|The UK culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, said at the weekend that casinos’ licenses could depend on them identifying and dealing with problem gamblers, and even online casinos may have to comply by limiting player deposits. Jowell told The Observer newspaper that making ‘social responsibility’ a condition of licenses would help to mitigate an increase in problem gambling.|
Critics have said the proposed relaxation of the UK’s gaming laws will only lead to more people addicted to gambling.
'Casino operators say at the moment that they can recognise people who are beginning to develop signs of compulsion and problem gambling,' Jowell said. 'They say their staff know how, just like people behind bars are quite good at dealing with people who are getting very drunk.
'We haven't taken a settled view on this, but it could include training for staff, evidence that staff are required to exercise this degree of vigilance.'
Jowell is also considering limiting the number of big jackpot slot machines that casinos can operate, in light of evidence that the rapid betting patterns of slots makes it the most addictive.
There could also be maximum loss limits for punters, for example, an automatic cut-out on machines, something which could even apply to online gambling sites, which would have to reject credit cards after a maximum amount.