British anti-gambling campaigners have predicted that the return of sport could affect problem gamblers in the country.
The English Premier League (EPL) is finally set to make a return on June 17th following a three-month stop. Many sports fans have been celebrating that, but campaigners claim that individuals suffering from problem gambling could be affected in a negative way.
Now, campaigners have called for the authorities to impose a cap of £50 on a weekly basis for football fans to spend. The proposal has been made as part of their efforts to see local gamblers, especially gambling addicts, protected against possible gambling-related harm. According to a recent survey held by Clean Up Gambling, a group against gambling services, more than two-thirds of the individuals, who took part in the research, backed a maximum betting stake of £5. They have also supported the idea of a £50 limit on deposits in online accounts per week.
The spokesman of the anti-gambling campaigner group, Matt Zarb-Cousin, explained that, according to preliminary projections, the football bets that would be made in the week after the restart of the English Premier League would amount to around £280 million. Mr Zarb-Cousin has noted that, in his opinion, the public was clearly backing reasonable limits on the activity and the Government should review the proposal as quickly as possible in order to make sure that the country’s “outdated gambling laws” are brought into the digital age.
EPL Matches Set to Return on June 17th, While England’s Betting Shops to Open on June 15th
The English Premier League is to return after the betting shops across England resume operation on June 15th. Members of Parliament are expected to unveil new recommendations aimed at imposing stricter measures on the country’s gambling sector.
An all-party parliamentary group that is campaigning against gambling-related harm is expected to recommend new limits to be imposed on stakes, deposits and games in order to see British customers well-protected against any harm that could occur as a result of gambling. Carolyn Harris, the Chair of the group, shared that the public wanted to see stricter regulation of online gambling, and the issue has become a matter of urgency.
Campaigners have warned that the return of sport, combined with people’s changing financial situation and the anxiety that they have been experiencing during the lockdown, could make some vulnerable punters bet larger amounts of money after the return of the EPL.
In 2019, the group unveiled a critical report that ended up wiping £1.2 billion off the shares of online bookmakers. On the other hand, the relationship between gambling and football has been increasingly criticised over the last few years. Still, in the current season, half of the 20 top EPL clubs have gambling company as a sponsor after inking gambling partnership agreements estimated to a combined £69 million.