Bill Moyes, the Edinburgh-based chairman fo the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission, urged online gambling operators to enforce strict rules in their platforms to protect more than 160,000 individuals that are at risk of addiction. UK’s National Health Service warned that a “new wave” of gamblers would emerge during the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
UK’s Gambling Commission Urged Strict Policies for Operators
Mr. Moyes proposed stricter measures to be followed by the online gambling industry, approximated at £14.4bn to protect clients. The UK government heightened its campaign for stricter regulations in the gambling industry as the COvid-19 pandemic spread across the country. The chairman said that the main focus of the sector should be the effect of social distancing on the citizens of the UK. Social distancing caused all land-based betting venues to close their operations, which later led to a national initiative to reduce gambling in the territory.
The strict laws against land-based gambling caused gamblers to find an alternative betting venue. The lockdowns caused an increase in online gambling products like slots, poker, casino gaming, and virtual sports.
In a message released last week, the commission told online casino operators to make implement regulations to that will protect their clients, especially those who are susceptible or have obvious addiction tendencies.
According to reports, there are around 36,000 problem gamblers in Scotland. Mr. Moyes said that he spoke with people who have been impacted by gambling and the families who have lost people who were addicted to gambling. He said that the dialogue made them realize their latest enforcement action in recent weeks.
Mr. Moyes added that this new regulations will serve as new guidelines to the industry. Moreover, he also urged companies and operators to follow regulations and adherence to the general public interest.
NHS Warns ‘New Wave ‘of Gambling Addiction
The National Health Service in the UK projected an increase in the number of gamblers turning to online casinos. Matthew Gaskell, Clinical lead at NHS, said that people experience social isolation, boredom, stress, financial, and job insecurity. They were also allowed to gamble online, exposing them to a high risk of gambling addiction.
He said that they are expecting a rise in referrals further down the line because many major sports activities were canceled. Mr. Glaskell explained that it takes time for people to realize gambling harm and its spread across their lives.
He also said that they are concerned that the next wave of gambling addiction will happen because of the effects of the pandemic, and they fear that the customers are not adequately protected. A gambling addict from Leeds, Chris Murphy, warned that he once tried to end his life because of his addiction.
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