The Social Market Foundation Calls for Gambling Overhaul

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One of the UK's most prominent think tanks – The Social Market Foundation, has waded into the gambling regulatory debate.

The independent British political public policy think-tank based in Westminster and regarded as one the top think tanks in the UK is to make a series of recommendations which include mandatory stake limits of between £1 and £5, a £100 monthly “soft cap” should be set for deposits.

According to the Guardian, Online gamblers should not be able to lose more than £100 a month without proving they can afford it should the recommendations be taken up ahead of the government's upcoming review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

The 2005 Gambling Act has recently come under heavy criticism from politicians for not giving gamblers and in particular, problem gamblers, enough protection.

The report by the Social Market Foundation recommends a complete overhaul of the gambling industry.  A big part of the report pushes for the online gambling industry to be regulated like its land-based counterpart, which includes the £1 and £5 online slots limit. A statement from the report said:

“Remote gambling is on the rise yet remains outside the same controls applied to its land-based equivalents. It makes no sense that the same ‘obligation’ to reduce harm through limits to stake and speed should not be applied to an online sector that provides the most accessible content of all.”'

Radical Gambling Overhaul Recommended

The report recommends a radical overhaul of the way gambling operators are taxed. Many gambling companies are based in tax-friendly places such as Isle of Man, Gibraltar, and Malta paying only minimal levies on profits. The report makes recommendations on enticing these companies back to the UK boosting jobs and improving compliance conditions.

Overall, the report makes some strong recommendations for the gambling industry at a time when betting shops and bingo halls are closing and the industry is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and four-month lockdown.

Should gamblers be restricted to £1 and £5 stakes on slots as well as a £100 monthly deposit cap? leave your comments below



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