UK Gambling Firms Working to Curb Problem Gambling
The UK has been working hard to lower gambling addiction rates. For months now, lawmakers in the country have developed a “National Strategy” to revamp the country’s online gambling regulations. Now, a number of the top UK gambling firms are pledging more money to fight against problem gambling.
It’s a great thing to see some of the top online gambling companies in the UK work together here. Now is the perfect time to look into why the United Kingdom is so interested in new internet gaming regulations. We’ll also talk about what the future of online gambling in this country looks like.
Problem Gambling Rates Rising in the UK
The United Kingdom has the biggest internet gambling market in the world. For years now, this country has posted massive revenue gains. Unfortunately, gambling addiction rates continue to increase here.
Back in 2017, The Guardian reported that more than 400,000 people in the UK are dealing with problem gambling issues. Many analysts feel that this number has grown since this time. As a result, lawmakers in the country are working to overhaul the current set of online gambling laws currently set in place.
Back in February, lawmakers announced a new set of gambling ads for the country. A ban on credit cards for gambling was also considered. In April, the government announced a new “National Strategy” to combat gambling addiction.
The government has not indicated which measures they plan to implement. Just last month, Labour Party leader Tom Watson announced that online gambling sites in the UK may need to reapply for their licenses. There is clearly a lot going on here. Now, UK gambling firms are pledging to increase funding to help with problem gambling issues.
Which UK Gambling Firms Are Volunteering?
Five of the most powerful gambling companies in the United Kingdom are now volunteering for this levy increase. Owners of William Hill, Ladbrokes Coral Group, Flutter Entertainment, Skybet, and Bet365 are all volunteering to pledge more of their earnings for this cause. Last year, these companies raised about £10 million towards gambling addiction treatment and prevention.
This week, these companies agreed to a 1% levy spent on these issues. Previously, these companies paid just 0.1%. According to most estimates, these companies will raise nearly £100 million this year alone.
These companies have also agreed to new advertising measures. In a group statement, the UK gambling firms announced they will consider increasing safer gambling measures on their websites and looking over the tone and content of their marketing efforts.
Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, believes these companies need to step up their responsibilities.
“I want the gambling industry to step up on social responsibility and keep their players safe, including through making more funding available for research, education, and treatment to tackle problem gambling,” he recently told the media.
Will these companies help to avoid new online gambling restrictions?
Future of Online Gambling in the United Kingdom
It’s not a huge surprise to see these major UK powerhouses volunteer to pay more. As we mentioned earlier, lawmakers in this country are considering adding new regulations surrounding the gaming industry. Most experts feel these companies are hoping that by pledging more, the government will take it easy on them.
Not everyone is convinced this will be effective. Government officials in the country are serious about lowering problem gambling rates. If Tom Watson gains power, he will almost certainly overhaul the current set of gambling laws in the country.
What this means for online gaming companies here moving forward is unknown. A number of major firms are already suffering after the government’s decision to lower stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals.
These companies have already agreed to restrictions on television advertising. There is a concern that, soon, these companies will be banned from advertising with sporting teams. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on all changes to UK online gambling laws.
Are these UK gambling firms smart for paying more towards problem gambling awareness? Will gambling regulations increase here? Let us know in the comments section below!
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