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UK Government launches review to ensure gambling laws are fit for digital age

The Culture Secretary has launched a major and wide-ranging review of gambling laws to ensure they are fit for the digital age as committed to in the manifesto.

17 Dec 2020 AUTHOR: Shenaly Amin

Earlier this week, the UK government announced that it would finally conduct a comprehensive review of the UK Gambling industry. The review, which is expected to result in the biggest reform of UK gambling laws since the Blair administration, will prioritise consumer safeguards, advertising standards, and online protections.

The Gambling commission has said that the review has been prompted by the vast amount of change within the economy over the last 15 years. With smartphones giving opportunities to gamble online almost anywhere and at any time, fast-paced innovation in product design and advertising, and new opportunities to harness technology for the protection of players.

The government is reviewing the Gambling Act (2005) to ensure our regulatory framework can protect children and vulnerable people, prevent gambling related crime, and keep gambling fair and open in the digital age. Through this Review, the government’s objectives are to:

  • Examine whether changes are needed to the system of gambling regulation in Great Britain to reflect changes to the gambling landscape since 2005, particularly due to technological advances 
  • Ensure there is an appropriate balance between consumer freedoms and choice on the one hand, and prevention of harm to vulnerable groups and wider communities on the other 
  • Make sure customers are suitably protected whenever and wherever they are gambling, and that there is an equitable approach to the regulation of the online and the land-based industries. 

The Review will be led by Ministers at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, with engagement from across government, the Gambling Commission, the industry, health and charitable sector, those with lived experience of gambling harm, and other stakeholders.

After this initial 16 week call for evidence, the government will assess the evidence presented, alongside other data, with the aim of setting out conclusions and any proposals for reform in a white paper next year.

Detailed information regarding the Gambling Act review, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence