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  1. #1
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    Default Sad story of British actor Jeff Stewart

    Jeff Stewart, a long-time actor in the television series The Bill, recently attempted suicide after being cut from the show's cast.

    Stewart apparently has told some friends that he has racked up large debts on Internet gambling sites. After being told he was no longer going to be part of the cast, Stewart slit his wrists, but immediately called security for help.

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbi...bts/article.do

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    This was a very sad story to hear. He is apparently very huge in London (I believe) as an actor.

    What is a shame is that online gambling is put in the middle of story as the fault for him having to attempt suicide because he had a gambling debt. They didn't stress that it might have been the fact his show got cancelled. I thought that was unnecessary and uncalled for.

    To this individual, I hope they seek the help they desperately need. This was a cry for help and I hope and pray he receives it.

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    I'll preface my comments here by saying that any atttempted suicide deserves sympathy and help.

    In this case, the cause is fairly clear - he's an actor known here for playing one role only. If his part in the show is cancelled he's sufficiently typecast to be effectively out of work. Hence his desperation.

    US affiliates may be only too familiar with gambling being made a scapegoat, but I'm actually surprised by the article. Whilst there are always some in the media that will condemn gambling in a way that they don't condemn other addictive behaviours, there isn't the same 'witch hunt' in the UK that there is in the US. It seems to be a personal view of the editor, so I give it little credence.

    There's another article that should have been drawn from this sad episode, namely that stories such as this are the very reason behind the UK legislation. The restrictions placed on White List operators are intended to stop players getting into this level of debt and to provide help for clearly identified problem gamblers.

    Everyone concerned with online gambling should be glad that incidents like this will happen less and less frequently thanks to legislation.

    Now why can't the mass media explain that to the public...
    Andy

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    GPWA Aaron is offline Private Member
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    I actually think that the fact that he has an online gambling debt is really quite relevant here. If he were in the midst of a tough divorce, or if he had started a business that had failed, those would be important details that would give some insight into his state of mind at the time of his suicide attempt.

    I don't believe the article is trying to villify online gambling, just point out that his debt, combined with losing his job, may have pushed him over the edge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snooptodd View Post
    I If he were in the midst of a tough divorce, or if he had started a business that had failed, those would be important details that would give some insight into his state of mind
    I agree, but I doubt that the headline would have read: 'Star of The Bill tried to kill himself because of worries over divorce.' The divorce or failed business would have been mentioned in the body of the article, as his gambling debts should.

    As you say, his gambling debts are an important detail, but they're not the over-riding factor in this. Clearly, his debts hadn't caused him a major headache until he lost his job.

    And a 'star' who owns a million pound house surely has more equity to release than most problem gamblers do.

    I think it's a matter of perspective - and that's what was missing in the article.
    Andy

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