UK Considers Stricter Regulations to Combat Gambling Addiction

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UK Government Considers Stricter Regulations to Combat Gambling Addiction

According to the former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, our country currently has the most lenient laws globally. As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on gambling-related harm, he advocates for greater protection for vulnerable individuals, particularly children. His proposals include the imposition of a statutory levy on gambling companies and a ban on their advertising on football shirts to reduce the risk of advertising influencing vulnerable groups. The aim is not to eradicate gambling but rather to regulate it more stringently to prevent individuals from falling into debt spirals.

James Grimes, the head of education for the charity Gambling With Lives, who was once addicted to gambling, is calling for stake limits on online gambling to be imposed, particularly given the impact potentially addictive products have on young people’s brains. He also suggests restrictions on advertising and sponsorship, particularly in football, to protect the millions of young people who idolise the sport.

The government review of the industry also involves the Gambling Commission, which licenses and regulates it, and is an opportunity to build on the progress that has already been made to safeguard the public, such as introducing stricter identity verification measures, guidance for VIP schemes and banning gambling with credit cards.

John Myers, whose son Ryan committed suicide after suffering from gambling addiction, believes that the industry should be held accountable and is calling for tighter regulation to prevent future tragedies like his son’s. His hope is that the white paper will provide greater protections for individuals like Ryan. While he doesn’t want gambling to be banned, he does want the rules to be changed to prevent the industry from being as predatory as it is now.