UKGC Threatens Tighter Regulations Unless Industry Promotes Responsible Gambling

WrB 2015The UK Gambling Commission, UKGC, has threatened further regulations for the gambling industry, unless it further promotes responsible gambling. Matthew Hill, the UKGC director of regulatory risks and analysis, made comments relating to the gambling industry’s tepid action to combat its public image at the WrB 2015 conference last week.

The Concern

The increase of gambling adverts on television and heavy presence of high street gambling was raised as part of Mr Hill’s concerns.

There has been heavy public blacklash against FoTBs (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals). These betting machines allow players to bet up to £100 stakes on the high street. It is a huge concern for problem gamblers as it allows simple access for addicts to gamble large amounts of money freely.fobt

Mr Hill argued that the gambling industry needed to do more to present gambling as a recreational activity and not a source of destructive behaviour. More regulation would be one potential solution to the issue of problem gambling, but Mr Hill expressed concern over this. He said he wanted the industry to consciously make the decision to change its image with the public and not have it enforced upon them.

A Potential Solution

Although regulation would help the problem, he remarked increased control from the commission would lead to “constraints on the freedom of responsible adults to make their own decisions”.

“It’s important to persuade the public that the gambling industry can be trusted on responsible gambling”. The effect of these words is yet to be seen.

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