MP’s in the UK have expressed their concern over the rise in problem gambling since the Coronavirus outbreak. They have recently written a letter detailing the actions that gambling companies including online casinos should take in order to manage the daily deposit amount. The suggested daily amount has been put forward as £50 per player.
Evidence has emerged that some players are taking more risks and betting higher amounts whilst live sport is not available. As part of the aim to reduce the spread of coronavirus, all large gatherings of people including concerts, sports events and horse racing have been cancelled until further notice. It is notable that gambling companies are concentrating more on promoting virtual sports and casino games, something which has an outcome that players have no control over and cannot possibly estimate.
The letter from the MP’s addressed to the Betting and Gaming council have pleaded with companies to prioritise the well-being of players over their financial gain. The MP’s have stated that they are very concerned that people may turn to online gambling as a ‘way out’ or a distraction of what is going on around us all at the moment. Thus, if the industry as a whole act together in imposing a £50 daily limit then it shows a willingness to act responsibly.
The strain will be mainly on those who already have gambling addictions and are now being told that they should only leave the house for essentials. Moreover, those that are in isolation and are stuck in the house permanently are at serious risk of worsening their addiction. The MP’s also suggested banning people that try to open multiple accounts and also a quicker time limit on intervening when a player shows signs of irrational or problem gambling. Throughout my research on this topic, it was not possible to find out whether the limit was applied to all online casino gaming aspects so it is to be presumed that this will also affect slots and casino table games, although this has not yet been confirmed.