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Government watering down betting curbs

30 May 2022
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Press release | 30 May 2022

Ministers are failing in their duty of care towards vulnerable citizens by watering down planned reforms to gambling laws, campaigners warn.

Today, it emerged that expected curbs on the betting industry have been shelved by the UK Govt just days after they were announced.

Ministers had signaled that they intended to ban betting ads on football strips to boost protections for vulnerable problem gamblers.

They had also expressed support for a mandatory levy on gambling companies to help fund research into addiction.

However, officials at the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport are said to have retreated from both, according to the Mail.

The shape of proposed gambling law reform, promised years ago and delayed repeatedly by Ministers, is expected to be outlined next month.

Social policy charity CARE, which campaigns for gambling law reform, expressed alarm that Ministers are watering down their plans.

Ross Hendry, CEO of CARE, commented:

"CARE and other organisations have long warned that gambling laws in the UK are simply not fit for purpose. Gambling addiction has grown exponentially in recent years. There are thought to be around 400,000 addicts in the UK, including 55,000 children. Current policies are failing people.

"Problem gambling causes huge harm to people, resulting in debt, depression, alcoholism, homelessness and even suicide. On average, one problem gambler commits suicide every single day. This is simply not acceptable. A compassionate society does not stand idly by and let this happen.

"Ministers should know that in watering down reforms, they are failing in their duty of care for those who they serve. Their retreat from necessary action today will be see individuals suffer terribly who might otherwise not have suffered. We call on the government to reconsider the gambling levy and measures to curb betting ads in sport."

More on gambling harms

Gambling ads on strips to be banned | CARE
Gambling costs the public £1.2bn a year | CARE
New research links gambling addiction and suicide | CARE

About CARE

Christian Action Research and Education (CARE) provides analysis of social policy from a Christian perspective.

For more information or to request an interview, contact Jamie Gillies |

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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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