UK Mulls Stricter Gambling Laws Amid Addiction ConcernsJanuary 17, 2011 10:59 am
Amid mounting concern that gambling addiction in Britain is escalating, the UK government is now considering taking drastic action in an attempt to overhaul the industry.
The Gambling Act introduced in 2005 by the previous government is now largely being seen as instrumental in causing a deregulation in the industry, as online gaming sites find it increasingly easier to operate within the UK.
Consequently, the government believes that up until now many foreign internet gaming companies have been allowed to get away with sub-standard advertising in the UK while taking advantage of the country’s relaxed gambling laws.
However, that may all be about to change as the government mulls a range of possible solutions to the problem, which includes all operators having to obtain a UK online gambling license first, therefore forcing them to stay in line with the country’s strict advertising standards.
Under the present system only operators with key equipment located in the UK are required to obtain a license from the Gambling Commission. As a result, many countries across Europe and those located in other ‘white list’ areas have been able to exploit a loop hole in the law and advertise in the country, whilst flaunting the UK’s regulations.
It is estimated that in Britain around one million children are now addicted to gambling as a consequence of lax advertising by bookmakers, casinos, and betting websites on TV and commenting on the present situation, a government source cited by The Daily Mail, stated:
“We are the only country to permit overseas operators to advertise whilst relying on an overseas licence on issues of playing protection…This means that UK consumers aren’t being as well protected as they could be.”
In addition to the new proposal, the banning of credit cards on gaming sites is also being considered, with the intention of preventing people gambling with money they may not have.