November 27, 2020

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Coronavirus pandemic ‘a disaster’ for gambling addicts – BBC News

Coronavirus pandemic 'a disaster' for gambling addicts - BBC News

The coronavirus pandemic has been “absolutely disastrous” for people suffering from gambling addiction, an MP has said.

Boredom, sport cancellations and money freed-up from mortgage holidays could increase the risk, according to Swansea East MP Carolyn Harris.

She said she is getting reports of people returning to gambling after seeing online ads.

Many betting shops and gambling sites are removing adverts from TV and radio.

But campaigners want to see this extended to social media and direct marketing.

On Monday the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) announced that all advertising from their members had been removed from broadcast media for at least six weeks.

Ms Harris said: “Under normal circumstances I have huge worries about the ability of this industry to captivate, and hold hostage almost, people that it ensnares in its trap.

“And it’s just going to get worse.

“A lot of it will be boredom. Especially with a lack of sport on television, people will turn to alternative kinds of enjoyment or activity.

“In many cases they will lose everything they own, and in some really tragic cases they will lose their lives.”

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