UK gamblers could be asked for payslips to cease unaffordable losses

UK gamblers could be asked for payslips to quit unaffordable losses

UK gamblers could be asked for payslips to cease unaffordable losses

Minister overseeing review indicates tougher regulation of gambling business

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Gambling firms could be forced to ask punters for payslips to prevent unaffordable losses, the minister overseeing a landmark overview of the sector has stated, citing a “moral obligation” to tackle addiction.

Chris Philp, who took over as gambling minister in September, outlined a series of government proposals, indicating a tougher regulatory atmosphere that would decrease industry revenues.

His comments had been echoed by Andrew Rhodes, the head of the Gambling Commission, who said some operators were not complying with the guidelines and saw regulatory fines as a type of “tax”.

Philp, speaking at the annual conference of GambleAware, the charity administering funding for programmes to lessen gambling addiction, stated: “I have heard as well many stories of individuals who lost obviously unaffordable amounts of cash … without proper checks being produced by the gambling operators who had the data obtainable. I have also heard about direct marketing and advertising, offers and VIP therapy becoming targeted at folks with manifest gambling troubles. This is not how gambling ought to operate, and we must take decisive measures to alter it.”

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Philp mentioned a white paper outlining government proposals, to be published early subsequent year, could contain affordability checks, which would stop operators intervening only when a consumer had lost huge sums and it was “far also late”.

“Demanding payslips or bank statements from each and every customer spending £100 is most likely going to be unwelcome, disruptive and disproportionate. But there is a level at which that is acceptable.”

He mentioned information from credit rating agencies could be used to guarantee “smooth and unobtrusive” initial checks were made on punters who spent smaller sums, with “more intrusive” checks at greater levels of spending.

The minister said it was “critical” that gambling operators were forced to share information about men and women displaying indicators of addiction, by way of a “single client view” system.

Campaigners are concerned that the market is becoming left to create this technique, but Philp suggested the government was also taking into consideration other options.

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He indicated that the Gambling Commission would get far more funding to enhance its regulatory capacity, which includes greater powers to “requisition” and analyse information in bulk from gambling organizations to make certain they have been not exploiting vulnerable folks. “All of us have a moral obligation to defend our fellow citizens who are in the grip of a serious clinical addiction that has devastated many lives,” he said.

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Speaking at the identical event, Rhodes mentioned gaming and betting organizations were nonetheless failing in their duty to safeguard issue gamblers, despite their efforts to show improved behaviour prior to the overview. “Too many operators are not complying with our rules,” he stated.

“This year is on course to be our busiest year,” he added, saying gambling firms had come to view regulatory fines and settlements, which have reached £100m considering that 2017, as a “compliance tax”.

“We nevertheless see cases that make absolutely everyone blush,” he said. “That has to quit.”

Rhodes criticised gambling businesses for saying the parallel market would thrive if tighter regulation had been introduced – claims repeated by some MPs who had enjoyed hospitality from the sector. He said this was too often employed as an excuse.

Zoe Osmond, chief executive of GambleAware, mentioned: “We welcome the minister’s announcement that the government is operating with the Gambling Commission to take methods to far better safeguard individuals at risk of gambling harms via affordability checks, a single consumer view, and a information repository to inform intervention and uphold market standards.”

She also called on the government to impose a mandatory levy on gambling firms to fund addiction study, education and treatment. Philp’s predecessors have so far resisted recommendations to replace the current voluntary system.

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