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April 3, 2020, GMT+0000, 20:08 pm
News Regulation

Problem Gambling Group Welcomes Hatch Plan 

A major US gambling addiction support organisation has welcomed proposals put forward by US lawmakers earlier this week.  

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) have expressed their support for consumer protection measures that were part of a bill published in the Senate by Senators Orrin Hatch and Charles Schumer. The bill is focused on federal oversight for sports betting, which was legalized in the US by a Supreme Court decision in May, though the NCPG did not go as far as expressing a view on the desirability of legal sports betting.  

If the bill is passed it will, among other measures, make provision for federal funds to be used to tackle problem gambling, including gambling addiction, which would be the first time that any such measure has formed part of a federal bill.  

The money would consist of $5 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to fund gambling addiction research, and would divert revenue from the federal sports betting excise tax to finance programs designed to prevent and treat gambling disorder and law enforcement.  

The bill also aims to create a US-wide self-exclusion service for people with gambling problems that all sports betting operators will be obliged to support. It also sets up a range of gambling-related consumer protections associated with disclosure and advertising.  

Speaking about the Bill, the Executive Director of the NCPG, Keith Whyte, said that he welcomed the leadership shown by the Senators on the subject: 

“This bill provides the first-ever dedicated Federal funding for gambling addiction prevention, research and treatment programs. These measures are a critical first step to addressing problem gambling across the country, balancing the costs and benefits of legalized gambling.” 

Image sourced from Shutterstock.

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