A full force assault aimed at online gambling companies may results in hundreds of foreign operators of casinos being thrown out of Britain. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to prevent foreign online casino companies from advertising in England due to his concern that millions of Brits are becoming gambling addicts. Secretary Hunt also plans a ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling similar to the one enacted in the United States. Secretary Hunt feels that adults should not risk their money on gambling that is loaned by credit card companies.
Such a dramatic move would involve repealing large portions of Labour’s 2005 Gambling Act, which the anti-gambling lobby blames for deregulation of UK online gambling industry and the primary reason for the possible increase in addiction to gambling. A senior government source said: ‘Ministers are concerned about the explosion of internet gambling advertising since Labour relaxed the British gambling laws. Changes the Government want to make would help protect the public from gambling companies that don’t meet UK standards but have been allowed to profit from Labour’s lax approach to internet gambling.’
Anti-Gambling experts claim that one million children are addicted to online gambling because of the 2005 Gambling Act and excessive advertising by foreign based casino operators. Despite any empirical evidence, the anti-gambling lobby warns that vulnerable and impressionable children have been corrupted by endless commercials about foreign casinos, bookmarkers, betting websites and online sportsbooks in United Kingdom, after foreign casino owners were allowed to advertise on TV.
Under the Gambling Act, all online casinos in United Kingdom must have advanced security systems to prevent children from accessing their online casino. Labour MPs who supported the 2005 Gambling Act question the validity of the statistics regarding the 1 million British children gambling online. As one MP stated “Where do 1 million children get credit cards when it’s not easy for even an adult to receive one.”
UK online gamblers spent £2.5 billion on internet or mobile casinos. Online casinos licensed by the Gambling Commission represented less than a quarter of this. This means that 75% of gamblers play at non British regulated casinos. In an interesting coincidence, both Germany and Sweden last week announced that they are against licensing UK casinos within their countries because they believe UK casinos will increase the number of Swedish and German gambling addicts.