Report: 3.5 million Britons gamble online

LONDON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Some 3.5 million Britons make a regular habit of gambling online, the British Gambling Commission said in a report.

The report said the number marked a six-fold increase over the last five years, The Daily Telegraph said Thursday.


The commission said about seven percent of regular online players are "problem gamblers," whose personal lives have suffered as a result of addictions to Internet poker, online casinos and other Internet gambling games.

British Culture Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said he has ordered a review that will analyze the possibility of forcing gambling companies to pay an "addict tax" to help problem gamblers get out of debt and seek treatment.

"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," he said.

"I have therefore asked the Gambling Commission to review the current voluntary arrangements for industry funding of gambling research, treatment and public education. 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," Sutcliffe said.


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