March 26, 2020

APPG Chief: Operators need to step up amid COVID-19

APPG Chief: Operators need to step up amid COVID-19

Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) chair Carolyn Harris appealed to British operators to exceed their efforts in protecting customers amid the global novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

The APPG wrote to the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) earlier this week, encouraging its members to put forward a £50 a day gambling limit for customers. This, according to the APPG, would be a “clear demonstration that the industry is willing to act responsibly and do what they can to protect society and people’s finances.”

Harris also explained that she already had several people inform her that they were being flooded with emails and text from operators, urging them to gamble online.

“This is a worry because if you are a problem gambler and you have all of this extra time on your hands sat at home, we need to ensure these temptations are not there if they are trying to keep away from gambling,” Harris said.

“This is not the right time to be stepping up marketing operations—the providers need to be behaving responsibly and I think a £50 cap would demonstrate this,” she added.

According to Harris, it was “only fair” for operators to introduce new restrictions.

“On countless occasions, we have seen how a gambling addiction can completely ruin an individual and their family’s lives—pushing them into unmanageable debt and leading to detrimental effects on mental health for the problem gambler and the closest around them,” she said.

“With some betting boxes being the highest paid in the UK, making this adjustment to protect problem gamblers would be a fair compromise.”

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