Parents take gambling crusade to Westminster

Parents Pete and Sadie Keogh lost their son Lewis to gambling addiction five years ago.
Since then they have crusaded for a change in the gambling laws to help others in the same situation.
Yesterday, Tuesday, they traveled to Westminster to help launch a new initiative ‘Gambling with Lives’, set up by families and friends of young men who have taken their own lives as a direct result of gambling.
Pete explained, “It’s another very positive step on our road to helping others.
“We have been researching to find out more about the deadly killer which took our son.”
He explained that the couple are regularly asked for help on the streets of Enniskillen.
They believe that too many suffering from the addiction in Fermanagh are afraid to open up, talk about it and seek help.
‘Gambling with Lives’ aims to raise awareness among gamblers, their families and friends and health professionals of just how dangerous gambling can be.
Pete went on, “We’re campaigning to reduce gambling related harm through greater regulation and have better treatment for gamblers integrated in the NHS system as well as support for their families.
“We want to stop anyone dying in the same tragic circumstances as our son Lewis.”
Sadie pointed out that there was a stigma in Fermanagh and across the North about gambling.
“Many don’t want to admit or talk about it, but it is a problem,” she stressed.
She said, “We’re looking to bring this into the headlines again, particularly after former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch quit her position because she said there had been a six month hold up in the plans she was overseeing to limit stakes on fixed odds betting terminals.
Pete explained that there are huge issues all over with this, but the major problem is the proper training for therapists.
“This is the thing. It is very unique. You can’t see it. Not like a drunk nor drug addict. Even the people that are coming to ask us in town at the minute are the same type of person, young males (25-35) reasonably affluent, well spoken, intelligent young people and when they go the GPs they often don’t know what to do,” said Pete.
He went on to say that this campaign will mean that Lewis death hasn’t been in vain. That people would come and speak out and talk about their gambling and get help for it.

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA