A prominent group of British MPs are calling for a complete ban on gambling advertising in the UK.
The group, consisting of more than 50 politicians, have spent the last 12 months reviewing the harm done by the UK’s £11 billion ($A20 billion) gambling industry.
A subsequent report has proposed the following:
• A total ban on all gambling ads, both online and on TV.
• A ban on betting sites that use algorithms to determine “high rollers” who are then given “VIP” inducements to bet more.
• A £2 stake limit on gaming machines.
• Independent affordability checks.
• Controls on gambling game design.
• A new ombudsman to resolve disputes.
Adding to this, the UK has recently banned credit card betting and the curbing of fixed-odds betting terminals.
Head of the government’s review panel, Labour MP Carolyn Harris, told The Guardian: “They [gambling firms] have shown time and again that they will not effectively self-regulate. Urgent change is needed to stop this industry riding roughshod over people’s lives.”
The report also noted that online betting companies had huge stores of data on their customers which they used to entice them to bet more when, in fact, this could be used to help curb problem gambling.
Too often the data was used to reward losing gamblers with more enticements to win their money back such as “free” bets and cashbacks on losing wagers.
The report noted: “They have algorithms where if you are spending significant sums, they can make you a VIP, or send you a bonus email, both of which are to their commercial advantage. So, there is no reason why this data cannot be used to prevent gambling harm.”
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