The United Kingdom is in the middle of a huge gambling crisis. While Nordic countries somehow keep their citizens away from devastating social catastrophes and create healthy environments where all businesses in the entertainment domain can strive and cater to wide audiences of customers, the UK is still figuring out how to control the industry in general and prevent its citizens from going absolutely crazy about online casinos. Recent trends in self-exclusion are concerning signs of a bigger problem that we must address and solve collectively. While we don’t think that online casinos are sole causes of the issue at hand, we are certain that they must become a part of the solution.
However, we must focus on discussing the scope of the crisis before we begin contemplating methods of answering back.
Self-Exclusion Growth Mirrors the Industry Growth
This is not a paradox and it can definitely be happening simultaneously. Some people think that the growth of the volumes means that the market becomes healthier, but in reality it only shows that the revenue stream keeps growing which may mean a whole bunch of things. For example, people may go all out and lose everything instead of limiting their playtime. Some gamblers will borrow money and play in multiple online casinos at once. This is another possibility and can contribute to the overall growth.
The growth can be of good quality or simple quantity. The latter is something that we do not want. It may mean that too many enterprises are using aggressive marketing and devastate lives instead of providing high quality entertainment. When the growth is of high quality, more customers are involved but they are not victimized and continue spending reasonable amounts on recreational gambling and betting.
Recently, the UK Commission released frightening for the whole domain numbers. Over a million of people decided to ask their respective operators and government bodies to ban them all forms of betting voluntarily. At the same time, the UKGC released the data of the industry condition. Turns out, despite the rapid growth of cases where people ask to be banned, the market generated $6 billion in revenue in 2016. This is a huge number.
The government decided to give all gamblers a new option: to voluntarily exclude themselves at any given moment of time. In order to do so, you need to go to a special website that will be called “Gamstop” and leave a request. Note that in 2016, the UKGC reported only 620 thousand such requests meaning that the amount of people who actively seek for bans is doubled since then.
The Catastrophe of the New Age
The UK is facing a very menacing issue of nation-wide epidemic of hooking on games of chance. While locals lose less on average compared to countries like Kenya, Singapore, Australia or Canada, the amount of people who are in dire need of help in England keeps growing. Despite average numbers looking not so bad, individual cases seem to be more severe than in many other corners of the world. For example, over 2 million British citizens have issues related to aforementioned problems and consider themselves addicted. The rate of growth of their number is not declining. In fact, it has been on the rise as well.
Recent studies showed that over 7% of all adults who gamble in the UK are in the risk group of becoming hardcore addicts. Over 2% are already addicted and need psychological assistance and social help to get rid of their suffering. Note that only about 12% of all addicts are people who spend their time in online casinos. The vast majority of all bettors develop their issues when visiting land-based houses and bookies. Many are obsessed with card games like poker.
Up to 14 billion pounds is spent on various games of chance annually with roughly a third being spend on websites. Note that many people who are using websites to play slot games do not develop unhealthy habits and behaviors as often as those who enjoy spread betting.
Damage Control Mode
The country is now in a damage control business, but in the “damage prevention business”. Too many people are suffering from real issues or lost nearly everything due to poor management of their money. It is weirdly absurd that local people do not see the dangers of the industry despite having a livid example right next to them. Ireland is one of the worst countries in the world in terms of losing per adult with the amount of average losses closing on $1000.
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