Wales’ Gambling Epidemic
According to a recent study, the people of Wales have developed a very serious online gambling problem. It showed that roughly £169 per head was spent on online gambling last year, coming out to millions of pounds lost at the online casino.
It showed that somewhere around £500m was lost in online gambling ventures, which is double the amount that was lost in 2001. Experts say that this is a disturbing trend and likely to end up with more and more gambling addicts if it continues.
This amount does not take into account the lottery or the bingo halls, these numbers are simply that money gambled on the internet. Shadow Welsh Minister David Jones said that online gambling was becoming a real problem for their residents as people have found how convenient it is to play the online casinos from the comfort of their own home. Jones said that they are literally sitting at home with their tea or wine and “fritter[ing] their life’s savings away.”
It seems that when online gambling was illegal there was not a problem, but now that it is legal it has become more widespread. The Westminster Government has warned the online gambling industry that they have to start paying more for gambling addiction programs, or they were going to be forced to make them give more.
Experts say that they feel this increase in online gambling started when the National Lottery came into play as well as the abolition of the betting tax. With people having more ways of participating in gambling, and with it costing them less, there is no reason for them not to – besides of course the amount of money that they are losing on a daily basis.
Malta Fights Back
The Malta Remote Gaming Council or MRGC, has had enough of other countries reporting that online gambling in the country is “unregulated and unscrupulous.” They say that they have long been the black sheep of the online gambling industry and they say that not only is it unfair but it is categorically untrue.
They say that they are usually portrayed “in an alarmist and negative manner at odds with the facts” and that no one has done the necessary “research into the industry on the island, its regulation or its participants” to even make these sorts of statements. They say that once you look at the online gambling industry in the country, you will see that nothing could be farther from the truth.
They say that they have attracted so many remote gaming operators already because of their professional regulatory structure. They say that they also bring in a large amount of revenue for the Maltese economy. They ensure that every operator in the country follows the same rules and regulations that have been set out by the regulator, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority.
They say that they have a strict code of practice that everyone must adhere to or they are not allowed to participate. They say that they have a “detailed and comprehensive standards document” that will be completed later this year from the Malta Standards Authority and “other respected entities.”
They also point out that while age verification seems to be an issue in other countries, they already ensure that it is undertaken by all online gambling operators on the island, and that they have a series of software programs that search for the variables that pull attention to not only underage gamblers, but also criminal players and those that are likely to develop an online gambling problem.