London, Feb 16 (ANI): A survey has found that the number of gamblers in Britain has risen, with three out of four being gambling addicts.
The survey by the Gambling Commission found 73 percent of the adult population have gambled in the past year compared with 68 percent in 2007.
As the Gambling Act came into force, the number of problem gamblers rose in 2007 from 0.6 percent of the population to 0.9 percent - or 451,000.
"The increase in problem gambling is a direct result of Labour's reckless Gambling Act," the Daily Mail quoted Tourism Minister John Penrose as saying.
"The Labour government liberalised gambling laws but failed to implement the safeguards needed to protect the public and as a result the number of problem gamblers has risen to almost half a million," he said.
The survey of 7,756 adults found that the average debt for a problem gambler was around 17,500 pounds.
The British Gambling Prevalence survey revealed that 59 percent of adults bought National Lottery tickets in 2010, making it the most popular gambling activity.
Others who participated in another form of gambling from the National Lottery rose from 48 percent in 2007 to 56 percent last year, with fourteen percent of adults having used the Internet to gamble in the past year.
"We are looking into this urgently and will announce shortly measures to tackle it. Once again, the Coalition has been left to clear up the mess left by Labour," Penrose added. (ANI)