U.K. Culture Wants Improved Problem Gambling Programs

Published Monday, March 03, 2014 - Online-Casinos.com
U.K. Culture Wants Improved Problem Gambling Programs

Maria Miller the United Kingdom’s Culture Secretary has been vocal in the press and on the BBC of late with a call for the government to introduce more programs to protect gamblers with issues. iGaming business has been reporting that a voluntary code developed by the Association of British Bookmakers  came into effect at the end of February 2014. Gamblers in the United Kingdom will now be able to set limits on the amount of time and money they spend on fixed odds betting terminals whose presence has been growing in the shops of bookies in the jurisdiction.

Mandatory alerts will appear on the machines when a gambler has spent £250 or played for more than a half hour. Each alert will also introduce a 30-second break in play. Betting shop staff will also be trained to identify problem gamblers and offer advice and means of support. The33,000 machines located in England and Wales, will have the new alert devises installed although testing and installation  will take up to six months to complete.

The Cultural secretary has proposed that the new code becomes compulsory and the rules should be strengthened to include forced spending and time limits. The House of Lords has introduced amendments to the Gambling Bill that would restrict advertizing by internet gambling operators. UK bookmakers would have to agree to the new code to obtain a gambling licence in the jurisdiction.

Miller also said she was concerned about the quantity of gambling spots currently being aired on UK television and asked the Advertising Standards Authority regulatory body to review the rules concerning online gambling ads.

Miller commented, “We want a successful gambling industry but not at the price of public protection,” adding, “Player protections must be made mandatory so that every bookmaker must abide by the new rules.” “I have asked the Gambling Commission to make this happen. In the future, these rules will therefore form part of the operators’ license conditions and bookmakers will have to accept them or not be able to trade."


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