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Betting giant sees revenues surge over 50 per cent

1 September 2021
Gambling week 26 Aug 8

One of the largest betting companies operating in the UK has seen a huge rise in revenue in the first half of this year, prompting concern about a rise in gambling harms.

Gambling giant 888 noted a 50 per cent growth in UK revenues in the six months to June 30th, with a total global rise in revenues of 71 per cent.

A spokesman for CARE said:

“This rise in revenues is not surprising. During the pandemic, Brits who gamble occasionally will have done so more due to being stuck at home and away from other social activities. The Euros will also have contributed to an uptake in bets wagered. What’s concerning is the capacity for vulnerable individuals to fall into problem gambling. We expect a rise in betting related harms in the wake of the pandemic.

“Gambling addiction results in various harms including debt, family breakdown, depression and even suicides. And it is already prevalent in the UK, which has one of the most liberal gambling frameworks in Europe. It can only have got worse in the last two years, which have also made victims harder to identify with a shift to online betting. The Government must do more to curb the scourge of gambling addiction and prevent betting companies from profiting from human misery.”

Research published last week suggested that a fifth of betting shops are to be found in poorer areas with Glasgow, Middlesbrough, London and Liverpool having the highest number of shops per capita.

This has raised alarm for charities seeking to help people with a gambling addiction. “Predatory gambling companies target the poor and the young. We know the tragic cost of this targeting - at least one death per day,” Ms Ritchie from the charity Gambling With Lives told the BBC.

The UK Government is currently conducting a review of the 2005 Gambling Act and launched a consultation earlier this year.

CARE made a detailed submission, raising a number of concerns with the existing legislation and urging the Government to implement reforms to existing laws.

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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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