Betting companies should be obliged to fund therapy for problem gamblers according to Claire Murdoch, national mental health director of National Health Service England.
She points out that gambling companies have profited throughout the pandemic but the NHS is "picking up the pieces." The voluntary system that is in place to fund treatment of addicts is not enough, says Murdoch.
In a government review of the regulations on gambling in the UK, Murdoch has entered the fray with a demand for a compulsory levy on the £11bn-per-annum industry.
Murdoch points out that 750 people had been referred to specialist clinics for treatment of serious addiction since April of last year. The NHS is planning to open more gambling clinics across the country because the numbers being treated currently are only "the tip of the iceberg."
The Betting and Gaming Council, representing the industry, has pointed out that in the past 20 years the industry has been the only funder of analysis, training and therapy and it welcomed the plans for the NHS to work with leading charities to create clinics.