MPs try and push for betting cap during cornovirus outbreak

MPs concerned about unfamiliar markets

Bookmaker News

A new fallout from the current coronavirus outbreak has crept up on the betting industry. MP’s have reportedly made the call to betting firms to temporarily limit punters to a cap of £50 a day while the Covid-19 crisis is happening.

Punters seek alternatives

Naturally with so many of the big sports for betting shut down, like football and British horse racing (Irish racing continues behind closed doors), then punters who fancy a flutter are having to turn their attention elsewhere.

The risk of that is in playing unfamiliar markets. More and more obscure sporting competitions are being played. Those include Virtual Sports, Casino Games and Bingo.

Even when it comes to sports betting, placing wagers on unfamiliar football leagues like the Belarusian top flight which just kicked off its new season and Japanese baseball are happening.

Bookmakers face tough times

Bookmakers are going through hard times. Share prices falling because of the cancellation of major sports. So they are in turn, trying to advertise markets and options that remain open, even if they are unfamiliar to large chunks of bettors in the UK.

This has MPs concerned. A cross-party group of Labour’s Carolyn Harris, the Conservatives’ Iain Duncan Smith and SNP MP Ronnie Cowan has written to the Betting & Gaming Control. 

MPs voice concerns

In their letter, they have suggested that:

“If the industry were to self-impose a daily limit of £50 … it would be a clear demonstration that the industry is willing to act responsibly and do what they can to protect society and peoples’ finances, at this dreadful time.”

The other aspect of this is the social distancing and isolation. MPs are also concerned that people will turn to gambling to pass the time, simply as a result of being cooped up for so long and urged the industry to pay attention to any customers who start to display signs of disordered gambling.

Matt Gaskell, clinical lead for the NHS northern gambling clinics, said: “In our clinics some of the most harmful gambling is that which diversifies to betting on things our patients know nothing about.