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UK MPs have called for a £2-per-bet limit on popular online games to combat gambling addiction. There are 430,000 serious gambling addicts in the UK, including 55,000 children.
In its interim report, the parliamentary group called for the urgent introduction of legislation to further regulate the online betting sector. It also called for a ban on credit card use on online sites to prevent gamblers from being able to plunge themselves into debt.
“For too long, online gambling operators have exploited vulnerable gamblers to little or no retribution from the regulator. We cannot continue to fail vulnerable gamblers,” Iain Duncan Smith, vice-chairman of the group said.
“I therefore urge the Commission to look into this issue in greater depth. It is outrageous that there are not stake limits online, that gamblers are still able to gamble using credit cards online and that operators are able to continue to offer inducements to the vulnerable without proper sanction,” he added.
The report also called for the treatment of gambling addiction and support for gambling related harm to be part of the NHS remit. Other recommendations suggested by the report include affordability checks on gamblers and the restriction of VIP accounts and incentives offered to those who bet repeatedly.
“Stakes and prize limits online would be a major step forward in reducing the harm caused by the sector. It is not at all clear why the Gambling Commission is not looking at this as a matter of urgency,” Carolyn Harris, chairman of the group said.
“We are disappointed that this report has been released before we have been given the chance to give evidence to the APPG. The report does not reflect our considerable action and progress on most of the areas of concern set out in the report and we look forward to being given the chance to outline that work to the APPG,” a spokesperson for the Gambling Commission said.
Source: European Gaming Media
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