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MPs call for major reform to gambling laws

16 June 2020
Row of betting machines casino 1c

An influential group of MPs and Peers have today called for radical reform to gambling laws to help protect people from gambling related harms.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group that focuses on gambling related issues published a new report which, among other suggestions, calls for all gambling advertising to be banned from TV and online.

This would include TV, live sports, and social media.

A £2 stake limit should also be imposed on online slot machines, VIP schemes should be banned, and prize limits and online deposits should be reviewed.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who leads the group alongside Tory MP and former party leader, Iain Duncan Smith and the SNP's Ronnie Cowan, said:

Gambling industry has des­troyed people’s lives’

Gambling 0
The betting industry has been accused of putting profits before people

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who leads the group alongside Tory MP and former party leader, Iain Duncan Smith and the SNP's Ronnie Cowan, said:

"This multimillion-pound industry has destroyed people’s lives. They have shown time and again that they will not effectively self-regulate. Urgent change is needed to stop this industry riding roughshod over people’s lives.”
Carolyn Harris MP and Ronnie Cowan MP Joint chair's of the APPG on Gambling Related Harms

The report comes ahead of an upcoming Government review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

If implemented, the recommendations would represent the largest overhaul of the gambling industry for more than a decade.

Last year, the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) was slashed from £100 to just £2 after years of campaigning by groups, including CARE.

CARE’s response

Gambling2 0
Nearly 2 million people are thought to be at risk from problem gambling

CARE’s Head of Communications, James Mildred said:

“The gambling industry has been allowed to grow beyond all recognition and it’s about time steps were taken to properly regulate betting firms.

“Time and again, gambling companies have proven that they cannot be trusted to put the needs of vulnerable people first.

“Self-regulation is very evidently failing and the result is a corresponding growth in gambling related harms.

“Even during a time of national crisis in the form of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been story after story about how it’s been the perfect storm for those with gambling addictions.

“The spotlight has been shone of the betting industry and it’s been found wanting.

“This new report from MPs is an excellent step forward and it makes some very reasonable and appropriate recommendations.

“The call for a total ban on gambling advertising both online and on TV is hugely welcome, not least because there’s been such a massive growth in gambling ads over the last decade and longer."

“Gambling related harms is a serious challenge and we would urge the Government to take this report seriously. While for some, gambling is harmless fun, for too many people, including children, it causes devastation and affects not only individuals, but families, friends and local communities.”
James Mildred Head of Communications

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While for some, gambling is just harmless fun, for a significant minority it causes genuine devastation. Our vision is to see laws passed that will help protect vulnerable problem gamblers.

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