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Silvia Pavlof December 22, 2023 2 min read
UK Lawmakers Urge Swift Action on Gambling Reforms Amidst Rising Concerns
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee (CMSC)and Sport Committee (CMSC) has expressed concerns regarding the speed of consultations and reforms, voicing reservations about the suggested implementation timeline
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee (CMSC) of the House of Commons has released a comprehensive report on gambling regulations, highlighting critical issues that demand urgent attention. The report, compiled from formal meetings and insights from industry experts, scrutinizes the progress made since the White Paper’s release earlier this year.
CMSC Calls for Clear Legislative Roadmap in Gambling Reforms
A primary concern voiced by the CMSC revolves around the pace of consultations and reforms, expressing reservations about the proposed implementation timeline set for the coming summer. The committee acknowledges the importance of the ongoing consultations initiated by the UK Government and the Gambling Commission but emphasizes the need for a detailed timetable, including the introduction of relevant legislation to Parliament.
Furthermore, the CMSC challenges the Gambling Commission on the efficacy of self-exclusion measures, pointing out that individuals who have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling sites still find easy access to black-market casinos.
To address this, the report recommends making it mandatory for operators to actively encourage customers to set online deposit limits, especially when signs of potential financial vulnerability are detected.
In a bid to mitigate potential harm, the committee urges the government to commission independent longitudinal research on the link between gambling advertising and the risk of harm, with a specific focus on vulnerable groups such as women and children.
CMSC Questions Feasibility of Gambling Ombudsman by 2024
An additional focal point in the report is the apprehension regarding the establishment of a gambling ombudsman. According to existing laws, an ombudsman must adhere to industry standards. The CMSC questions whether a body with sufficiently high standards could be in place by the proposed deadline in the summer of 2024.
This report comes against the backdrop of a significant overhaul proposed by the government, as outlined in the Gambling White Paper released in April. The White Paper suggests extensive reforms, including enhanced protections for online gambling consumers, financial risk checks on customer accounts, and stake limits for online slot games.
The CMSC’s report emphasizes the urgency of addressing these issues and calls for a prompt response from the government within the next two months. The committee underscores the need for meticulous planning, resource allocation, and a clear roadmap to ensure the effective implementation of the proposed reforms, safeguarding the interests of both consumers and the gambling industry.