rational individuals to make an appropriate judgment of whether they wish to participate or not.

What can be done for the individuals at risk? Are there a group of people who are pathological optimists? We read of soldiers going to war who, knowing that people are being mowed down in hundreds, are sure that they will be the ones to survive. Rothchild, the Chairman of the recent Royal Commission on Gambling in a lecture on BBC Television commented on how little the man in the street understood risks and risk taking.

The answer is not to adopt a paternalistic role and allow Government, the Church, or some other body to take over and rule our lives and prevent us taking the risks we wish. There is no simple solution to the problem, and three Royal Commissions have demonstrated that it is not by legislation that people are protected from themselves. The solution lies in the field of education and not with legislation.


REFERENCES

Barker, J. C. and Miller, M.: "Treatment of compulsive gambling". Lancet, 1:926, 1968.

Brown, R. I. F.: Evidence to the Royal Commission on Gambling, 1976.

Dickerson, M.: "Gambling". Quarterly Bulletin of the British Association of Behavioural Psychotherapy, 5( 1):3-8, 1977.

Goorney, A. B.: "Treatment of a compulsive horse race gambler by aversion therapy". British Journal of Psychiatry, 114:329-333, 1968.

Moran, E.: "Varieties of pathological gambling". British Journal of Psychiatry, 116.-593-597, 1970.

Royal Commission on Lotteries and Betting. London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1933.

Royal Commission on Betting, Lotteries and Gaming. London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1951.

Royal Commission on Gambling. London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1978.

Seager, C. P.: "Treatment of compulsive gamblers using electrical aversion". British Journal of Psychiatry, 117.545-553, 1970.

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