Online Casinos Blamed by UK Newspapers
By staff
Two of Britain's most respected newspapers carried stories over the weekend regarding the imminent release of the UK Gambling Commission's Gambling Prevalence study and sited online gambling for an increase in problem gambling.

The UK study is due out tomorrow with leaked excerpts and speculation on its full content already being the subject of extensive reportage in mainstream media.

The Telegraph newspaper stated that new Prime Minister Gordon Brown is likely to come under pressure to rule out any chance of a land super-casino being built as a result of the problem gambling statistics believed to be in the report.

The newspaper claims that the Gambling Prevalence study is likely to show that almost a million gamblers have a severe addiction, up from 300,000 at the time of the previous study in 1999. It speculated that the report would disclose that 33 million adults, or 72 percent of the UK population, gambled in some form.

Since 1999’s study there has been no material increase in the number of casinos and a small decline in the numbers of bingo halls yet, the newspaper said, the opportunities to gamble have increased tenfold, particularly with the introduction of online betting. It said that UK Ministers has already commissioned another study in three years as concerns about problem gambling grow.

Another leading newspaper, The Independent, reported that up to 600,000 people are hooked and gave the study as its source. It said that details of the report are being kept secret until its official release but that it is expected to document a marked increase in the number of people gambling online and also blamed the popularity of online betting.

The Independent piece speculated that the study would say that one million people in the UK now gamble online, spending an average of $2,000 a year each.

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