Calls To Introduce A New Gambling Levy In The UK

Viktor Vangelov | Published 16 Apr 2019, 8:39 a.m.

The Labour Party called for stricter rules and new gambling regulations several times in recent months. Tom Watson, Labour Deputy said that if the party wins the next election, they will definitely introduce stricter rules. This time, the call to introduce a new gambling levy comes from the Conservative Party, or to be more specific, from their MP for Gloucester Richard Graham.

Graham feels that the introduction of a new levy would help to prevent and cure problem gambling. The UKGC is working on a new strategy with the aim to reduce harms caused by excessive gambling and the MP feels that the period before the strategy is launched is the perfect opportunity to consider the introduction of the new levy. Considering how active, both the UKGC and the ASA have been in the past period, we can expect some support for Graham’s idea.

The ASA released new gambling guidance two months ago, whereas the UKGC has already put forward few initiatives, including a call to gather opinions on two issues.

The Case Behind Graham’s Call

The MP for Gloucester said that a new levy would pave the road to a better understand of the problem, adding that the issue can’t be resolved by regulatory body’s without Government support.

That’s why, he feels both the House and the Government should ensure to take necessary steps that would provide additional support to regulators. The problem, Graham added, won’t disappear just like that, which is why he feels that immediate action is needed.

One of purposes for which funds from the gambling levy would be used is to fund research on problem gambling and other related issues. Opening more gambling clinics is another good cause that might be funded by the new levy. Currently there is one gambling in London and a second is set to open in Leeds, as we reported at the beginning of this year. The NHS will be putting a lot more finds to treat mental health issues, including problem gambling treatment.

The Gloucester MP also added that operators should work closely with the UKGC to enforce the policies that have already been enacted. Advertising regulations are already quite strict and operators are required to introduce and maintain self-exclusion schemes in order to protect players.

Leo Vegas Will Likely Be Investigated By The UKGC

Speaking of self-exclusion schemes and their implementation, Leo Vegas will likely be investigated by the Commission for failing to respect its obligations under the self-exclusion scheme. The famous online casino reportedly accepted £20,000 from a problem gambler who had stolen money from his mother and then sent multiple emails to his account in attempt to convince him to continue playing.

This case will surely motivate anti-gambling activists, especially politicians to keep asking for stricter checks before players are allowed to place real-money wagers. The player is currently receiving treatment, but the option to prosecute him remains open. His account was suspended last year, soon after the casino was fined £600,000 for accepting funds from problem gamblers.

Apparently, after the account was suspended, sister operators of Leo Vegas such as Castle Jackpot and Pink Casino kept sending emails to the player, up to four times a day. Earlier this year, the player set an account with 21, a brand that’s also part of Leo Gaming group. The same email and name were used.