In the United Kingdom and a cross-party group of MPs has reportedly urged online casino and sportsbetting firms to institute a temporary daily betting limit of £50 ($58.76) so as to help prevent customers from wagering too much on activities they may not fully understand.
According to a Sunday report from The Irish Times newspaper, the suggestion comes after last week’s decision from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to shut every one of the nation’s land-based casinos, bingo halls and bookmakers for at least 28 days so as to help stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. This move is purportedly expected to prove especially advantageous for the country’s many online operators as afficionados begin looking for similar entertainment activities to enjoy while being cooped up at home.
The newspaper reported that the plea was made via an official letter sent to the Betting and Gaming Council trade body and also included a suggestion that online casino and sportsbetting firms prohibit punters from opening multiple accounts for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. The correspondence authored by MPs Iain Duncan Smith, Carolyn Harris and Ronnie Cowan purportedly moreover asked firms to intervene quicker with those who may be displaying signs of a gambling disorder and endeavor to place the wellbeing of their clientele before finances.
Reportedly read the MPs’ letter…
“We are deeply concerned that as we go deeper into this crisis, more and more people will turn to online gambling as a distraction. If the industry were to self-impose a daily limit of £50, it would be a clear demonstration that the industry is willing to act responsibly and do what they can to protect society and peoples’ finances at this dreadful time.”
The Irish Times reported that the request follows the coronavirus-related cancellation or postponement of most of the United Kingdom’s sporting events including all soccer and rugby matches as well as action from its many horseracing tracks. This has purportedly prompted online sportsbetting firms to begin promoting wagering on more obscure activities such as Japanese baseball and table tennis alongside betting on a wide selection of computer-generated virtual sports.
Alongside calling for the £50 daily betting limit, senior Conservative stalwart Duncan Smith reportedly asserted that it was ‘pretty appalling’ that online bookmakers would be seeking to encourage punters to ‘throw their money away’ by promoting wagers on ‘all sorts of little-known and little-watched sports.’
For her part and Labour dynamo Harris reportedly wrote that online gambling firms should not be attempting to ‘capitalize on a national disaster’ by encouraging those who may exhibit ‘reckless and foolhardy behavior’ to wager during the coronavirus pandemic ‘on something that obscure.’