EntertainmentUKGC Warns Operators

16:20  19 february  2021
16:20  19 february  2021 Source:   pressfrom.com

In 2003 it became mandatory for all UK tobacco manufacturers to label their packages with the warning “smoking kills”, a clear state about the health risk that smoking imposes. Now 17 years later another health hazard is under the scope: gambling.

It is reported that 340,000 Brits are considered problem gamblers. The massive penetration that online gambling currently has thanks to the internet and mobile gaming; plus its normalization in a culture that is already fond of it has spiked the figures. From the perspective of the group of experts that assess the UKGC, it is time to put the label on gambling as a deadly risk for those looking to indulge in a flutter unaware of its final outcome.

Another Profitable and Deadly Industry

The gambling industry has been breaking record-high revenues every year. A positive remark for stakeholders since gambling has been provided as entertainment that can be reached for a small sum of money. The problem comes when the customers that provide the profits are the ones that engage in such an unhealthy matter with the physical and economic burden on them.

In a culture where gambling is prevalent leisure; advertisement didn’t have many difficulties to establish its normalization. Nowadays, just like tobacco, people seek to bet when they want a good time, avoid stress, and feel excited or bored. Ready access to the internet and mobile gaming apps provide the same access as a 20'ciggarrete pack. But unlike smoking, you can make a bet anywhere unaware of the risk as to the people at the surroundings until your credit limit busts out.

The situation turned acute after the first Coronavirus pandemics lockdown, leaving the UK Gambling Commission to force casino operator such as The Red Lion to follow a much ethical and restrictive approach for the addressing of their services.

But how gambling customers can be aware of gambling hazards? The answer from the group of experts by experience (EbEs) is a warning label.

The EbEs are composed by recovered problem gamblers that now offer advice to the UK Gambling Commission as each one of them has passed the trial of falling and overcoming their addiction. Among several proposals, one that stands is the need for a warning label that can put any person in perspective. The message from the industry’s former Senet Group “When the fun stops, stop” has been pointed as bland and not informative enough about the risk of excessive gambling. Therefore, a strong and clear message equivalent to “smoking kills” for the industry is necessary to put in context people that gambling may cost them something more than their money.

Addictive Rate

It has been determined that certain gambling activities have a major influence that others in the development of gambling addiction. Unfortunately, the great majority of people are unaware of it until it is too late.

There are two variables that influence problem gambling. First is the risk/reward reinforcement ratio. As we humans are natural risk-takers we seek the thrill of these activities if that means achieving a bigger reward. This risk-taking behaviour gets reinforced once we are prized for our betting making reinforcement for that activity. The higher the risk and rewards obtained the stronger will be the reinforcement.

The frequency will determine the number of times a gambler is exposed to reinforcement. The higher frequency rate combined with an intense reinforcement is the perfect recipe for addiction. That’s why lotteries despite being unlikely to win still remain popular as its engagement comes very sparse against others such as slots, where the betting frequency is much higher and has earned them the crack cocaine of gambling moniker.

The EbE’s suggest the use of an addiction risk level signalling, much like the A/B/C or the yellow, orange, and red pattern found in food. .By introducing these warning levels along with the label message, customer can assess the level of risk from the activity they engage in a casino, betting shops and online gambling apps

Operator Defences Breaches

While not all operators are interested in exploiting its customers, for years the most influencing groups had been battling against any impositions that can undermine their profits. Although the gambling lobby has managed to refrain or delay some of them, there is evidence that put holes in their arguments.

A UKGC report suggests that only 2% of the gambling customers are VIP’s and they even make 83% of all gross deposits. Considering that many of this VIP has some degree of problem gambling that have led to tragic outcomes has made it prevalent more than ever to warn people of the risk they are going to take.

The final decision for the implementation of the labelling scheme still depends on the UKGC but is a proposal that has many chances to come into fruition. Misleading people and not informing then about the risk they are taking by gambling has something more than an ethical and monetary cost, as the price for taking a bet can be our own lives.

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UKGC Warns Operators
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