UK government releases white paper proposing major gambling reform
The UK government has released a white paper proposing major reforms to the country's gambling industry
The UK government has published a white paper outlining a set of proposals to reform gambling laws, with a particular focus on online gambling. The white paper includes several measures to improve consumer protection, such as a mandatory limit on the amount that can be deposited in online gambling accounts, a requirement for operators to conduct affordability checks before allowing customers to gamble, and the establishment of a gambling ombudsman to handle customer complaints.
Other proposed measures include a new Gambling Act that would give the UK Gambling Commission greater powers to regulate the industry, including the ability to levy fines on operators that fail to meet their obligations, and a requirement for operators to demonstrate that they are meeting certain standards in areas such as customer protection and social responsibility.
The white paper also proposes banning VIP schemes, which offer high-value customers perks and incentives, and introducing stricter rules on the use of credit cards for gambling. The government has stated that it will work closely with the industry to develop and implement the proposed reforms.
The publication of the white paper follows a review of the UK's gambling laws that was launched in 2019. The review was prompted by concerns over the impact of online gambling on vulnerable people, and found that the existing regulatory framework was not fit for purpose in the digital age.
The proposed reforms have been welcomed by campaigners and charities, who have called for stronger measures to protect consumers from harm. However, some in the industry have expressed concerns that the proposed changes could have a negative impact on the sector, particularly smaller operators.
The government has stated that it is committed to ensuring that the UK has "one of the safest gambling environments in the world", and that the proposed reforms are necessary to achieve this goal. It is expected that the new Gambling Act will be introduced in the coming months, following a period of consultation with stakeholders.