UK Government Plans To Invest More Money To Combat Problem Gambling

The United Kingdom is determined to combat problem gambling, which is why the government plans to invest more money in order to tackle this issue.

This weekend, UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, suggested Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, build more dedicated facilities…

…to address problem gambling behavior. At the moment, there is only one facility in the country with this purpose and it is the National Problem Gambling Clinic in London’s Fulham area.

Change of Action

By now, special treatment for gambling issues has relied on charitable funding. However, this is about to change with the new facility which construction will be paid off by the government. They plan to inject £20.5 billion into the NHS by 2023…

…with around £2.3 billion to be allocated to mental health services.

According to GambleAware charity, an organization funded by the gambling industry that supports the National Problem Gambling Clinic, this turn of events is a “very welcome development.” In November 2018, GambleAware announced that they would provide necessary funds for the opening of the second facility of this kind. The new institution is expected to open in April 2019 in Leeds.

The Leeds facility is will operate based on the hub-and-spoke model and therefore help those who are struggling with gambling addiction.

Contrary to Statistics

Nobody is denying the need of such facilities and the current lack of it but the statistics released by the UK Gambling Commission are not alarming. According to the Commission, the nation’s rate of problem gamblers is unchanged from the previous reports…

…whereas gambling participation rates are on the decline, contrary to popular belief. These numbers are not corresponding with the alarming narrative presented by the UK media.

Banks Getting Involved

In the meantime, a solid number of UK high street banks wants to get involved by introducing the tools that will allow their customers to mitigate excess gambling activity. Some of the first banks to join this “initiative” are Lloyds, Santander and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Namely, they will integrate a new system…

…which will allow the customers to download an app which can be set to prevent their debit cards from being used to fund gambling activity. Therefore, people will be able to control themselves when it comes to placing bets, which is known as self-exclusion.

The first one to do it was Barclays. In December last year, they officially allowed cardholders to block spending on a variety of merchant types with gambling being one of them.

Shaking Things Up

The UK is one of the largest markets in the world and everybody profits from the well-expanded gambling industry. However, the state is doing everything it can to change things and combat against the gambling addiction. So far, they have brought numerous decision on the language that can be used, games that must be made, etc…

…but one of the largest is in the sphere of marketing and how casinos and providers place their products to the people.

The UK government is active on every front and the gambling-based companies will have to find a way to get the job done without being fined.

Source:

“UK gov’t fund more dedicated problem gambling clinics”, Steven Stradbrooke, calvinayre.com, January 7, 2019.

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