Citing increasing number of people with compulsive gambling issues, British MP Richard Graham calls for imposing a levy on all those who indulge in gambling activities.
Graham published an opinion piece in PoliticsHome in which he made a case for strict measures to curb the menace of problem gambling. The conservative MP urges to impose a levy as he finds it an effective tool to bring down the cases of people suffering substantial economic losses due to compulsive gambling habits.
Graham argues that between 250 to 650 people commit suicide every year due to some or the other kind of gambling-related issue they have been facing. He called for immediate attention saying that it is time to act as nearly 55,000 teenagers, below the age of 14, are currently addicted to gambling.
Questioning the government and inadequate measures to curb problem gambling he wrote: “This is now urgent because of the size of the problem, with over 55,000 young people under the age of 14 already addicted, alongside 430,000 adults ‘with a serious gambling issue,’ i.e., addicted and 2 million ‘at risk’. What should government, regulators and civil society do?”
“The industry’s gross profits of £14 billion and tax receipts of £3 billion, 100,000 employees and £200 million of advertising revenues give an idea of the volume of gambling. A levy could, therefore, generate significant revenue to fund a major independent research initiative, and more gambling clinics, like the new one in London and soon Leeds,” he added.
The MP emphasized on the need to protect young people from viewing gambling advertisements and also creating more gambling clinics to help those who have been suffering from mental and psychological problems due to gambling addiction.
The UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Association) has recently been more focussed on ensuring gambling compliance and has also brought in measures to restrict visibility of gambling Ads. earlier this year UKGC banned gambling ads on websites or games that are popular with children.