The UK’s Gambling Commission has been setting heavy regulations on the gambling industry over the past few months. This week, news has come out that restrictions on the UK’s gambling industry will become more severe. A “National Strategy” is being carried out to stop the spread of gambling addiction throughout the country.
It’s an interesting time for this country’s gambling market. Gaming operators here will soon face some of the tightest regulations to date. We’re going to be looking into why the government here is taking this stance and what it means for the industry moving forward.
It’s well-known that the United Kingdom has one of the biggest gambling markets in the world. Both land-based and online gambling operations here bring in millions of pounds every single month. For the past few months, the Gambling Commission has stepped up restrictions towards gambling companies operating in the country.
In February, the Commission set new laws on gambling ads. Companies can no longer target anyone who appears to be under the age of 18. Ads cannot be placed on websites that have a primarily under-18 demographic. The same restrictions apply to social media as well.
Later that month, the government announced a plan to ban credit cards for gambling. Many individuals use credit cards for gambling and rack up significant amounts of debt.
Now, things are going even further. The government has announced a three-year plan to completely overhaul the current set of gambling laws. Will this be good or bad for the gambling companies operating here?
The “National Strategy” is aimed specifically at problem gambling. According to a recent study, more than 430,000 people in the UK deal with gambling addiction issues.
Marc Etches, the leader of a gambling addiction charity in the UK, feels that problem gambling is a more serious problem than some realize.
“Gambling is a serious public health issue in Britain with two million adults suffering some level of gambling-related harm, and for a few, gambling addiction ends in suicide,” he stated.
“Commitments by some in the gambling industry to reduce advertising and to increase funding for research and the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction are welcome, but there is much more that can and should be done across the industry as a whole.”
The UK Gambling Commission is now beginning a three-year plan to prevent, educate, and treat gambling addiction problems. It’s unclear exactly what steps the Gambling Commission plans to take. It seems likely that new gambling ad restrictions will be set in place.
It’s also possible that the UK will implement a ban on all gambling advertisements. Sweden announced it is considering the same plan earlier this week. As these plans move forward, we will begin to hear more details of what is to come.
In the past, we’ve talked about how Sweden’s increasing regulations towards the gambling industry may force companies to leave the market. The UK’s gambling industry is the biggest in Europe, and many of the top online betting companies currently operate here. Heavy restrictions could change this, though.
A full ban on gambling ads will certainly make it difficult for gaming companies to operate here. If the Gambling Commission implements further measures such as a higher tax rate, it’s very possible that some will choose to leave.
Public Health England is currently reviewing evidence of how gambling is affecting the population. This group’s findings will have a significant impact on what the government here implements next.
Do you think the UK’s gambling industry is in trouble? What steps do you think they should take to stop gambling addiction? Let us know in the comment section below!
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