This briefing is a response to the Government’s deregulation of Britain’s gambling industry. The Gambling Bill 2005 is unprecedented in both its scope and aim of encouraging and facilitating gambling. Yet the evidence overwhelmingly shows the Bill will lead to a massive increase in problem gambling.
More than 160 MPs and peers have called on the Government to introduce new gambling reforms.
Writing in The Telegraph, signatories including Iain Duncan Smith and Carolyn Harris petitioned the Government to deliver on its 2019 manifesto commitments on the matter “to deliver social justice and a better future for all”.
Their letter also highlighted that more than 55,000 children aged 11 to 16 were now addicted to gambling.
The Government is preparing to present its White Paper on the issue in the New Year.
Proposals backed by all-party parliamentary groups and MPs include limiting online bets to a maximum of £2, banning ‘VIP’ gambling services and restricting advertising by banning logos on football shirts.
The plans could see the largest changes to the running of the industry since 2005.
Earlier this year, a new study found that e-sports gambling advertising was having a significant impact on children and young people.
The University of Bristol revealed that, of 432 children and young people polled, the vast majority of gambling adverts shown to them prompted positive responses.
The study also discovered that children and young people faced frequent exposure to advertising, with 45 per cent of children and 72 per cent of young people seeing gambling ads on Twitter every week.
Co-lead investigator Dr Raffaello Rossi said: “The overwhelming strong appeal of gambling advertising on social media to children is of huge concern, as it is known the earlier people start gambling the more likely it will become habitual and problematic.”