Calls for a gambling addiction clinic in Wales

Viktor Vangelov | Published 30 Oct 2020, 4:03 p.m.

Responsible gambling is one of the most debated topics in the world of gambling in the past few years. We covered responsible gambling on a number of occasions and in most cases it was regarding initiatives launched by the UK Gambling Commission or results and findings from previous initiatives and investigations.

One of the most notable decisions that was reached this year was the credit card gambling ban which dealt a blow to online operators, just as land-based operators were previously hit by the decision to decrease the maximum FOBTs stake limit to just £2.

This time we bring you news regarding one initiative that didn’t come from the UKGC, but it’s still relevant and is aimed at curbing problem gambling. We will also cover a decision made by the Advertising Standards Authority to ban an ad featuring fluffy animals.

There are six gambling clinics in England, but none in Wales

There are few gambling clinics in England, in fact, the total number is six and there are few more set to open soon, but Welsh people have no option, there are no gambling clinics in Wales.

A representative of the Welsh government said that they are currently working on two projects and is exploring options when it comes to supporting people who have a gambling problem.

Simon Dymond, a professor of psychology said that the current situation with people spending so much time at home didn’t do any good to those who have a problem as they were spending more time and money online gambling. Dymond who comes from Swansea University also said that the past and the upcoming period might be particularly problematic for people aged 18 to 24 who are otherwise not the riskiest group.

A number of Welsh experts signed a letter urging the government to do something and Dymond was one of the signatories. The focal point of the letter was the fact that we already mentioned, namely that there are such clinics in England, but none in Wales. The Gambling Commission conducted a survey and it turned out that about a quarter of all Welsh people who have previous experience with gambling are spending more time and money on it in lockdown.

ASA bans Gala’s ad featuring fluffy animals

In other news, ASA banned a gambling advert featuring fluffy animals. Use of childish characters including animals in gambling ads hasn’t been permitted in the UK, yet Gala Spins, owned by GVC holdings featured exactly that kind of an advert. The ASA ruled that this advert could potentially appeal to under 18s and has thus deemed it irresponsible. Gala has subsequently removed the ad from all its advertising channels.

The ad appeared on Facebook in August and the words ‘rollercoaster of cuteness’ were included as a caption. The ASA’s decision stated that the ad was clearly associated with youth culture and that as such has no place online and clearly violates the advertising code.

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