(UK) Addiction soars as online gambling hits £2bn mark

A huge increase in gambling addicts will make Britain's obsession with online betting a £2bn business. New evidence reveals that the number of people in danger of becoming problem gamblers has reached nearly a million, while hardcore addicts have doubled in six years to almost 500,000. MPs are considering legislation to try to reverse the trend, as online companies vie for bigger shares of the market with blanket advertising and introductory offers.

Key to the strategy which has led to some of the companies enjoying massive growth since online gambling was freed up by Tony Blair's government in 2005 is recruiting new consumers from middle-class professions and among women. Last Friday at Gloucester Crown Court, Jack Keylock, 22, from Cheltenham was jailed for 18 months. He resorted to burglary to pay debts run up while gambling online.
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