MP: Scheme to stop gam­bling ‘not worth it’

South Wales Evening Post - - LETTERS -

A SWANSEA MP has slammed a new scheme de­signed to help prob­lem gam­blers as “not worth it” after it emerged they are cheat­ing the sys­tem.

Car­olyn Har­ris, MP for Swansea East, has blasted the Gam­stop ini­tia­tive, which was kick-started last April and saw more than 50,000 peo­ple signup. Its aim was to al­low ad­dicts to ban them­selves from on­line bet­ting plat­forms – but by chang­ing their user de­tails peo­ple could still place bets as they did be­fore.

Mrs Har­ris, who chairs a cross-party group of MPS on gam­bling-re­lated harm, added: “Any sys­tem which is eas­ily ma­nip­u­lated like this is not worth it – they have to be ro­bust enough to with­stand de­lib­er­ate at­tempts to get around them.”

Mrs Har­ris has suc­cess­fully cam­paigned to have a £100 stake cut to just £2 on fixed-odds bet­ting ter­mi­nals and lob­bied British Air­ways into a U-turn on us­ing an ad­vert pro­mot­ing its hol­i­days with a young cou­ple in a casino. She made clear “in or­der to pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple, gam­bling should not be pro­moted as a glam­orous life-en­hanc­ing ac­tiv­ity.”

Gam­stop’s head Fiona Palmer said she did not be­lieve the ser­vice was work­ing well enough.

She said: “We are tak­ing on board the feed­back and we are look­ing to im­prove the scheme.”

In­dus­try reg­u­la­tors the Gam­bling Com­mis­sion are look­ing to re­lease the de­tails of its con­sul­ta­tion on us­ing ID ver­i­fi­ca­tion, which would block cus­tomers gam­bling us­ing in­cor­rect de­tails on on­line gam­bling sites.

Mean­while, the As­so­ci­a­tion of British Book­mak­ers said it was “dis­ap­pointed” with the find­ings.

The Senet Group, which re­lies on cash from book­mak­ers to run the scheme, said “the re­sults of this in­ves­ti­ga­tion are dis­ap­point­ing” but in­sisted MOSES [Multi Op­er­a­tor Self Ex­clu­sions Scheme] is an “im­por­tant first step for peo­ple who gen­uinely want to re­duce their gam­bling.”

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