Gambling addiction is rampant and online playing fares no better. As an effort to curb excess in the UK, MPs have called for a £2-per-bet limit on popular online games.
Studies show that there are 430,000 serious gambling addicts in the UK, of which, shockingly, 55,000 are children.
The MPs have issued a report calling for immediate legislation to control the online betting sector. It includes a recommendation for a ban on credit card use in an attempt to prevent gamblers from plunging into debt.
According to Iain Duncan Smith, the groups Vice-Chairman,
“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.”
Smith is urging the Commission to look into the issue in greater depth. He says that it is outrageous that there are no stake limits online, and gamblers are still able to use credit cards online while operators continue to offer inducements to the vulnerable without proper sanction.
The report targets gambling addiction first and foremost. It contains further recommendations on affordability checks and the restriction of VIP accounts and incentives offered to repeat bettors.
Carolyn Harris, Chairman of the group, insists,
“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.”
Elsewhere, a spokesperson for the Gambling Commission states that the report does not reflect their considerable action and progress on most of the areas of concern set out in the report and they look forward to being given the chance to outline that work to the APPG.