Monday, 29 June 2020

New ABSG Report Calls For A Review Into Casino Game Stake Limits

Gambling Addiction

A new report from the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG) has called for a review in stake limits and game design.

The report, titled Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, called for tighter measures and urged for more research into gambling-related harm as well as a new national strategy pioneered by the NHS. The report also suggested the introduction of a statutory levy on gambling operators requiring them to support funding for gambling charities.

ABSG’s report reads: “To make faster progress on treatment, the NHS should lead the creation of a national treatment strategy working in partnership with the third sector. Agreed care pathways between the NHS and other providers are essential to the development of equitable services and there needs to be rapid implementation of quality assurance processes to monitor existing provision.”

“Greater progress is also required to secure more effective arrangements for commissioning research – particularly on the measurement of gambling hams. We recommend that initial engagement with research councils is built upon to increase their involvement in this area. We continue to urge progress on a statutory levy to underpin all of this work with sustainable, independent funding. Without the levy, progress will be limited.”

The report also touched on how the current COVID-19 pandemic has affected the gambling industry, saying: “The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges to almost every aspect of life in Britain. Gambling activity is no exception and the exhortation to ‘Build Back Better’ is as relevant to the goal of safer gambling as it is elsewhere in society.”

What They Say

Charlies Ritchie, the Co-founder of Gambling With Lives, praised the report and encouraged the ABSG’s recommendations. According to CasinoBeats, he said: “We very much welcome today’s report and support its recommendations. The Gambling Commission must immediately take steps to progress its work on the links between gambling and suicide, the lives of young people are at risk.

“The Commission must also accelerate its work on treatment and the commissioning of research along with a statutory levy. Taking account of those who have experience of the devastating harm gambling can cause, is a critical part of this. I would urge the ASBG to look at the wider areas of risk that the Gambling Commission must progress such as game design and the risks of exposing young people to gambling advertising.”

The news comes as the UK Gambling Commission is looking at implementing a stake limit on online casino games and making changes to gambling operators’ VIP and loyalty schemes. The regulatory firm has already banned credit cards from being used at casino websites and brick-and-mortar venues too.

The Commission has also been clamping down on its current regulations, having suspended gambling operator’s licenses over various failures. Operator PTES closed down last month after an investigation by the Commission, Triplebet also had its license suspended over social responsibility failings, and a further two gambling operators had their licenses suspending over multiple failures regarding GamSTOP.