Gambling Levy Proposed For Addicts
By Paul
The BBC reports that a the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee of MPs has recommended that the leaders of the gambling industry be required by statute to pay a levy to finance rehabilitation groups working with an increase of gambling addicts and problematic behaviour related to gambling. The UK’s liberalization on gaming is predicted by the committee to cause these problems. The cash levy would also be earmarked to fund research into gambling addiction.

According to the BBC, the committee prefers “the simple prescription of ‘Polluter pays.’” It does not expect funding to come out of the generosity of the industry. One of the rehabilitation groups, GamCare, now has only two phone helplines, and expects a deluge of gamblers needing help.

The MPs also want to see “tougher regulations on the availability of gaming machines in non-gambling premises such as cafes, take aways and taxi cab offices ... [and] a code of practice to protect children in pubs with gaming machines, such as a line on carpets to show where children are not allowed and signs on machines.”

The Committee in full differs in view from some others on the House Culture Committee on the matter of liberalized gambling. (Please see related story, “Gambling OK in UK.”

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