NLCB raises gambling addiction concerns amid switch to online market

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NLCB raises gambling addiction concerns amid switch to online market

The Trinidad & Tobago National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) says it will soon launch a responsible gambling program amid concerns about gambling addiction among its customers.

The announcement comes as the body prepares for a mass switch to online gambling due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a recent report indicating that the online market is expected to grow from TT$59bn (US$8.7bn) in 2019 to TT$93bn in 2023, at a rate of 12%.

Such a switch to the online market has led to concerns involving player safety, primarily gambling addiction. The NLCB now expects to roll-out a responsible gambling program to help deal with the issue.

Public Accounts Committee chairman Dave Tancoo suggests immediate action is necessary in order to prevent gambling industry losses due to illegal activity, saying: “I don’t know if the Ministry of Finance or NLCB can take this on as a priority initiative to stop illegal gambling in this country and stop the deprivation of millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars over the years from being lost to the treasury.

“If NLCB’s revenue from gaming is TT$2bn and you lose a significant market share, you know that illegal gambling is receiving a substantial amount of money that does not re-enter the system legitimately.”