|The BBC’s flagship documentary programme Panorama has thrown up more questions as to the viability of government proposals to regulate online gambling as it suggests that up to one million people a year could become addicted.|
Addiction expert Professor Jim Orford slammed the government for being ‘naïve’ and ‘playing dice’ with people’s health by liberalising gambling laws, with latest research from the Gambling Commission showing that the UK currently has one million regular online gamblers.
The Panorama programme also revealed figures from internet media and market research company Nielsen/Net Ratings that show an average of 5.8 million people a month visiting online casino and gaming sites from April to September, with more than six million visitors to online gambling and sweepstake sites in May alone.
But while the UK minister for Sport Richard Caborn defended the government’s proposals, psychologist Professor Orford who works at Birmingham University warned, 'Gradually we're going to realise it's a much bigger problem than we thought. More people are going to know friends and family members who've got problems and health authorities are going to be under pressure to provide treatment.”
Online Gambling: Britain's New Obsession will be broadcast on Sunday 26 November at 22:15 at bbc.co.uk/panorama and on BBC One.