UK Measures Protect Gamblers from Addiction

Published January 30, 2015 by Lee R

UK Measures Protect Gamblers from Addiction

Monitoring of identified problem areas and behaviors have led to self-generated measures for UK operators.

The UK seeks to protect problem gamblers from themselves. Ladbrokes, Gala Coral and Paddy Power among others have taken measures in the UK gaming-crazed market to protect consumers from addiction issues.

Awareness Campaign: Responsible Gambling

Under the pressure of tax increases and increasing political scrutiny in light of new regulations, the betting companies have funded a new watchdog group to monitor compliance and further plan to cover their 8000 plus shopfronts with public service messages promoting responsible betting as part of an industry-wise campaign called “gamble aware week.”

The "Crack Cocaine" of Gambling

The measures start internally with mandatory time limits on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). Characterized by campaigners as the “crack cocaine” of gambling, FOBT's are of particular interest, as particularly seductive to borderline gamblers. To put a cap on potential addiction, players will be prompted at the start of terminal sessions to set their own time and money limits. For those who choose not to, machines will automatically register a short on-screen warning after 30 minutes of play, or when a player surpasses losses of £250.

Setting Internal Limits

Gala Coral CEO estimates that seventy-five percent of customers stop playing or inserting money when they hit personal limits; it's the other 25% he is concerned about.

He does well to emphasize one misnomer of critics, that problem gamblers are gambling company's best customers, saying the reverse is true, and clarifying that his organization wants “people who continue to have fun for month after month, year after year. Our hope is that in introducing these measures, customers will manage their own spending better.”

These measures are designed to quell disturbing loss data regarding FOBT behavior that is being scrutinized by the Responsible Gaming Trust. The fact is the first in-depth look at FOBT behaviour last year revealed that the average player loses £6 per session after playing for 11 minutes, with the average stake doubled after 10pm and three percent of sessions involving the maximum £100 bet, a ceiling that was set in 2005.

These gambling times and behaviors should be monitored and strategically curbed through self-policing measures of gambling houses in the UK as they seek to prove their social awareness as well as their business acumen in the new UK regulation climate.

See also

Online Gambling Addiction on the Rise

Online Wagering Finds Its Way to UK

Super Gambler Loses Big Bucks

Dozens of Ohio Jackpot Winners Due to Technical Glitch

Lawsuits By Online Gamblers Fail

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