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On April 27, the UK government published “High stakes: gambling reform for the digital age”, its long-awaited plan for the most comprehensive update of the regulatory framework for the industry since the Gambling Act in 2005. The white paper aims to address concerns about the dangers of online and virtual gambling, which enable punters to place a bet anywhere at any time of the day or night, while allowing millions of people to continue to play safely.
The government’s proposals, which follows a wide-ranging industry review launched in 2020, include a new levy on betting firms to fund treatment for addiction and research, stake limits for online slot games, and tougher powers for the Gambling Commission to regulate companies. However, while the industry and stakeholders welcomed the policy paper as a major step towards bringing British gambling regulations up to date for the digital age, some voiced frustration that key proposals will be subject to further consultation, while others voiced disappointment at the lack of action to restrict advertising.
This Dods Political Intelligence report provides a one-stop guide to the gambling white paper, including an overview of its key proposals and next steps, and a compilation of reactions from politicians, industry figures, and stakeholders with links to original sources. It concludes with a list of parliamentarians that have shown an interest in gambling, from government policymakers to MPs concerned about gambling harms, and lawmakers who have declared gifts from the industry during the current parliament.