The Parliamentary All Party Betting & Gaming Group (APBGG) has begun a review of the 2005 UK Gambling Act to decide what improvements may be necessary to ensure that the regulations are applicable to the technological and social changes since they were drawn up.
The APBGG will gather written evidence from all interested stakeholders and host a series of meetings with experts from all fields of the sector and organisations that support them. This is intended to prepare the ground for the forthcoming review of the legislation by the government.
As a result of the novel coronavirus(Covid-19) outbreak, the review will take place online due to current lockdown measures in the UK, with stakeholders invited to participate in a survey and to submit written submissions on the APBGG website.
A panel of APBGG members will be interviewing key witnesses on four topics for an initial four webinar sessions: a public health approach to gaming; gambling relationship with football; gambling marketing; and whether the 2005 law is appropriate for purpose.
The APBGG said it is in the process of deciding dates and speakers and that if the initial four sessions prove successful it could host more webinars. Results from the study will be sent to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) as part of its own planned reform of the Act.
The Conservative Party has pledged to launch a review of the Act in its 2019 General Election manifesto. Despite being voted into power in December of last year, however, these proposals have yet to make any progress. The APBGG said it intends to complete this winter’s review and report.
The announcement comes after yesterday’s DCMS letter to leading online gambling operators demanding regular updates on the behaviour patterns of players during the coronavirus pandemic. GCV, Bet365, Flutter, William Hill and Sky Betting, along with the Betting and Gaming Council, have been asked to provide internal information about players ‘ online gambling habits under lockdown.
Operators have already committed to supporting safer promotional gambling messaging and signposting connexions to programmes such as GamCare and its National Gambling Helpline, as well as tracking customer behaviour and responding quickly to time and spending increases.