Lockdown betting: Clean Up Gambling founder on why the laws are inadequate

ByVinny Munbodh
June 16 2020, 15.00

Gambling Laws in the UK have largely remained unchecked since the Gambling Act came into effect in 2005.

Matt Zarb-Cousin, founder of Clean Up Gambling, believes this needs to change.

Mr Zarb-Cousin said: The government should be mandating the Gambling Commission. We had this ridiculous pledge from the gambling industry who that they would stop advertising during lockdown. Then it transpired that they were advertising, just referring to safer gambling measures.”

After joining Jeremy Corbyn’s PR team in 2016, Mr Zarb-Cousin found that he was in the right place to do something about addictive gambling.

Recently he started Clean Up Gambling, a project and movement designed to tackle the scourge of unchecked gambling in our society.

He believes gambling laws are antiquated.

“Mobile gambling which is the primary mode of gambling – people on their smartphones, has completely changed the way people interact with the sector.”

The only major piece of UK gambling legislation is the Gambling Act of 2005.

In the absence of an independent watchdog, the industry has not provided the protection needed to the most vulnerable.

‘Research commissioned by a leading UK gambling charity, GambleAware, found that 1 in 5 problem gamblers experience suicidal thoughts, five times higher than the general population. Some gambling sites, in fact, directly spur these problem gamblers on, to throw away their livelihoods, and do not intervene despite the clear and apparent misery they are wreaking.’ (

Clean Up Gambling can be found at and the Facebook page at

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