A Prime Ministerial candidate in the UK, Matt Hancock, has said that he will tax bookies in the country to raise £100 million and the funds will be used for fighting gambling addiction and treatment of gambling addicts.
Gambling addiction is on the rise in the UK and is at an all-time high. The opposition party leaders have called for strict regulation on gambling and have often charged the government for not doing enough to tackle the menace of gambling addiction.
Recently, a labour party leader also called for a review of the gambling industry and demanded that the licenses of all online gambling operators in the UK be canceled.
Amidst all this, Mr. Hancock has come up with a promise to tax all gambling operators and bookies in the country – a mandatory 1 percent tax on profits – and use the proceeds to fund programs and campaigns to support gambling addicts.
In an interview with the Sun, he said that he had been a first-hand witness of how gambling addiction blights lives and damages the society.
“The betting industry has not taken this issue seriously enough and has failed to take enough responsibility for addressing the harm gambling causes.”
“Since voluntary contributions have not worked, I will use the powers the government already has to make it happen.”
Earlier a report found that, though gambling companies are required to pay 1 percent of their profits as a part of their social responsibility, the top bookmakers in the UK are not doing enough.
Therefore, while introducing a new mandatory levy would be a significant step to fund the campaigns to fight gambling addiction, it would be even better if the gambling companies are made to comply with the guidelines issued as a part of the 2005 gambling regulations.