As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the gambling sector, the cross-party Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has called for operators to ‘do the right thing’ by imposing a ‘daily gambling limit of £50’.
Confirmed in a letter to the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the APPG has also requested that the industry ‘suspends the facility for individuals to open extra accounts when they are known to already have an account; and to increase interventions to protect gamblers’.
The letter said: “As we face a public health crisis, with many now isolated in their homes, we are asking the online gambling industry to do their bit and take urgent measures to protect our nation’s financial and mental health by introducing a daily gambling limit of no more than £50.
“As our daily life becomes increasingly restricted and bars, pubs and entertainment venues close, many millions of people will now be at home with time on their hands. Many will turn to the mini casino on their mobile phone for entertainment. Some of these will never have considered online gambling before; others will have spent years trying to avoid it.
“If the industry were to self-impose a daily limit of £50 for every individual who becomes active on gambling sites, it would be a clear demonstration that the industry is willing to act responsibly and do what they can to protect society and peoples’ finances, at this dreadful time.
“But in the spirit of working together and preventing harm, we urge you to; introduce this £50 a day maximum spend; to suspend the facility for individuals to open extra accounts when they are known to already have an account; and to increase interventions to protect gamblers.
“We urge the industry to do the right thing and take immediate steps to protect the financial and mental well-being of our society in these unprecedented and deeply uncertain times.”
The GRH APPG, chaired by Carolyn Harris MP, has previously outlined its plans to shake-up the gambling sector by imposing restrictions on staking levels online, on gambling advertising and a statutory ‘smart’ levy to fund research, education and treatment.
Notably, the cross-party group has also called for an overhaul of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), stating that the regulator is not ‘fit for purpose’.
We look forward to you reply.
Urgently. Before any more harm done. pic.twitter.com/3p3aO28kmB
— Carolyn Harris MP (@carolynharris24) March 22, 2020