The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been one of the most recognizable bodies when it comes to moderating gamblers’ behavior and attempting to uproot, rather successfully at that, destructive practices.
After the UK Government has announced plans to tinker with the slot machines located in land-based casinos, now the UKGC believes that operators can rev up their efforts to successfully protect the interests of consumers.
Beyond that UKGC is keenly aware of the rising number of individuals who take less-considerate wagers. UKGC executive director Tim Miller has been dropping hints that the organization will step up its efforts in addressing the problem at hand.
The Day of Reckoning Is Not Quite Due
Mr Miller’s warnings are not a threat in disguise. Rather, he voices his concerns that what NGOs have been trying to do may have fallen short of the mark. The inability to do so would mean failure for the whole initiative.
Mr Miller commented that “considerable work” needs doing if UK consumers are to be protected from falling prey to those destructive practices, citing a report by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB).
In his appeal, Mr Miller did not rule communal action. Rather, he encouraged it. Mr Miller pushed for ‘continued strong partnerships’ between regulators, consumer representatives, the government, and operators.
He acknowledged that operators in the sector have been making a determined push to comply with the National Responsible Gambling Strategy and to implement it as an essential cogwheel of their offer.
What Bothers Miller at Night?
If Mr Miller is concerned, it is mostly justified. The UKGC has been working on a three-year plan to bolster security in the sector and make sure that consumers stay away from the destructive habits that the organization tries to topple.
However, with just 12 months to go, the predominant sentiment is that not enough efforts have been invested. One particular issue has been Miller’s premonition that the joint efforts have failed to achieve their goal – making gambling safer and fairer.
‘The challenge we all face is how to deliver a gambling market that provides consumer choice and enjoyment whilst also protecting against the risks gambling can create and its impact on wider society,’ Miller had to say.
More Rank and Files Needed
Mr Miller is acutely aware of one pressing issue, however. Tackling any form of ruinous gambling behavior is not something that can be undertaken by a single body or authority itself.
Bans rarely lead to meaningful results as such. By outlawing an activity that is deeply ingrained in nature’s very identity, the results that may follow range from the mildly disruptive to the overwhelmingly disastrous.
At a time when over 2 million people are at risk of falling into the trap of gambling, Mr Miller’s call to action does not seem out of place in the slightest.
Grassroots organizations will have to pool their efforts with established operators and together seek a lasting solution to the world’s looming gambling problem. Beginning at home in the United Kingdom.