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Implementation of affordability checks on gambling debated in parliament



The NHS North West Gambling Service, which supports people in Cumbria, believe it doesn’t go far enough.

Author: Joseph GartlyPublished 27th Feb 2024

A petition with more than 100,000 signatures campaigning for the Government to scrap plans for affordability checks for gambling was debated in parliament last night.

The petition stated: “We want the Government to abandon the planned implementation of affordability checks for some people who want to place a bet.

“We believe such checks – which could include assessing whether people are ‘at risk of harm’ based on their postcode or job title – are inappropriate and discriminatory.”

Despite the protests Matt Gaskell, Clinical Lead & Consultant Psychologist for The NHS North West Gambling Service believes the current measures don’t go far enough to protect gamblers.

He said: “The obvious things to do that would reduce harm is strict controls on advertising, not exposing gambling to children, targeting marketing and sponsorship so that companies can’t target people and accelerate their behaviors and losses.

“There’s also particular types of gambling that are more problematic. Gambling that encourage a more rapid consumption such as casino type gambling, in play football better. Stricter curbs on those kind of activities would be really helpful.

“The checks are coming in way to high, affordability checks coming in on losses of £1000 over 24 hours or £2000 over 90 days is coming in way to high to catch people who are experiencing harm.”

In its response to the petition, provided on 16 November 2023, the Government said: “We are committed to a proportionate, frictionless system of financial risk checks, to protect those at risk of harm without over regulating. The Gambling Commission will set out plans in due course”

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