EastEnders fans want online gambling limits after addict Kush Kazemi loses home
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Calls for online gambling to be limited soared after an EastEnders storyline on the addiction.
Kush Kazemi – played by Davood Ghadami, 38, in the BBC soap – lost the family home after blowing all his cash on poker.
After he was nicked for carrying out a vintage car heist in a bid to pay his debts, a poll found 56 per cent of viewers backed stricter limits on online betting.
The Survation survey of 1,000 people was carried out by Clean Up Gambling, which praised the soap for highlighting the problem.
Matt Zarb-Cousin, its director, said: “Participation in addictive slots and casino games appears to be increasing.
Viewers were shocked as Kush Kazemi ended up losing his family home
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Gambling addict kids losing up to £100,000 treated at first NHS clinic for children
"We are hoping the Government’s review of our gambling laws will impose sensible stake limits online, as there already are on machines.”
A cross-party group of MPs is calling for a ban on gambling being advertised and VIP inducements, and for a £2 stake limit on online slot machines.
The All Party Parliamentary Gambling-Related Harm Group also wants to see a review of online deposits and prize limits as part of a new Gambling Act.
Playing poker online is risky and addictive
EastEnders' Kush tearfully admits he turned to gambling to cope with lockdown
The group previously campaigned, successfully, to crack down on fixed-odds betting terminals and ban credit card bets.
The number of people playing online slot machines rose from 13 per cent to 16 per cent last month.
Kush Kazemi turned to crime after losing all his money playing poker
The number who would never play online casinos fell 10 per cent.
Last month we told how children were being treated at the first NHS child gambling clinic after losing sums as high as £100,000.
There are estimated to be nearly 400,000 gambling addicts in the UK and at least 55,000 children aged 11-16 with a serious problem.