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Online Casino News - October, 2008

Problem Gambling in UK No Fault of the Internet



  Seed Newsvine

by Mira Patel, News Staff Writer

October 18, 2008

With so much resistance toward online gambling regulation - citing the protection of minors and vulnerable persons as the reason to not regulate - you would think that the land-based gambling industry would get some of the brunt. And while it certainly does, the fact of the matter is that much of the resistance to not regulate online is actually in the name of protecting land-based gambling interests.

Take the UK as an example. Since the passing of the 2005 UK Gambling Act, which liberalized the entire gambling sector to include a greater number of brick 'n mortar casinos and the legalization of online gambling, cases of problem gambling have spiked. The only thing is that it's the brick 'n mortar gamblers who calling for help.

As reported by the UK newspaper, MailOnline, the number of gamblers seeking counseling help for addictive betting tendencies has increased by 25% since the passing of the 2005 UK Gambling Act. To put this into better perspective, 38,000 people called Gamcare's helpline last year, compared to the 30,000 who sought help in 2006. Over 9,500 people received counseling sessions.

The average amount of gambling debt rose from 13,800 to 17,500, with 7% of callers reporting their debt exceeded 100,000. 60% of callers primarily made wagers on fixed odds terminals, which are commonly found in betting shops, or on football games and horseracing. 50% said they solely made bets at bookmaker's.

The most interesting stat of all is that only one in seven callers had gambled over the internet, with even less actually opening an account at an online casino. So while it cannot be refuted that problem gambling has risen in the UK since the passing of the 2005 Gambling Act, the increase cannot be blamed on the regulation of online gambling.



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