HomeGambling IndustryGambling with Lives starts petition to target gambling firm licenses

Gambling with Lives starts petition to target gambling firm licenses

3 min. read
A woman saying enough.

Gambling with Lives, a charity operating out of the United Kingdom and a long-standing proponent of minimizing harmful gambling practices, has launched a new petition in which it insists on reigning in gambling firms that promote or are otherwise supportive of what the organization calls "reckless gambling."

In the crux of the petition, Gambling with Lives wants to hold gambling firms accountable for their actions by putting their licenses on the lines, arguing that the fines that they have been handed down, substantial as they may have been, are still "easily paid," and therefore another, more appropriate measure ought to be undertaken.

"Fines are easily paid by huge gambling companies, they must lose licenses for serious misdemeanours, especially when they lead to deaths," the official petition statement reads. Gambling with Lives has not spared its criticism directed at both the industry and the UK Gambling Commission, the country’s regulator.

Gambling with Lives specifically took issue with the fact that the UKGC has issued substantial fines, but it has refused to also threaten the license fitness of an operator. This may not be entirely correct, though, as the watchdog does warn wrongdoers that it would be closely monitoring their operations.

However, Gambling with Lives has a point that some companies have been repeatedly showing up on the UKGC’s radar. Suspending licenses for a large company has not been a favored method by the regulator, the organization argues, picking instead "toothless, easily payable fines," and lambasting the watchdog.

Games with Lives is not taking issue with the current mandate of handing down penalties on a whim, either, the organization explains, as some 496 people are committing suicide every year as a direct response to gambling addiction. The petition uses an example of a Gamesys customer who was offered new games and promotions after losing £10,000, the petition reads. Gamesys was subject to a £6m fine in January, the largest financial penalty ever handed down to a licensed company in the United Kingdom.

"The big gambling firms will never change their ways unless forced to. If they knew they could be shut down, they would be forced to behave better," Gambling with Lives continued, urging action, and looking for supporters. Gambling with Lives is often an organization that urges tougher measures against the industry in a bid to stop the loss of lives rooted in gambling addiction.

Others, though, have advertised for a more careful approach where big data plays a role in helping companies overcome the challenges they face in failing to protect their consumers. Regardless, Gambling with Lives is right to expect regulators to do more, and the question of when a firm ought to be fined or lose its license outright is a valid one.

Image credit: Unsplash.com

12 Feb 2024
3 min. read
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