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UK Problem Gamblers Face Additional Checks

26 April 2004

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by the UK Guardian: "Gamblers who get too hooked on the cards and roulette wheels will be told to leave casinos under controversial Government plans to combat addiction.

"Where once only the biggest winners would have been asked to leave before they broke the bank, Ministers now want croupiers trained to identify life's losers - the problem gamblers in danger of bankrupting only themselves.

"Critics will argue that making staff responsible for their punters' welfare is impractical, with profitable customers unlikely to be turned away. Compulsive gamblers who vary their haunts would also be hard to detect.

"However Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, argues the plan to make 'social responsibility' a condition of gambling licences could help prevent a rise in gambling addiction. Critics have said her planned liberalisation of gaming laws will only encourage more people to get hooked.

"…She is also considering curbs on the number of high value fruit machines that casinos can install, following evidence that the speed of the game makes it the most addictive…"

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