The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to Probe Into Government’s White Paper on Gambling Reform

The All-party Parliamentary Group (APPG) focused on gambling-associated risks has revealed its plans to probe into the UK Government’s Gambling White Paper. The primary aim of this investigation will be to determine if the Government possesses the necessary insights and capacities to promptly enforce requisite actions.

APPG Supports New Legislation

The APPG confirmed that their inquiry will evaluate the strategies presented by the Government within its Gambling White Paper, while also proposing suggestions for legislators. In addition to this, the APPG strive to maintain Government accountability for executing the anticipated reforms promptly. The group is also committed to ensuring that UK legislators give due importance to their pledges to realise the proposed changes and that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the country’s gambling authority, is endowed with the necessary powers for supervising the enforcement of these strategies.The APPG has voiced its support for the proposal to modernise UK gambling regulations to suit the digital era, lauding the Government’s commitment to key aspects of gambling regulation.Upon announcing its inquiry, the APPG commended the demand for gambling enterprises to dedicate more resources, including time and money, towards customer protection. This is especially relevant for safeguarding at-risk and underage patrons from harm by restricting their access to so-called Category D machines. The group also appreciated the Gambling Commission’s pledge to discuss a mandated involvement in a system for preventing gambling-related harm, implemented by many operators, and the proposed dialogues concerning the planned modification of some online gambling product design rules.

Further Restrictions Needed

The APPG approved several White Paper measures, including mandatory deposit limits, stake limits, a reassessment of free bets and bonuses, and the proposed initiation of a compulsory levy. They also supported the proposition of granting the country’s gambling regulator greater control over the sector. However, the group suggested that the Government should consider the enforcement of further advertising restrictions to shield vulnerable UK populations from potential gambling-related risks.Carolyn Harris MP, the chair of the APPG, expressed her appreciation for many of the suggestions on behalf of her team, while also applauding local legislators for their efforts. However, she highlighted the need for more work to be done.The inquiry seeks to provide the Government with additional evidence and analytical data resulting from the crucial consultation phase, which could potentially save lives. The MPPG stated that they will accept evidence and submissions as part of the inquiry until July 11th. Meanwhile, the group will persist in monitoring potential harm areas, including those incorporated into the Government’s sector review.In their announcement, the APPG on gambling harm restated the priorities voted by its members, such as the enforcement of more robust affordability checks, the execution of a “duty of care” to alleviate gambling-associated risks, the imposition of stake and play speed limits for online gambling services, modifications to high-roller schemes, and the regulation of loot boxes and in-game items available in video games.The members of APPG believe that new gambling products should undergo additional testing for potential harm, with their classification upgraded to ensure maximum consumer protection. They also advocate for the introduction of a statutory levy on the sector to provide additional funding for education, research, and treatment programmes related to problem gambling. The organization expressed its hope that the UK Government will ultimately suspend direct marketing and gambling sponsorship deals for sports and will implement a problem gambling treatment system led by the National Health Service (NHS).

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