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Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Group Of MPs Call For A Complete Ban On Gambling Advertising

Gambling Addiction

A group of MPs have called for a complete ban on gambling advertising.

The group, which consists of more than 50 MPs and peers, have released a report today calling for the ban after having spent a year gathering evidence on gambling-related harm. The cross-party group has urged for tighter controls on the gambling sector and has urged for a complete overhaul of the 2005 Gambling Act.

According to The Guardian, the report includes proposals to ban gambling ads on television and the web, an end to all VIP schemes, the introduction of a maximum £2 stake limit on online slots, mandatory affordability checks, as well as controls over the design of games.

Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith, Scottish National MP Ronnie Cowan, and Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who leads the group, said in a joint statement: “This multimillion-pound industry has destroyed people’s lives. They have shown time and again that they will not effectively self-regulate. Urgent change is needed to stop this industry riding roughshod over people’s lives.”

The MPs have called for the measures, particularly mandatory and independent affordability checks, to ensure that gamblers do not overspend. The group’s report reads: “They have algorithms where if you are spending significant sums, they can make you a VIP, or send you a bonus email, both of which are to their commercial advantage. So, there is no reason why this data cannot be used to prevent gambling harm.”

The Commission’s Rule Changes

The news comes several weeks after the UK Gambling Commission announced it was introducing new regulations to change how VIP programmes were afforded. What’s more, the Commission recently banned credit card use and is looking at changing the design of games within the UK.

However, the group of MPs claimed that the Commission’s proposals are “inadequate” and urged the Commission to scrap VIP and loyalty schemes altogether rather than regulate them. The MPs also claimed earlier this year that the Commission is “not fit for purpose” in the modern age and should face changes.

More recently, the Commission introduced new measures to protect UK players amid the COVID-19 lockdown. The Commission announced that operators can no longer reverse withdrawals and must cease offering bonuses and promotions to players displaying signs of having experienced gambling-related harm.

Additional measures also require operators to limit or block play until all checks have been conducted including affordability and verification checks. All regulators were required to adopt the new guidelines or face strict repercussions.

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