For almost all of 2019, UK lawmakers have worked on ways to cut down rates of problem gambling. Some areas of the country are suffering from this issue more than others. New reports indicate that gambling addiction in Leeds is becoming a major issue.
Officials in this city are now working to warn locals about the dangers of problem gambling. It comes as the UK government continues setting new regulations on the gambling industry. Let’s look at how big of an issue this is becoming in Leeds, and how the government is responding.
UK Government Continues to Set New Laws on Gambling
Now is not an ideal time to be a gambling operator in the United Kingdom. For almost all of 2019, the government here has worked on new ways to crack down on the gambling industry. Several new restrictions have been placed on land-based and online gambling companies, some of which have had a major impact on revenue earnings.
One of the first new regulations is targeted gambling ads. Now, gambling companies in the United Kingdom cannot target those “appearing to be under the age of 18” in gambling advertisements. Using social media to promote gambling services is now heavily restricted, as well.
Perhaps the most impactful new regulation set here in 2019 was on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). These are machines located inside betting shops that allow players to place rapid-fire wagers, like slot machines. In the past, these machines would accept wagers up to £100. Now, the maximum bets allowed on FOBTS is £2.
This had led several companies, including William Hill, to experience revenue losses. FOBTs restrictions have forced this company to close many of its land-based betting shops.
It appears that these new regulations are not entirely effective. Leeds is developing a major gambling addiction problem. Let’s look at what exactly is happening in this city.
Rates of Gambling Addiction in Leeds Are Growing
Media outlets across the US have covered the growing rates of problem gambling. This week, the BBC published an article on the growing rates of gambling addiction in Leeds. According to the news outlet, more than 10,000 individuals in this city are problem gamblers.
These figures come from the Leeds City Council. Officials in Leeds believe that low-income adults and those with mental health issues make up most gambling addicts. Researchers now believe that an additional 30,000 individuals could be at risk of becoming gambling addicts within the next few years.
Fortunately, the government is taking steps to help UK residents suffering from these issues. Not long ago, the UK Gambling Commission announced that 14 gambling addiction treatment centers were set to open around the country. One has already begun operating in Leeds. Hope is that problem gamblers utilize these new clinics.
If these reports are accurate, about 1.8% of the adult population of Leeds are gambling addicts. It’s unclear exactly what steps the local government plans to take to tackle these issues.
More Gambling Regulations Are on the Way
The UK government is working on ways to stop the spread of gambling addiction. Unfortunately, they’ve been largely unsuccessful. It seems likely that the government will soon begin ramping up regulations on the gambling industry.
Up to 400,000 people in the United Kingdom are gambling addicts. Officials have already announced a “National Strategy” to combat this growing issue. A ban on credit card gambling is still being considered.
It’s possible, yet very unlikely, that all online gambling sites in the UK will be shut down. These sites help to bring the government millions of dollars a month. A more likely scenario would be to require these sites to ramp up their measures to protect against users over-gambling.
Not long ago, the country’s Gambling Commission began requiring all gambling sites to register with GamStop, a self-exclusion gambling program company. Doing this allows UK residents to remove themselves entirely from all gambling ads and websites.
The government will not be pleased to see the growing rates of gambling addiction in Leeds. Despite numerous regulations, individuals here continue to struggle with problem gambling.
How do you think the government should tackle this issue? Let us know in the comments section below!
A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack. ...
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