Betting giant Flutter has said its betting shop revenue in the UK is higher than before the pandemic, as the number of gambling helpline calls increases.
The firm, which owns brands such as Betfair and Paddy Power, said it increased its UK retail revenue by 7 per cent from figures before the pandemic.
It also shared how the number of people using its online services had grown by 59 per cent compared to 2019, adding that it had made £77 million in the first six months of 2021 alone.
However, Gamcare reported that its National Gambling Helpline had seen a 9 per cent rise in calls from March 2020 to March 2021.
Of the 41,000 calls received, the charity revealed that many callers had turned to gambling during the pandemic.
Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who chairs the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group, said: “I am worried the pandemic has created a new pandemic of gambling addiction.”
Now is the time for the industry to be held to account for the misery and devastation that they cause to the lives of vulnerable people.
She added: “Now is the time for the industry to be held to account for the misery and devastation that they cause to the lives of vulnerable people.”
Flutter had already been accused earlier this year of exploiting the pandemic, as it reported a surge in business during the first three months of 2021.
The bookmaker also witnessed a 23 per cent year-on-year growth in monthly players, with its online business attracting 593,000 new customers over the first quarter of this year.