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Call for new gambling protections during coronavirus lockdown

14 April 2020

The Government is facing renewed pressure to introduce additional protections against gambling related harms during the coronavirus lockdown.

The charity Gambling with Lives (GwL) is calling for a range of policies to be introduced as soon as possible:

  • Stop all gambling advertising during the lockdown
  • Stop all free bets, spins and bonus offers to attract people online
  • Impose a minimum 48hr cooling off period for those signing up to a site
  • Enforce strong affordability and ‘source of wealth’ checks
  • Impose daily and weekly deposits

The measures also need to be backed up by a threat of licence removals by the Gambling Commission.

At the beginning of April, it emerged that people searching for phone apps to help them quit gambling have been instead finding adverts for online casinos.

According to the Mail Online, those looking on Apple’s App Store for software to help them stop gambling instead saw adverts for Ladbrokes Casino, Virgin Games casino and 888 Casino as well.

Apps that would actually help the customer stop gambling were below this sponsored content.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who is chair of the parliamentary group on gambling said: “The industry needs to wake up to reality, and regulators need to stop sitting on their hands because when this pandemic is over, these firms will be held accountable for any damage done to vulnerable gamblers.”

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Gambling

While for some, gambling is just harmless fun, for a significant minority it causes genuine devastation. Our vision is to see laws passed that will help protect vulnerable problem gamblers.

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