The government must force betting firms to pay heavily to treat gambling addiction – not rely on their goodwill

That betting firms should contribute to funding treatment for gambling addiction is beyond dispute these days. Even the companies agree. Their trade body, the Betting and Gaming Council, often boasts about how its leading members volunteered to boost their joint funding of education and treatment services to £100m during the 2019-2023 period.

The problem, though, is obvious: the promises are voluntary. While £100m, even when spread over several years, sounds a large sum, it seems plucked out of the air. Nobody would claim it comes close to covering the cost to the public purse of providing even the current patchy level of treatment for addiction.

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