Thursday, 23 April 2020

Group Of Cross-Party MPs Launch A Review Of UK’s Gambling Act

Gambling Addiction

The Parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group (APBGG) have launched a review of the UK’s Gambling Act 2005.

The group of cross-party MPs announced the news this week, revealing they will be looking into the Gambling Act to consider what changes must be made to keep the current Act updated and to ensure the Act is relevant to the social and technical developments made since it was enforced.

According to reports, the APBGG was motivated by a statement made in the Conservative Party’s 2019 election manifesto which claimed that the current Gambling Act is outdated. As part of the review, the APBGG will take and consider written evidence from industry stakeholders as evidence while holding several meetings with experts from within the industry.

Since the UK is currently under lockdown due to COVID-19, the meetings and review will take place online. The APBGG will hold four Zoom webinars where a panel of the group’s members will discuss several topics with key witnesses such as public health and gambling, gambling and football, the marketing of gambling, and whether or not the Act is still fit for purpose in today’s modern world.

The APBGG’s findings from the review will be later published in a report sent to the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The group hopes to complete the review and publish its report by winter this year.

What They Say

Philip Davies MP, the Co-Chair of the Parliamentary All-Party Betting & Gaming Group, said in a statement of the review: “As Co-Chairman of the All-Party Betting and Gaming Group, I believe it is essential that any review of the 2005 Gambling Act is based on evidence. The purpose of these sessions [is] to help inform the government in their work in this area.

“We want to listen to the legitimate concerns people have of their gambling industry as well as ensure the industry gets a fair hearing as well. I am determined that we listen to a wide range of views and make evidence-based recommendations which will ensure we enhance our global reputation as having the best-regulated gambling industry in the world.”

The news comes after the UK government urged all gambling operators to do more to protect players in the UK during the current COVID-19 lockdown. The announcement also comes after self-exclusion service Gamstop urged all UK players to self-exclude themselves from gambling sites during the lockdown.

In addition, the Gambling Addiction Clinic in Leeds has expressed concern that the current lockdown and closure of sports betting could eventually lead to an influx of people suffering from gambling addiction or other gambling-related harm as more people turn towards online casinos as a means to pass the time.