Ministers Describe Sports Betting VIP Schemes as ‘Immoral’ and could Face the Axe

As the Gambling Act, 2005 faces ongoing review, government ministers are considering banning sports betting VIP schemes described in their own words as Immoral, and fuelled gambling addiction according to a Daily Mail report.

‘Not going far enough’

The Gambling Act review, due to conclude later on this year has brought to light the impact VIP schemes may have on vulnerable gamblers, and an outright ban has gained the backing of ministerial figures. Previous regulation regarding VIP schemes has been deemed as ‘not going far enough’.Bookies must check customers’ finances and if they can in fact afford what they are betting before offering the VIP Scheme. Former Conservative leader Sir Ian Duncan Smith said it was ‘high time’ VIP managers were banned. Alluding VIP schemes were ‘Immoral’ and an ‘atrocious abuse’ forcing some into debt by offering incentives.

Weak and Vague Regulation

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) came under fire last year after a decision was made not to ban the VIP schemes, campaigners deemed its ‘weak and vague regulation’.Many large UK operators including Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, and Betway have already been handed multi-million-pound fines for targeting vulnerable players using what has been described as ‘grooming tactics’.To enter a VIP scheme now players under 25 must seek senior sign-off and their accounts regularly monitored. However, the government has taken the decision to use the Gambling Act review to take things further.

Strict Code of Conduct

The Betting and Gaming Council have defended operators who provide VIP schemes, after working closely with the UKGC has issued operators to take tougher action on VIP accounts. This includes the introduction of a strict code of conduct which since its inception has seen a 70% reduction in enrolled accounts.Although the consultation period for the Gambling Act Review concluded in March, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports said, “We are carefully considering responses that provided evidence and views including those on advertising practices.”

Leave a comment