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Sports Betting VIP Schemes Could Be Axed by UK Government Ministers

British Sports betting gamblers could soon lose the VIP scheme offered by operators as ministers describe the scheme as ‘immoral’.Gambling operators designate a VIP manager to players involved in the VIP scheme who provide a one-to-one service that is deemed at encouraging compulsive gambling behaviours.

Stricter Regulations Needed

As the Gambling Act, 2005 is still under review by the UK Government, ministers have put forward a proposal that much stricter regulations be placed on these types of schemes. The UKGC did try and regulate the VIP scheme but faced harsh backlash, and they have now been criticised for not doing enough to help in the fight against irresponsible gambling.As of October 2020, UK gambling operators are required to perform extra checks on customers to ensure they are able to afford to lose the money they are gambling before awarding a VIP customer status.

Spending Through Incentives

Former Tory leader Ian Duncan Smith said it was time the government put a stop to VIP managers in the UK calling the scheme ‘immoral’. He also criticised operators for encouraging players to spend more by incentivisation steering gamblers in the wrong direction. Although operators have been adhering to stricter measures, he believes the VIP scheme used by gambling companies has not improved.Some of the largest gambling companies within the UK have faced huge fines for encouraging problem gamblers by the use of ‘grooming’ tactics. Ladbrokes, Betway, and Paddy Power have been hit financially, and since have to sign off and additional monitor under 25’s before they are offered a VIP status.As the Gambling Act of 2005 is still under consideration, government ministers are in favour of suspending VIP Schemes permanently in the sports betting sector. With more evidence provided, the scheme will either be suspended, or much stricter measures enforced on gambling operators to protect players from gambling-related harm through the offer of incentives.

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