Review of 2005 Gambling Act to be announced

The U.K. government is set to announce a wide-ranging review of gambling laws, which could include banning betting operators from sports sponsorship and limiting online casino stakes. The proposals to overhaul gambling laws were first revealed by the Guardian.

According to the report, changes to current legislation which are under consideration will include:

  • limits to online stakes, prizes, and “spin speeds”;
  • more rigorous affordability checks;
  • strict testing regimes for new products;
  • a ban on sports sponsorship;
  • new powers to curb parallel (unregulated) markets;
  • standardised avenues of legal redress for customers;
  • mandatory levies to fund addiction treatment and research into preventing “problem gambling”.

Sources quoted in the Guardian article claim the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are looking to reform every area of gambling law. One unnamed insider referred to the review’s remit as a “reformer’s shopping list”. Amongst the considerations is providing extra financial resources and new powers to the Gambling Commission to provide stronger regulation of illicit operators.

The Betting and Gaming Council, the association representing the interests of the betting industry, released a statement that emphasised the importance that any review is “evidence-led and strikes the right balance between protecting the vulnerable, whilst not spoiling the enjoyment of the estimated 30 million people who enjoy a bet at least once a month – the vast majority of whom do so perfectly safely – and driving them into the arms of the unregulated online black market.”

Review of 2005 Gambling Act to be announced
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