The country’s largest gambling companies show that they’re capable of being virtuous without government intrusion, BBC reports. They now plan to give as much as £100 million per year for charitable causes. Learn why do they do it in this article.
The problem with gambling in the UK
In the UK, gambling is legal, including online gambling. However, this doesn’t make the market safe for punters. Surely, it makes the share of rogue casinos very minimal, but the dangers of gambling don’t stop there.
Despite the fact that you can only gamble if you’re 18 or older, many minors are successful in bypassing the regulation. BBC numbers suggest that over 50,000 children in the UK have a gambling problem. Over 450,000 kids are regular bettors.
If the numbers are true, it supports the theory that children have a higher probability of becoming problem gamblers. The numbers that BBC discovered show that out of all children who gamble, 11% have a gambling problem. The same is true about 1.5% of British adults.
Help from the government
The UK’s authority on gambling, UKGC, is one of the best in the world in terms of regulating the gambling industry. It doesn’t issue bans to solve problems, instead, it looks for ways to make regulation more consistent.
For instance, when the government banned ads that inadvertently target minors, UKGC created a control group that researched the web to see if there’s a violation. The results have shown that there were a couple of websites that had a significant child audience and displayed gambling ads.
The ads were taken down, and the gambling company that owned them reported that the ads didn’t result in underage gambling.
The government is not the only protector of players, however. The issue with problem gambling in the UK is so pressing that the gambling companies themselves pledge a significant amount of money to fight it.
After all, it’s quite fair. If your company causes trouble to 1% of the customers, the least you could do is try to help those who suffer. This is exactly what the top gambling companies in the UK are doing at the moment.
Up until now, the major gambling firms were giving 0.1% of their revenue to charitable causes including funding research about problem gambling. When the UKGC said it’s not enough, they came together to make the donations ten times the previous number. Now, they’ll be paying a voluntary levy of 1% that is estimated to amount to £100 million each year.
All this money is going to be spent on problems that these companies are causing, including ways to fight problem gambling. With the power of science fully funded, the UK may finally reduce the staggering numbers of problem gamblers.
A moral stance or survival tactics?
The question that can’t be answered is whether these companies help their clients in good faith or just because they want to stay in the game. Some representatives have voiced an opinion that if they don’t pledge the money now, they can lose their privileges like the ability to sponsor football teams.
Either way, if people keep playing even if gambling is illegal, pledging more money to help those who develop an addiction is a good thing.