Europe

Gamblers face new checks on cashflow due to new Government proposals

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A loss of £125 within a month or £500 within a year from gambling will trigger affordability checks – and firms will have to share details on high-risk punters.

The white paper draft also assumes the Premier League will agree to ban gambling sponsors from the front of players’ shirts, although the organisation is yet to discuss this with clubs.

Aiming to end “binge gambling” as well as “significant unaffordable losses”, the draft is an update of the 2005 Gambling Act.

The “automatic background checks” will be “frictionless”, it says, and look at, for example, whether a customer has a county court judgment against them for debt.

Gamblers who lose large sums – £1,000 in 24 hours or £2,000 over 90 days – will set off a detailed consideration of their financial situation.

The trigger for players under 25 and for new customers will start at a £500 loss within a day.

Maximum stakes of £2 to £5 for online slot machines and a new ombudsman to better regulate the industry are among other proposals.

But Will Prochaska, of charity Gambling with Lives, said: “The proposals won’t prevent harm as they won’t mandate an intervention before someone is drawn into substantial and dangerous gambling.”

“You don’t have to be spending large amounts to be addicted.”

An estimated 409 suicides are linked to gambling yearly, data shows – and the UK’s gambling sector made £14.2billion in 2020.

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