The UK Labour Party proposed a new tax on the gaming industry where the gambling operators will be funding National Health Service treatment for gambling addicts as the number of problem gamblers has been risen in the UK. According to a Gambling Commission report, 2 million people in the UK are addicted to problem gambling or are at a risk of developing an addiction.
Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, said during Labour’s annual conference in Brighton this week:
“The number of problem gamblers in this country has risen by a third in just three years. Two million people are either problem gamblers or at risk of addiction. Children and young people are being targeted by betting advertisers more than ever.”
Watson claimed that “Gambling addiction is an illness and it is about time it was taken seriously.”
He added: “Our review will look at how to best fund National Health Service treatment and help free problem gamblers from the destructive cycle of addiction.”
Watson also renewed his call for preventing gambling advertising on the shirts of English football teams.
He said: “My message to gambling firms today is clear: stop targeting vulnerable people. Start acting properly. And meet your obligation to help those whose lives have been blighted by addiction.You can do it now, because it’s the right thing to do. Or you can wait for the next Labour government to do it for you.”