The numbers released for the previous year’s fines show a record number. In 2018, betting companies have paid a total of £19.7 million in fines. What does that mean for the industry? Read to find out.
A total of nine operators were fined £19.7 million. One company in particular, Daub Alderney, had to pay a £7.1 million fine. They had to pay such an enormous amount because they failed to comply with regulations that control AML policy and underage gambling.
Daub Alderney, for instance, failed to monitor its customers on anti-money laundering and age restrictions on multiple occasions. This is why it had to contribute such a huge payment towards the government budget.
A part of the funds received from fines are going to be spent towards the compensation of the victims and third parties.
The UK gambling problem
The gambling problem in the UK is huge, as some reports show. The UKGC numbers state that 51% of men and 41% of women in the country gamble at least once a month. Men spend significantly more and are overrepresented in cases of addiction.
It is estimated that out of all gamblers, over 450,000 are addicted. While this is only a bit over 1.3% of gamblers, half a million of people who can’t stop gambling sounds like a nationwide disaster. Out of those who are negatively affected by gambling, 55,000 are minors.
That’s right, there are 55,000 kids in the UK who have a gambling addiction. This is why both the government and the industry is taking action.
The casinos’ efforts
It may seem like the casinos are out to get your money and they don’t care how much do you lose. In the UK, it’s not the case.
While live casinos are making a profit each time you lose, they do quite a lot to reduce the damage done to society. Earlier in 2019, the big betting companies came together to stop advertising during sports events. This type of advertising was producing huge profits, but the problem is kids could be watching. So the industry leaders stepped up to protect minors.
On top of that, the leading companies of the online casino industry have increased their voluntary levy to £100 million a year. This contribution is spent on research and prevention of gambling disorders.
Increased regulatory activity is the reason why these companies pay such high fines. The UKGC is making sure no kids are gambling by issuing a ban on ads that target minors. They also make efforts to prevent it from happening by monitoring the web.
A recently announced NHS clinic that’s going to treat minors with gambling-related problems makes the government effort to help gambling addicts even stronger.
What can South Africa learn?
The South African government is not legalising online gambling because they fear too many people will become addicted. However, the UK is setting a great example for our country. Online gambling for real money can be regulated and can be a safe place for everyone.