In the latest government review of gambling addiction, a ban on using credit cards in online casinos and a mandatory levy to fund gambling addiction treatment has been proposed. These strong recommendations come after an estimated 430,000 problem gamblers have been identified in the UK.
To make things worse, a staggering 2.3 million adults are at risks of becoming problem gamblers. Given how extensive the efforts by the UK Gambling Commission has been to solve problem gambling, this proposal may very well be taken into serious consideration.
The question is, will banning credit cards solve the current problem at hand or will it just be another ineffective method that will cause unwanted ripples in the gambling industry?
Efforts To Tackle Problem Gambling
A few months ago, the government has decided to take action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) by launching a 12 week consultation on stake reduction to better protect consumers and communities who spend money gambling online. Conducted by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), a full-fledged review will be conducted on FOBTs wagering in this consultation period.
Technically speaking, the consultation conducted by DCMS will include a study on the range of options on cutting the maximum stakes of B2 gaming machines, otherwise known as FOBTs from £100 to between £50 and £2.
On top of that, the government has also requested for the UK Gambling Commission for more information on better methods to track and monitor FOBTS in order to detect problem gamblers. Given the advancement of knowledge in the field of analytics, certain parameters imposed on these machines can be used to detect problem gamblers and subsequently protect them.
To quote Gambling Minister Tracey Crouch, she said: “Given the strong evidence and public concerns about the risks of high stakes gaming machines on the high street, we are convinced of the need for action. That is why today we have set out a package of proposals to ensure all consumers and wider communities are protected”
“We have seen online gambling grow rapidly and we need to protect players in this space, while also making sure those experiencing harm relating to gambling receive the help they need”.
This goes to show that gambling issues are on the rise and the government bodies are doing their best to tackle these said issues. Some of the key measure taking effect will include:
- Raising standards of player protection for online gambling — The Gambling Commission will consult on changes to the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice next year, with the aim of raising standards on player protection online and will set out expectations to the industry around customer interaction online.
- Responsible gambling campaign — GambleAware, Advertising Association, broadcasters and gambling industry groups will come together to draw up a major two year responsible gambling advertising campaign. The campaign will have a budget of £5 to £7 million per year and will include TV adverts, including around live sport, as well as radio, cinema, online and print. The campaign will be funded by gambling operators, including online-only betting firms, with airspace and digital media provided by broadcasters.
- New advertising guidelines — This will be drawn up by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) to help protect those at risk of problem gambling, namely children and young people, by ensuring that the content of gambling adverts does not encourage impulsive or socially irresponsible gambling.
What do you think about these efforts by the government and the UK Gambling Commission in stopping problem gambling? Will the ban of credit cards and adjustment of the stakes on FOBTs solve the gambling addiction issue we have in hand? Let us know in the comments below.