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I was one of 12 academics and doctors who sent a letter to the Times last week calling for a suspension of gambling advertising during the crisis. Twenty politicians also wrote to the Government calling for advertising suspension and a maximum online betting stake of £2. The All Party Parliamentary Group has also been calling for a maximum daily loss per person, such as £50.

Meanwhile the industry Betting and Gambling Council has brought out a 10-point pledge agreed with its members setting out expectations of its members during the crisis. The BGC says these will help ensure that the highest safeguards are in place and action is taken to protect anyone betting online who may be more vulnerable as a result of the crisis. But in fact the 10 points simply refer to things its members should be doing already. Notably they make no response to the widespread calls for stake, loss or advertising restrictions.

They are doing more in some other countries. In Spain TV gambling advertising has been effectively suspended by confining showing to a few hours during the night and very early morning. And in Latvia online gambling itself has been temporarily suspended. 9 April/ Gambling News 14 April


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