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Online Gambling Raises Fresh Concerns


By William Mills

Online Gambling

A gambling law expert, Martin Amerena, has raised fears that the Government isn’t doing enough to prevent a gambling epidemic leading to untold misery of household debt and domestic violence.

Mr. Amerena,60, spoke exclusively of how the Government’s gambling control new measures are falling short of what’s necessary.

Mr Martin Amerena
Mr Martin Amerena

Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

“The last couple of years have seen a huge increase in problem gambling using FOBT’s in betting shops as well as online casinos”. He explained.

“Each of these machines netted betting shops a massive £47,000 each subsidising other areas of the gaming industry. It is possible to lose up to £200 in a few minutes with addicts ending up losing losing thousands.” He added.

William Hill, Ladbrokes

The main operators, William Hill and Ladbrokes among them, have considered a Government request to employ pre-set pop ups which disable the machine for 30 minutes when a certain limit is reached. However deadlock has ensued as the operators want the limit set at £200 and the Government much lower at a few pounds.

The real problem Mr Amerena believes is being overlooked. In betting shops staff are trained to watch out for problem gamblers however no such oversight is in place online.

Roulette, Blackjack, Poker

The virtual games of Roulette, Blackjack and Poker bear no relation to the real games in the way they operate. Some do not have precursor player advice, a  Gambling Commission requirement, and give the illusion the player is taking part in a real casino game.

Unlike the real games, virtual ones have no spinning wheel nor ball, or any actual  actual playing cards.

Random Number Generators

Results are produced by Random Number Generators as soon as the game is started by the player. A computer then generates Roulette style graphics showing the result previously generated. The operator also knows how much money is in an account and where a player places bets.

Gambling Commission

Mr Amerena has taken his concerns up with the Gambling Commission in the UK, and also in Gibraltar where a number of operators are based. As yet he is not aware of any changes having been made.

He firmly believes players should be warned of the dangers of playing these games.

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