As more and more casinos around the world close in an effort to slow down the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are turning to online gambling to fill the void – and regulation offices and consumer protection agencies are starting to worry.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued a warning to online betting licensees not to abuse their advantageous position, adding that online gambling establishments “must continue to act responsibly, especially in regards to individual customer affordability and increased social responsibility interactions.” In particular, online operators are being advised to ensure that they have “sufficient management, staffing and oversight” to maintain their operation working in a fully compliant way.
No Aid for Gambling Shops
As gambling industry shares plummeted over the past two weeks, retail betting shops and casinos started asking for a bailout – only to find out they won’t be eligible for it. Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) chief exec Michael Dugher slammed the UK government for dealing “a hammer blow to an industry that pays billions in tax [and] employs 70,000 hardworking, decent people in this country.”
For casinos with an online presence, things might not look too bad after all. As more players move online to continue playing their favorite games, online betting venues might turn out to be the only ones that benefit from the current crisis.
In the meantime, the BGC will continue pressing for some help. “Without any form of support or help we will see the wholesale collapse of a number of businesses in our industry,” Dugher said.
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