U.K. NEWSPAPER HIGHLIGHTS ONLINE GAMBLING SUCCESS
22nd May, 2016 at 08:09:25
But juxtapositions details with problem gambling.
The Mail on Sunday reported on the success of the online gambling industry over the weekend, but juxta positioned the detail with problem gambling
examples and a quote from an academic who appears to believe that tighter government regulation is necessary.
Using 2014 Gambling Commission figures, the report claims that the UK online gambling business was worth £26.3 billion in 2014, up year-on-year by 28% and indicating "...an explosive growth fuelled by slick and relentless TV advertising and online promotions, including 'free' bets" and in-play betting.
It goes on to present the images and fortunes of major industry operators, including BetVictor
owner Michael Tabor (£ 600 million); Peter Coates of Bet365
(£3.76 billion); Pokerstars founder and former owner Isai Scheinberg and his son Mark; Betfair
co-founders Andrew Black and Ed Wray whose creation is now worth £455 million; Noel Hayden who built Gamesys into a £150 million group; former PartyPoker co-owner Ruth Parasol, said to be worth £ 720 million; Betfred
's Peter Done; and Anders Strom, who founded Unibet
, which posted turnover of £354 million last year.
Against the backdrop of this success, the newspaper recounts tragic gambling addiction stories and publishes a quote from Jim Orford, a professor at Birmingham University, who comments that online gambling popularity is climbing, with a changing demographic toward younger players and women.
He acknowledges that problem gambling rates are difficult to measure, but opines that compulsive gambling appears to be concentrated among younger people, with university students an area of concern due to their confidence that they can beat the operators.
Orford highlights the accessibility of online gambling, and notes that expecting the industry to self-regulate is 'like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop'.
"I am critical of the Government decision that self-regulation of the betting industry works as long as the industry coughs up bit of money towards research," Orford is quoted as saying.
"The Government does not have to put money into it themselves, but the industry is merely appearing to be concerned about problem gambling".
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