The UK has been the hub of European gambling for over a decade. There are probably hundreds if not thousands of casinos that are registered with the UK Gambling Commission.
It’s doing its job well too. Thanks to the Commission, we have access to self-exclusion that has become the norm in the world of gambling.
The Commission promotes a healthy attitude towards gambling. So healthy that the top British sports betting companies decided to stop advertising in the hours when kids are likely to watch.
Labour MP Tom Watson thinks it’s not enough.
Read on to learn what the MP believes will be best for the gambling industry and the country as a whole.
The outdated act
The main problem Labour party MP has with the act UK currently has is that it’s very much outdated.
It was introduced back in 2005. In 2019, it’s hard to say that the realities are the same. It’s only been 14 years, but the technology has progressed to the point where it is incomparable to the 2005 level.
Most kids have smartphones now, and smartphones grant you access to online casinos. That’s just one of the challenges that the modern world poses to the industry. This one is luckily solved by KYC procedures.
The system is outdated for the digital age, says MP. Here’s what Tom Watson offers.
The updates that Watson has in mind for the Gambling Act are not making it fitter for the digital age. They’re making it harder for the player to win and for the casino to make money.
Labour MP offers to introduce more regulation to the field. One of the regulations would be creating bet and pay maximum limits. All casinos have maximum bet limits, but the MP wants them to be cut down to £2, just like with fixed-odds betting terminals in 2018.
The other regulations Watson encourages is making sure people don’t bet on credit if they can’t pay up. Alternatively, MP wants to ban betting on credit whatsoever.
The industry is fine
From what Tom Watson says, it seems like the industry needs help. People are going broke because they’re gambling on credit, and keep placing bets that are too big for their budget. The evil casinos are trying to steal your money in the process.
Is that so? The recent events show us that the industry players are more than willing to cooperate with the Commission to make gambling a safer experience for everyone.
The key sports betting companies are reducing advertising to exclude children, every gambling website has a self-exclusion option, and Ladbrokes are paying a million pounds to the victims of a problem gambler who stole from them. All of that happens voluntarily.
What Tom Watson tries to do is to turn the public concern about the recent story of a man who drove himself into enormous debt with a PayPal scheme into political capital.
But if you’re concerned about the wellbeing of problem gamblers, ask yourself this. There are probably a thousand people around the UK who spend £30,000 on a boat and regret it. There are a thousand people who spend £30,000 on a boat and love every bit of it.
Do we have to ban buying boats, or do we have to help people make better life decisions?