For almost all of 2019, lawmakers in the UK have been working on ways to crack down on the gambling industry. Rates of problem gambling are increasing here and politicians are trying everything they can to change this. Now, several groups are asking UK football clubs to warn against the dangers of gambling addiction.
It’s clear that lawmakers in this country are not giving up on their attempts to curb problem gambling. Many feel that targeting the sports betting industry will have a major impact on the UK gambling industry.
The UK has one of the biggest and most profitable gambling industries in the world. Millions of individuals here place wagers every month, many of which are made on sports. Football betting, in particular, is extremely popular in the United Kingdom.
Football is the most popular sport in this country. In 2018, reports surfaced that football betting accounted for half of all online bets placed in this country. More than £1.04 billion in football bets were placed last year. Unfortunately, this rise in sports betting is also leading to a rise in gambling addiction.
There are said to be more than 400,000 problem gamblers in the UK. A significant portion of these gambling addicts are below the age of 25. Lawmakers in the UK, along with the Gambling Commission, are now working hard to stop this issue from growing.
Several major regulations have been placed on the gambling industry. In April, the government announced a “National Strategy” to lower rates of problem gambling. Several gambling companies have expressed their disapproval with the new regulations. The government, to its credit, isn’t backing down.
Now, lawmakers in the UK are targeting the sports betting industry. Many are beginning to ask UK football clubs to begin warning fans of the dangers of gambling addiction.
As we’ve already mentioned, football betting is extremely popular in the United Kingdom. Interestingly, only 10% of fans here believe that clubs are doing enough to warn against the dangers of problem gambling. Many groups want to see this change.
GambleAware, a UK-based charity group, and the FSA recently looked into the relationship between UK football clubs and gambling companies. These groups feel that these clubs need to take a more proactive stance to protect fans, particularly children, from becoming addicted to gambling.
Kevin Miles, chief executive of the FSA, recently gave a statement to the media about this subject.
“Football clubs are not like any other business—they are an integral part of many match-going supporters’ lives and have a duty of care,” he said. “It’s clear fans want their clubs to do more on educating their supporters about the risks of gambling and alongside GambleAware we’ll be pushing clubs, particularly those with prominent gambling sponsors, to do better.”
Hope is that clubs take this into account. Rates of gambling addiction continue to increase. Major clubs and players have an opportunity to change this.
Over the past few months, we’ve reported on many of the new regulations placed on the UK gambling industry. This week, lawmakers here passed a law that requires online casino sites in the UK to sign up to GamStop. The self-exclusion gaming program company offers individuals the chance to ban themselves from gambling ads and websites.
It’s unclear exactly how effective these regulations have been. This week, GambleAware has announced that it’s taking a new strategy.
The charity group will be offering free haircuts to fans at Rugby Park this weekend ahead of Kilmarnock’s upcoming match. The pop-up barbershop will encourage self-reflection on betting behavior. The goal is to better inform young men on how damaging gambling addiction can be.
We’ll need to wait and see how this latest move plays out. GambleAware CEO Marc Etches believes it will help to spread awareness.
“This is an important way to engage with communities across the country and open discussions with sports bettors, enabling them to consider the risks involved with betting and reflect on it,” he said. “With our barbers, people will have the opportunity not only to receive a haircut, but also develop their understanding of Bet Regret and consider their betting behavior in the future.”
UK football clubs need to recognize the problem gambling issue that’s growing around the country. If the UKGC gets its wish, these clubs will begin helping to stop this issue.
Do you think these new regulations are effective? Let us know in the comments section below!
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