Labour Deputy leader Tom Watson’s call for a tougher regulatory code on online gambling services/practices has received the backing of the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH).
In 2019, the RSPH is set to launch its ‘Gambling Health Alliance’, developed in partnership with industry charity GambleAware, as UK-wide gambling policy advisors push for problem-gambling to be treated as a public health concern.
Issuing a statement, the RSPH states that it shares the concerns of Labour’s deputy with regards to a reported 400,000 11-16 year olds spending their own money gambling activities each week.
Moving forward, the RSPH supports the implementation of the following discussed measures for UK overseeing gambling –
- A system for checking affordability before a gambler can start higher deposits
- Stake limits on products linked to higher rates of problem gambling
- The integration of online games into the existing categorisation of gambling machines according to maximum stake and prize
Niamh McDade, Senior Campaigns & Communications Executive at the RSPH, said:
“It is vital that regulations in the online world catch up with restrictions being introduced offline and we welcome the call to limit stakes in all online gambling. With 18% of the population gambling online, we must ensure that we identify and understand all sources of problem gambling. ”
“We look forward to establishing the Gambling Health Alliance this year to provide a forum for all relevant stakeholders to collaborate and increase our understanding of the range social, economic and cultural factors that contribute to gambling-related harms.”
Preparing to launch this 2019, the Gambling Health Alliance aims to better research gambling dynamics, habits and trends, bringing together wider organisations and individuals, with policymakers, who all have a shared interest in reducing the damage caused to health and wellbeing from gambling.