UK MPs Urge Online Gambling Firms to Impose Betting Cap of £50 a Day

Home » UK MPs Urge Online Gambling Firms to Impose Betting Cap of £50 a Day
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Members of Parliament in the UK have asked the online gambling firms to impose a temporary betting cap of £50 a day during the Covid-19 crisis, as evidence emerged that they are pushing punters towards riskier wagers in the absence of the mainstream sport.

Gambling companies changed strategy after the cancellation of major sporting events. With events such as the Premier League and Grand National cancelled, gambling companies are heavily promoting obscure sporting competitions, computer-generated “virtual” sports and online casino games.

In a letter to the Betting and Gaming Council, MPs in a cross-party group urged firms not to put protection of their finances before customers’ wellbeing.

“We are deeply concerned that as we go deeper into this crisis, more and more people will turn to online gambling as a distraction,” wrote Labour’s Carolyn Harris, the Conservatives’ Iain Duncan Smith and SNP MP Ronnie Cowan.

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“If the industry were to self-impose a daily limit of £50 … it would be a clear demonstration that the industry is willing to act responsibly and do what they can to protect society and peoples’ finances, at this dreadful time.”

Experts warned that people with a gambling disorder, many of whom will be cooped up at home during the coronavirus crisis, are prone to betting on events whose outcome they cannot possibly estimate.

“In our clinics some of the most harmful gambling is that which diversifies to betting on things our patients know nothing about. The industry continues to do all it can to increase profits, keep gamblers immersed and in continual play, at the expense of people’s lives,” Matt Gaskell, clinical lead for the NHS northern gambling clinics, said.

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“If they’re targeting someone to bet on this kind of sport, or computer-generated events, it can only be because that person is someone with a problem, to be gambling on something that obscure. It’s the industry trying to capitalise on a national disaster, encouraging problem gambling with reckless and foolhardy behaviour,” Harris said.

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