“Our agenda, by necessity, is as complex and encompassing as the problems we face: beware of politicians promising simple solutions.”

Amitai Etzioni

Perhaps tackling this issue is in everyone’s interest.

There’s a suspicion that the argument against tighter regulation may result in the emergence of the ‘black market’. Naturally, our instinctive view on this would be to rubbish this idea and simply say that this is the industry’s attempt at scaremongering. However the realty is that the so-called black market already exists; by the simple fact that non UKGC companies can and do easily operate here in the UK. For example, there are around 31 online companies operating out of Curacao, which is a Dutch Carribean island with a population of approximately just 160,000. And the unwanted and non-permissive bombardment of advertising via direct text messages and emails from such entities as these is quite alarming.

So to put this issue into context; it’s in the interests of the gambling industry and indeed consumers, particularly disordered and recovering disordered gamblers, that access to these platforms is forbidden. There’s absolutely no point having good regulation and rules if such access to sites is readily accessible. There’s already a suggestion that even gambling blocking software can’t avoid these sites. This is plainly wrong and needs to be addressed. @gamblinginsight via twitter brought this subject to the forefront recently by demonstrating that there are websites out there promoting their non-compliance with gamstop. Despite media interest in this topic, nothing appears to have changed. The internet conglomerates need to do more. They are not too big to be held to account.

It’s in all of our interests that we club together on this issue and force it to be resolved.