The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has introduced a range of measures to tackle the issue of compulsive gambling and consumer protection.
Earlier the gambling commission had announced a three-year plan to check gambling addiction by introducing new regulations.
UKGC had also banned gambling adverts on websites where children are more likely to be exposed to such ads.
Recently a report concluded that gambling addiction in the age group 11-17 is at an all-time high in the UK.
Now in a significant shift in the approach to tackling the issue of compulsive gambling UKGC has said that they will be treating “ gambling addiction” and even betting as a potential disease.
The regulator has issued new guidelines for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs). According to the new directions, the FOBTs and all online sports betting tickets will have a printed warning which will make people aware of the addictive nature of gambling and threats of gambling addiction.
Earlier the maximum stake limit on FOBTs was reduced from 100 GBP to 2 GBP. two companies also had to pull their products from the market following strict warnings from UKGC. UKGC had warned that operators violating the FOBTs reduced stake regulation will have to face penalties.
The gambling regulator has also warned that the operators who fail to comply with the new regulations, and those who cannot put a check on negative impacts of gambling, they will be fined and also in case of repeat offenders administrative action would be taken.
Releasing the new guidelines, UKGC said: “We will hold to account licensees who do not take sufficient action to mitigate against the harms caused by gambling, or take account of lessons learned, using the full range of our enforcement powers, as evidenced by the increasing levels of financial penalties for regulatory failure.”
Welcoming the change in the approach of UKGC the national director for mental health at NHS England, Claire Murdoch, said: “There is increasing evidence of a link between problem gambling and stress, depression and other mental health issues and this is an important step in the battle to reduce the harm caused.”
Also to make betting more difficult, in an attempt to prohibit people get into gambling debts, the UKGC had already asked operators not to accept bets with credit cards.