Labour’s Tom Watson Calls for Mandatory Levy on Gambling Firms in UK

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Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, has called for imposing a mandatory levy on gambling firms.

He said that some companies donated “frankly insulting” amount of money to fund addiction treatment and the voluntary system needed to be replaced.

“The gambling market is broken and it’s up to the government to fix it. We don’t just need a voluntary patch, we need a full overhaul of the rules and regulations,” Tom Watson said.

Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary, announced that the UK’s biggest gambling firms had agreed to contribute more cash to help fund the treatment of problem gamblers.

“While we all want a healthy gambling industry that makes an important contribution to the economy, we also need one that does all it can to protect those that use it,” Wright said.

Watson said the five companies “have shown leadership and responsibility that is sorely lacking in some parts of the industry.” However, he described the practice of firms some firms donating small sums to ensure their presence on a list of donors as “completely unacceptable and deliberately insulting to those leading players.”

“After today we will still have inadequate regulation and a gambling act that is outdated and not fit for the digital age,” Watson added.