Whoever takes over as the next UK Prime Minister will have a lot of work on their hands. Ensuring that the manifesto promises made in the 2019 General Election will be important. That, therefore, includes reforming the 2005 Gambling Act.
That’s been a long time coming in parliament. The past couple of years has been spent gathering a mountain of evidence from various sources. Some of it has not been easy to read with stories about how gambling addiction has led to suicides.
Evidence such as that indicates why the UK’s gambling laws need to be changed. The 2005 Gambling Act is outdated, and the subject it covers has seen immense change since it became law. Online gambling has arrived and is very popular but needs to be addressed.
The publication of the White Paper that will reveal what changes are on the table is due to be released in the coming weeks. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s been confirmed that it is still a high priority of the government, regardless of who becomes the next Prime Minister.
Releasing the White Paper is a step forward. Politicians, campaigners, and the gambling industry will finally know what the government plans to do. Online casinos and slot games seem to be a key part of the review, especially the UK’s newest casino sites. Former gambling minister Chris Philp said those are the areas that he is most worried about.
Philp was one of the many ministers who resigned during the week of chaos in the government. That doesn’t seem to be delaying the publication of the White Paper. What if the new PM has different views than those seen in the White Paper, which will have been published by then?
Whatever the views of the new Prime Minister, there is bound to be a huge amount of discussion over the contents of the White Paper. Gambling companies will be quick to detail the procedures they have put in place to protect customers. Campaigners for stronger regulation will undoubtedly say the contents of the White Paper aren’t strict enough.
Whatever the date of the release of the White Paper and the subsequent legislation, the gambling industry still has big problems. Recent months have seen the UK Gambling Commission becoming increasingly stricter.
They have been busy issuing massive fines to gambling companies. This month has already seen them suspend the UK licence of Bet-at-Home with a review of their business underway. That could see them lose their licence and be unable to operate in the UK.
The UK Gambling Commission is also setting stricter rules for licence holders. They want to see companies dealing more efficiently with customers who are at risk. Quicker reactions are needed if companies don’t want to be the next to be fined.
With the Advertising Standards Authority also being stricter with gambling companies, it’s a difficult time for them. Using sports stars and those who are role models for young people are being banned this year. There have already been restrictions placed on when gambling adverts can be shown.
With pressure on football clubs not to be sponsored by betting companies, it’s a tough time for the industry. More regulation appears to be on its way, and this could seriously affect future finances.
It’s a worrying time for the UK gambling industry. That will continue to be the case, regardless of what is in the White Paper.