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Online Casino News - April, 2008

UK Casinos Skimping on Problem Gambling Donations



  Seed Newsvine

by Margaret Oliveira, News Staff Writer

April 27, 2008

The term "responsible gambling" doesn't just apply to players. In fact, it applies more to the operators offering gambling services to the players in the first place. In the UK, where both the brick 'n mortar and online casino gambling industries are heavily taxed and regulated, gambling operators are expected to uphold high levels of responsible gambling. While most of these are required by law, still other provisions are left to the discretion of the operators.

Without actually saying that casinos must do such and such, the UK Gambling Commission has a way of saying something along the lines of "we expect casino operators to behave in this way - And if they don't, well then, we'll just have to make some changes." A case in point were the warnings issued last year to operators that they were not contributing enough voluntary donations to help problem gamblers.

Apparently, this warning was not heeded, for the Responsibility in Gambling Trust (RITG) has finished their analysis of 3,200 gambling operators - from pubs to casinos - and had concluded that only 1,000 of these operators have made donations. This amounts to over two-thirds of operators not donating a single penny in the name of responsible gambling. And according to RITG, it's the online gambling operators who are not picking up the slack.

Even though the RITG target donation of GBP 3.6 million for 2008 has been reached (which, quite frankly, should be exceeded), the fact that many operators are not making donations has prompted some members of the UK government to call for an ultimatum to ensure that target values are met by the year 2010. Pound for pound, the amount of donations will only amount to GBP 14 per problem gambler in the UK, which is a stark contrast to the GBP 44 per gambler in New Zealand and GBP 40 per problem gambler in Canada.

The UK Gambling Commission is knee deep in a review of these voluntary donations and is expected to comment soon. While the RITG has stated that it is confident target values will be reached by 2010, this is contingent on more online gambling operators stepping up to do the right thing.



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