A temporary cap has been suggested for gambling entities in the UK. The MPs are thinking in the realm of £50 per day. The purpose is obviously to limit bettor risk.
It may not be pertinent now that major sports and racing events, such as the Premier League and Grand National, have been suspended due to the coronavirus.
However, many gambling companies are promoting international and obscure sporting events, computer-generated “virtual” sports, and online casino games.
A message to staff from a senior manager at William Hill said, “talk to your customers about what other things they can bet on – table tennis and Japanese baseball are proving very popular.”
Along these lines, 32Red has been encouraging customers to participate more in their online casino games. As for Betway and MansionBet, they have been promoting “virtual” events so that customers can place wagers on computer-generated football matches.
Lawmakers are not thrilled. The Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) is hearing from the MPs about the impact of this kind of gambling.
According to Labour’s Carolyn Harris, the Conservatives’ Iain Duncan Smith and SNP MP Ronnie Cowan in a joint statement,
“We are deeply concerned that as we go deeper into this crisis, more and more people will turn to online gambling as a distraction.”
They have made a valid proposal. If the industry were to self-impose a daily limit of £50, it would be a clear demonstration a willingness to act responsibly and protect society and peoples’ finances.
Matt Gaskell, clinical lead for the NHS northern gambling clinics, addressed this concern, pointing out,
“The industry continues to do all it can to increase profits, keep gamblers immersed and in continual play, at the expense of people’s lives.”
No doubt the enticements of the operators will prevail. How do you stop it? It would take a new set of laws to close all betting shops and casinos. This is already mandatory in the face of the novel coronavirus.
Of course, no one wants to give their business away to competitors.