Sunday, 24 November 2019

Labour Party Announces New Gambling Act In Election Manifesto

Gambling Addiction

The Labour Party has announced that it would introduce a new gambling act should it win the upcoming UK General Election.

The political party published its election manifesto this week for the upcoming General Election on December 12th. In it, the party revealed plans to introduce a new gambling act to replace the current 2005 Gambling Act, introduced by the previous Labour government.

Also in the manifesto, Labour pledged to treat problem gambling as a national public health issue, reduce gambling advertisements in sports, and introduce new limits on gambling. The party also shared plans to expand the nation’s gambling treatment services by introducing a levy for addiction funding.

However, the party did not go into any further detail of its newly proposed gambling act and did not explain what their gambling restrictions would involve. The manifesto read: “We will address drug-related deaths, alcohol-related health problems and the adverse impact of gambling as matters of public health, treated accordingly in expanded addiction support services.”

Other policies listed in Labour’s manifesto include a requirement for elected worker-directors to sit on boards and for 10% of shares in large companies to be reserved for worker funds. The Party has also pledged to review business rates and introduce a £10 minimum wage for employees aged 16 and over.

Responsible Gambling in the UK

The news comes days after the UK Liberal Democrats announced plans to ban credit card use with gambling. Other policies from the group included increased restrictions on gambling advertisements, a compulsory levy on gambling firms to fund the research and treatment of gambling addictions, and a plan to introduce a gambling ombudsman.

News of the parties’ policies come after a group of cross-party MPs urged the UK government to overhaul its current gambling regulation laws in a report. The MPs called for a limit to the maximum stake on slots, an end to credit card use on gambling sites, mandatory affordability checks, and restrictions on VIP accounts.

The report caused a sudden drop in the shares of several UK gambling firms, causing them to announce their commitment to a series of five new responsible gambling regulations which protect players. It’s hoped that the new regulations will prevent the UK government from implementing its own harsher set of rules.

More recently, the newly-formed Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) introduced its Anonymous Player Awareness System (APAS) to UK betting shops which uses a real-time algorithm to monitor a player’s gambling behaviour. If the system detects unusual or irresponsible behaviour, it will force the player to take a break for a ‘cooling-off’ period while also alerting staff.