Join date: May 12, 2022

We have heard appalling stories of the most vulnerable people being targeted with inducements to continue gambling when the companies know they cannot afford to. Sometimes this is through failure to carry out the most basic checks, sometimes it is even deliberate The industry has the resources to discover what is affordable, and we place on them the duty of not accepting bets from those who cannot afford them. Some of this conduct would have been prevented if the full range of penalties had been used by the Gambling Commission. Heavy fines can be imposed, orders made to return bets which should not have been taken, ultimately an operator’s licence can be removed. It is only recently, and as a reaction to criticism, that the Commission has begun to make better use of its wide powers. We have explained how more can and must be done. We have considered whether all communications to customers with inducements to gamble should be banned. We have concluded that they should only be allowed to continue within strictly controlled limits. These include age limits, particularly stringent affordability checks, and a positive agreement by the customer to receive such communications. New games are constantly being devised, often highly addictive, sometimes with a particular appeal to children. There is currently no adequate system of checking such games before they are put on the market. We recommend that new games should not be allowed until they have been tested against a range of factors to ensure that they do not score too highly on the harm indicator scale.

Alonso Gallego
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