United Kingdom gambling news this week paid special attention to those north of the border in Scotland, who are reportedly racking up massive debts due to online gambling.
Many currently blame the growing craze of online bingo and sports betting websites, whilst quite a few see it as government failure to provide them with more protective British gambling laws. Accessing the sites, which was once a difficult procedure, can now be met with ease, as thousands of young people are among those accumulating big debts by gambling.
The extreme pinch of the current economic crisis is one of the main reasons put forth by gamers for gambling on the majority of bingo sites and online sportsbooks in United Kingdom.
This week a conference is due to be held in Glasgow to discuss the issue more thoroughly and it will be attended by recovering addicts, debt specialists and academics. They are rumored to be interested in launching a campaign to raise awareness in the early signs of toxic gambling, and to advise people to seek help before they acquire huge debts.
Representatives of the companies insist that ninety-nine percent of people who gamble online, aren’t doing so recklessly and are just gambling as a form of entertainment. Money Advice Scotland Chief Executive, Yvonne MacDermid begs to differ however.
“What we are seeing is more and more people seeking help for their gambling debt and the gambling-related harm that follows. Some people can gamble and it doesn’t become uncontrollable but gambling problems can be a tricky thing to detect. The economy is such that people are taking chances that they wouldn’t have taken before. People are desperate,” she recently said.
Aside from her views on the economy and catching the warning signs of problem gamers early, Mrs. MacDermid also has a bone to pick with the online bingo sites, who she accuses of providing gamblers with a false sense of security. She also launched an attack on the mobile casinos in United Kingdom, arguing that such was the popularity of mobile gaming, that now everybody has access to it.
Despite the debate, Scotland still has the least gamblers of the four countries in the United Kingdom, with only 75% insisting that they’d gambled in some form during the previous year, and 48% claiming they’d gambled in the last week. The treatment for gambling addicts is also still paid for by the betting industry, who insists another GBP 15m will be made available over the next three years for addicts’ treatment.