An act of Parliament of the UK, the Gambling Act 2005 is designed to regulate all forms of gambling. Its laws apply to England and Wales, but Scotland is encompassed as well. Thanks to this document, the Gambling Commission of GB, the local regulator, was established.
Having in mind that the advancement of technology has brought numerous changes, particularly in the field of the iGaming industry, it’s high time for some adjustments. For that reason, the UK government made the decision to review the act, aiming to make it “fit for the digital age”.
The announcement was made on December 8, with the Call of Evidence as a part of the revision. As determined, the deadline is the end of March 2021.
Why are the Adjustments Much-Needed?
One of the main reasons why the Act needs to be inspected is the fact that now all the laws and regulations are in line with digital time. This is not the first time it’s compatibility is questioned. In 2011 there were suggestion to put it under revision.
At the time it was passed…
… there weren’t so many online casinos, and nowadays, their number is increasing at the speed of light. With the fast-paced development of web-based entertainment, some new questions arose.
Aside from providing players a more immersive experience, and a better assortment of games and features, technology can be used to enhance protection. That’s one of the biggest challenges of today’s day and age.
But, there’s more.
Even though the Gambling Commission of GB holds the reputation of one of the most stringent regulators, still a significant number of people are still experiencing gambling-related harm. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate whether the current regulatory framework is effective.
How Do the Figures Look Like?
As far as figures from 2019 show, 47% of adults surveyed had taken part in at least one form of gambling. The industry alone considerably contributes to the economy of 100,000 people, paying approximately £3bn per year to the government in taxes.
… approximately 0.5% of the adult population are classified as problem gamblers. Also, 1.4 million adults are low-risk gamers. They are not likely to be experiencing harm, but they do exhibit some forms of such behavior- chasing losses, for example.
But what comes as the biggest shock is that- there are roughly 55,000 children labelled as problem gamblers.
Significant Progress is Made
Wanting to adjust gradually and reduce the potential harm, the Commission has already taken a number of measures. This is a brief recap of the most significant ones:
- Credit cards are banned for gambling - this came into effect on April 14, 2020
- The new set of rules is established for VIP customers, aiming to reduce malpractice
- The minimum age for sale of National Lottery games is increased to 18 (this comes into effect in 2021)
In addition to this, new measures and guidelines for advertising are continuously being brought. Their main aim is not only to protect vulnerable groups but to boost transparency. It’s not a rare case that an operator who breaches those gets penalized.
Although there’s plenty of positive changes…
…a lot has to be done in the future days. That’s precisely what the Call for Evidence serves for. It is a unique opportunity to draw together the facts on gambling in GB, compare them with insights from other jurisdictions, and come up with the best possible regulatory framework.
What are your two cents on gambling laws in Great Britain? Do you think they are fit for modern times?
Share your thoughts and impressions with us in the comments section below!
“Review of the Gambling Act 2005 Terms of Reference and Call for Evidence”, gov.uk, December 8, 2020.