A review of the UK’s Gambling Act 2005 has now been launched by the APBGG, the Parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group.
The group will aim to establish exactly what law changes are needed to ensure that legislation within the industry remains relevant, given that new social and technical developments have emerged since the last Act more than 15 years ago.
The APBGG will take into account written evidence from various stakeholders within the gambling and betting industry, and will hold a number of meetings with various experts and associated organisations with the aim of paving the way for an upcoming government review of current legislation.
Review Moves Online Due to Social Distancing Protocols
The group, along with everyone else currently, have been affected in their efforts by the COVID-19 outbreak and as such will conduct their review online. Stakeholders will be invited to complete surveys and submit written submissions via the APBGG website.
Initially four webinar sessions will be organised consisting of a panel of APBGG members who will be able to question key witnesses on four topics; the public health approach to gambling, the industry’s relationship with football, marketing within the industry and whether the 2005 act is now fit for purpose.
Currently the group is busy setting up dates and agreeing on relevant speakers, though it has also said it could host further webinars should the original sessions prove to be a success.
Any findings from the online review will be published and sent to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to contribute to the government department’s own review of the Gambling Act.
Gambling Act Review Planned During Tory Election Campaign
This review was promised during the Conservative party’s 2019 election manifesto. Despite having won that election however, the Tory’s as yet have made no progress with now the APBGG aiming to complete their review by this coming winter.
While the conservatives alone have done precious little on the matter given the prominence of first Brexit negotiations and now the management of the coronavirus, the All-Party Betting and Gaming Group has stepped in with their co-chair Philip Davies moving to tell the public that any review of the current Act needs to be based on evidence.
Davies has said that the purpose of the upcoming online sessions is to help to inform the government of any changes needed, the group promising to listed along the way to legitimate concerns that people may have surrounding gambling.
The co-chair also said that he was determined to listed to a wide range of views from within the industry and make strictly evidence-based recommendations for change.
Government Department Concerned During Pandemic
The government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have already written to various online gambling firms asking for regular updates regarding player behaviour patterns during the COVID-19 outbreak and it’s associated ‘lockdown’ protocols.
Major players bet365, William Hill, Flutter Entertainment, GVC, the Stars Group and industry trade body the Betting and Gaming Council have all been asked for feedback.
Amid criticism from the Gambling Related Harm Group for simply rehashing existing commitments, operators have already committed to linking to GamCare and the National Gambling Helpline within their adverts but clearly more is expected of Britain’s major gambling companies in the weeks and months ahead.