Gambling addiction is ruining more and more lives. Self-regulation by the industry is not enough. The government must act
The record fine levied on 888, an online gambling company, today, is a sign that Britain has a gambling problem. A technical failure meant that 7,000 customers who had chosen to bar themselves from the firm’s betting terminals were still able to gamble. The public is starting to catch on. Sixty-nine per cent think betting is dangerous for family life; 78% fear there are too many opportunities to do it. And those who think the practice should be discouraged rose from 36% in 2010 to 55% in 2016.
A government review into the industry is due in October. It is likely to focus on, among other things, the rise of fixed-odds betting terminals, machines where users can gamble up to £100 every 20 seconds.