this too can be abused, and our gambling recovery Anti-Christ knows this all too well.

There is a trick to off-page SEO and the devil is in the detail. You want as many websites as possible to link to yours to increase your domain authority and Google rankings. However, these links must be relevant. Google will smell a rat and you will gain nothing if, for example your hat store is being linked to by a timber merchant.

In a sly attempt at off-page SEO, the owner of this evil gambling website has managed to get himself linked to other quality websites in a bid to increase his rankings. The sad part is that these websites will be totally unaware. I am assuming there, but I cannot think for one reason why a Welsh town council would want to link to him. Similarly, a charity that looks after people with learning difficulties, or a religious organisation for that matter. However, these websites all carry a high domain authority and will be unwittingly helping him to climb the ranks of Google. Funny that I mention a religious organisation, isn’t it? Have you noticed that this blog is littered with religious sounding phrases? I will explain…

religion

So Why The Religious References? 

In learning about SEO, I have also learned to analyse data. Using various legitimate tools, I can tell how many people search for gambling addiction, compulsive gambling, disordered gambling etc. It therefore makes sense for me to write about these topics. This is exactly why this low life is writing articles about responsible gambling whilst coupling them with recommendations for non- UK gambling websites. 

However, in perhaps one of the most blatant and pathetic attempts to draw an audience, this sorry individual has cottoned onto the fact that there are a decent amount of people every month that search the term, ‘is gambling a sin?’ This is exactly why his website contains a blog on that very topic! He is desperately attacking as many search terms as possible to grow his audience. 

I can openly say that I target key words and include them in the blogs I write. Any website worth its salt would do this. However, with over 25 years’ experience of gambling addiction, even I couldn’t compose an informative piece drawing comparisons between gambling and religion! So why on earth would a piece like that exist on a website dedicated to gambling affiliate links? The answer is simply because he is targeting as many vulnerable people as possible, and it infuriates me! So that is the reason I’ve referenced religious sounding words as much as possible throughout this blog, in the hope that someone clicks on this blog before clicking on his. 

In fact all the words I have chosen throughout this blog have been chosen so they compete directly with the underhand tactics he is using to promote his filthy website. I sincerely hope it helps keep him and his disgusting exploitative website in the gutter where it belongs. 

How You Can Help 

If you read articles or blogs relating to gambling addiction, then please share them any way you can with others online. Shares on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all help to keep decent websites going and it encourages bloggers to create more content. Commenting where possible on blogs also encourages debate which is never wasted.

There are a stack of blogs out there worthy of being listed high in Google’s ranks making them more accessible to the people that need them. Be sure to check out the links below, and thanks for taking time to read this one.

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