3.5 million in Britain gamble online

LONDON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The number of Britons who regularly gamble online has risen 600 percent in the past five years to 3.5 million, a Gambling Commission report found.

Around seven percent -- or 250,000 -- of those who bet on the Internet are considered "problem gamblers," The (London) Daily Telegraph said Thursday.


The government is considering imposing an addict tax on gambling companies to help those who find themselves in serious debt because of the extent of their online gambling.

"While the results show that problem gambling still only affects a small minority of people, it remains a serious issue, and one which must be addressed," said Culture Minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

"I have therefore asked the Gambling Commission to review the current voluntary arrangements for industry funding of gambling research, treatment and public education," he said. "I expect the commission's review to include comment on funding levels, how the money is spent, and whether a statutory levy should be considered."

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