January 18, 2021 3 min read


UKGC’s Proposed Gambling Law Reform Faces Controversy

UKGC’s proposed amendment of Great Britain’s Gambling Law faces controversy, as it would be a “significant invasion of personal freedom,” critics say.

“Invasion of Personal Freedom”

The focus of the British lawmakers to reform Great Britain’s gaming laws faces controversy in the country, opened to debate by an anonymous letter recently sent to the British Parliament’s MPs. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) aims to amend the current outdated laws to bring the Gambling Law into the present.

The changes suggested by UKGC are a “significant invasion of personal freedom,” the letter says. Lawmakers want more control over the horseracing industry and its media rights revenues. This would lead to a domino effect expected to result in $82 million in losses, according to the estimations of industry experts and bettors.

Race Betting and iGaming Should Be Separated, Letter Says

The letter demands lawmakers pressure UKGC into reassessing the proposed changes while keeping in line with the government’s expectations for the Gambling Law.

iGaming and race betting should be set apart and follow different regulations, the authors of the letter added. They claim that race betting requires more skill and that it leads to less gambling-related issues, such as addiction.

According to the letter, the horse racing sector in the UK has been “fair [and] safe” and “stood the test of time”.

Individual rights could also be affected, it said:

“[The proposed changes] would be disproportionate to the small number of people who suffer damage from gambling in races, in addition to being a very significant invasion of personal freedom in the free society in which we live.”

Letter sent anonymously to MPs of the British Parliament

As the betting and gambling industries try to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, “a hasty intervention like this would also significantly delay the recovery,” critics declared.

UKGC’s Radical Approach to Tackle Problem Gambling

The Gaming Commission maintains that British gambling laws must be changed, for the most part, insisting that many operators do not align with UKGC standards, and do not take a strong stance against problem gambling.

UKGC announced in November it is open to discussing ideas with gambling businesses, players, investors, and people with experience in the industry, “to strike the right balance between allowing consumer freedom and ensuring that there are protections in place to prevent gambling that would have an adverse financial and health impact on consumers.”

“We are particularly keen to hear directly from consumers during the consultation period on how operators should be required to identify vulnerability, and gambling which is unaffordable, and the circumstances where it is appropriate to take action on behalf of a consumer,” UKGC added.


Mathilde has been writing for over 5 years, with 2 of those years as a specialist in the iGaming industry covering headlines across the world. With her honed research and reporting expertise, Mathilde has solidified her position as a regular author for GamblingNews. Outside of work, she enjoys studying sculpture which is one of her other strong passions.

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