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Legal & RegulatoryIndustry

New gambling laws combatting addiction to be backed by UK ministers

A new gambling consumer ombudsman and a ban on sports shirt sponsorship are set to be backed by ministers, the Daily Mail reports.

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An official review will also ban "VIP" schemes, which hand out cash bonuses and rewards to players with heavy gambling losses.

No stake limit online slot games will be cut to £2 ($2.77) per spin, while hundreds of high street betting shops will be closed.

"Binge gambling" will also be tackled with new limits to keep betting affordable.

A consultation was closed in March with 16,000 responses and ministers are expected to announce proposals in a White Paper later this year. 

The UK is said to have 400,000 gambling addicts, including 55,000 children, although the source of this figure came from a very questionable Gambling Commission report.

More than two million people are at risk of becoming victims of gambling addiction, according to previous research.

MPs and campaigners have set their sights on what they call the "wild west" online sector, following the passing of a £2 maximum stake on fixed odd betting terminals (FOBTs), although the actual impact of this rule on problem gambling has been questionable at best.

"The Gambling-Act is an analogue act for the digital age designed two years before smartphones. Now the majority of gambling is online and on phones," Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the Mail.

"You essentially have a betting shop in your pocket. I think it's right that we look at regulations."

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