UK Minister Urges Betting Firms to Help Problem Gamblers

UK Minister Urges Betting Firms to Help Problem Gamblers

The British sports minister Nigel Huddleston is urging betting firms to help problem gamblers and go beyond the 10-point pledge.

Helping the vulnerable

The COVID-19 related lockdown has left many problem gamblers and other vulnerable people isolated with unrestricted access to online casino games. The government now wants gambling companies to take stricter measures so that these people can be saved from becoming gambling addicts. Huddleston wrote a letter to five of the largest gambling companies in the country, urging them to go beyond the BGC’s 10-point pledge.

UK Minister Urges Betting Firms to Help Problem Gamblers

Several MPs have called the pledge weak and demanded stronger action from the companies. In his letter, the minister asked Flutter Entertainment, William Hill, SkyBet, GVC Holdings, and Bet365 to focus on attaching safer gambling messages with their advertisement. He also asked for these messages to be more prominently visible to the players during the lockdown period.

He noted that gamblers are at a heightened risk because of isolation and online gambling access because of which signposting for support and warning messages become more important.

The deal with gambling advertising

There is limited data on the actual volume of gambling advertising in the country after the lockdown. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that different firms are compensations for losses due to sports betting by promoting their online casino offerings. They are running an increased number of ads on social media platforms.

The UKGC has also pointed out the increase in online casino game usage, which is often associated with higher instances of problem Grambling. At least 9.2% of the online slot machine and online casino customers have serious issues with problem gambling. This number is limited to just 2.5% in sports betting.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) also suggested that it has witnessed an increase in complaints related to gambling since the beginning of the pandemic. The BGC, on the other hand, uses slogans like “When the fun stops, stop”, which have been deemed ineffective. The slogan also comes with a larger font for the word “fun” which is said to defeat the whole purpose of the message.

Huddleston also warned firms that they will receive demands from the UKGC on detailed data about gambling patterns of their customers during the shutdown period. This data will be effective in determining if their additional steps should be taken to protect people.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.