Helping the industry face up to social responsibility
Most people gamble at some point during their lives. For the majority, this merely entails occasionally betting on sports, buying a scratch card, or playing on the slot machines at the casino on a night out. However, according to the UK’s Gambling Addiction charity, an estimated 350,000 people in the UK are currently suffering from a gambling addiction. Incentives already exist that do well to teach the public the difference between fun gambling and problem gambling, such as whenthefunstopsstop.co.uk from independent charity, Gamble Aware, but arguably this isn’t enough to help those who are already addicted.
The new advice from the Gambling Commission isn’t about discouraging players from ever gambling, but rather encourages setting limits, focusing on those who are already addicted and those entering dangerous territory. Strategies include a proposal which makes tracking play across machine categories and tables mandatory, so that users who reach time and money limits can no longer continue to play, especially on a different machine. Arguably, this proposal should also be extended to gambling on different channels (such as a mobile apps) or in betting shops or casinos owned by different companies. The advice also encourages that gambling companies ensure self-exclusion schemes are fit for purpose to protect and manage vulnerable gamers.