Labour could impose levy to fund NHS treatment for gambling addicts
The UK’s Labour Party would consider adding a tax on gambling to fund NHS treatment for betting addicts.
Deputy party leader Tom Watson is to announce a review into problem gambling and the ability of the national health service to treat it.
The inquiry will examine a proposal to impose a compulsory levy on the industry to fund treatment, replacing the system that asks companies to make voluntary contributions to the GambleAware charity.
Figures from the Gambling Commission suggest that about 430,000 Britons have a serious gambling habit, up by a third in three years.
According to the Times newspaper, Watson is expected to say at the Labour Party conference today: “The next Labour government will finally confront problem gambling.
“Some gambling companies, driven by greed, are deliberately targeting our poorest communities even as hundreds of thousands of lives are ruined by addiction. Children and young people are being targeted more than ever.
“Gambling companies are even harvesting data to deliberately target low-income gamblers and people who have given up gambling. More than half of companies profit from ‘risk’ gamblers. This has to stop. Gambling companies must be held to account for this abuse of trust and power.”
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