Gambling operators in the United Kingdom are waiting patiently as the government formally started its long awaited review of the Gambling Act 2005.
This Tuesday, the DCMS – also known as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport –publicized the official presentation of “a major and wide-ranging review of gambling laws to ensure they are fit for the digital age, as committed to in the [Conservative party’s 2019 general election] manifesto.”
Also, the agency issued a call for evidence that’ll run for the next few months until the 31st of March, 2021. What will be discussed are spend limits and online stake, as the government is expected to make a press release for a limit on online slots that reflects the £2 max stake enacted on fixed-odds gambling terminals in gaming shops back in April 2019.
In addition, they’ll be talking about the betting age limits and the imminent parameters of gambling advertising and promotional offers. Most certainly, the former will include sports sponsorship which has shown to be a dependable target for the media suspects of the UK.
Even though football fans are now showing lethargy at the placement of gambling logos on their favourite team shirts which has now become commonplace.
That’s not all, the review will the role and powers of the UK Gambling Commission. The UKGC has become more or less like a parliamentary whipping boy, as some have MPs made denigrating the regulator a routine calling it “unfit for purpose” and way too peaceful with the operators under its purview.
Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, Nigel Huddleston, said on Tuesday that the aim was to make sure the UKGC “can keep pace with the licensed sector and tackle the black market.” DCMS secretary Oliver Dowden added that the industry “has evolved at breakneck speed,” making the Gambling Act 2005 “an analogue law in a digital age.”
Already, one change has been decided and it is increasing the minimum age for playing the National Lottery. The age was raised from 16 years which is what it’s set currently to 18.
According to the DCMS, the change will start from October 2021, even though the plan is for online sales. Recently, it hit a new record as the pandemic raged on which caused a lockdown of retail sales– to be limited to those above the age of 18 from April.
However, the government offered slight hope that they aren’t after the gambling sector, as they noted that the goal was to “ensure customer protection is at the heart of the regulations, while giving those that gamble safely the freedom to do so.”