Gambling related harms appg

Cross Party Parliamentary Group Produce Report In A Call To Cut Online Gambling Stakes

GRH APPG LogoThe Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (GRH APPG) has yesterday produced an interim report calling on online gambling operators to reduce the maximum stake players can place on online slots similarly to the £2 stake imposed on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in UK high street betting shops.

Shares Plummet

The news of the report has caused gambling firms shares to drop amid the calls for more social responsibility for vulnerable gamblers accessing online formats with William Hill shares down 7.5% and GVC holdings with leading brands Coral and Ladbrokes down 7.7%.

laptop online gambling

The parliamentary group present their opinion that given the government has recognised the high street FOBTs have caused gambling harms, therefore reduced stake limits,  why does this not also correlate with the same level of harms as online gambling, where there is currently no limit or maximum stake permitted for online slots.  The group state there is no justification for this not being translated to online games as essentially a vulnerable player can bet thousands and thousands in a matter of minutes from their mobile with zero supervision. The report questions the Gambling Commissions lack of action around online gambling and the inaction continues to feed vulnerable gamblers addictions.

Carolyn Harris, Chair for the GRH, APPG comments:

“This report highlights the urgent need for a root and branch review of the regulation of online gambling. Stakes and prize limits online would be a major step forward in reducing the harm caused by the sector. It is not at all clear why the Gambling Commission is not looking at this as a matter of urgency. It is an abdication of its responsibility as a regulator. There must be consistent and appropriate regulation of all forms of gambling. I also urge the Government to urgently review the provision of research, education and treatment in the sector. Gamble Aware are not effectively carrying out this function and it should immediately be brought into a public health setting.”

Charter For Regulatory Reform

The Group calls on Online gambling operators to sign a ‘Charter For Regulatory Reform’ in support and as insurance that they will adhere to policy proposals to cut the chances of vulnerable gamblers accessing these platforms and causing personal harms.  The key recommendations can be found here.

credit card and public health

In summary the report calls for:

  • The new government to impose urgent new gambling legislation to protect players
  • Any online slot machine style game to have stake limit of £2
  • An urgent ban for all credit cards used to fund online gambling
  • Improved player affordability checks and banks taking more of a stance on this
  • VIP accounts and repeat gambling incentive prizes to be strictly limited
  • Simplifying terms and conditions
  • Place a duty of care on gambling operators to place free ‘fund blocking applications onto individual accounts presenting vulnerability
  • The NHS to include gambling addiction as part of their addiction remit
  • A ‘smart statutory levey’ of 1% being provided to fund research reducing gambling harms.