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The 2005 Gambling Act Will Be Reviewed, Regardless of the UK Election Outcome

- November 27, 2019 By Oliver Young -

Operators with a gambling license issued by the UK Gambling Commission are about to face restrictions, considering all parties want to review the 2005 Gambling Act.

Regardless of the outcome of the General Election, scheduled for the 12th of December, there will be changes in gambling legislation, since in their manifestos, all three major parties have outlined their initiatives for safer gambling in the UK.

All three major UK parties swear to review the 2005 Gambling Act, imposing tougher restrictions and preventing problem gambling.

All three major UK parties swear to review the 2005 Gambling Act, imposing tougher restrictions and preventing problem gambling.

The Conservative and Unionist Party Manifesto

Boris Johnson has presented the Conservative and Unionist Party Manifesto to the UK public, underlining his priorities regarding gambling after the elections. The Tories will get a majority in the House of Commons according to the polls, so his manifesto is the one that threatens the gambling industry the most.

In addition to their efforts for Brexit to be done, the Tories want to review the 2005 Gambling Act, making changes to what Johnson describes an analogue law in an advanced, digital age. The Tories stated that they will focus on issues around loot boxes and online gambling using credit cards. Johnson promised to legislate making the UK the safest place on the planet to be online. Considering the recent studies where children reported fear of becoming problem gamblers, where the Commissioner Longfield asked for the 2005 Gambling Act to be amended and loot boxes labelled as gambling, Johnson promised to prevent underage from getting access to harmful content from now on, protecting them from gambling harms.

The Tories also outlined that they will review the public consultation conducted by the UK Gambling Commission on whether credit card gambling ban should be introduced or not. The ban was proposed last year in addition to other gambling restrictions.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour Party have presented the public with similar anti-gambling manifestos. The Labour Party promised a complete overhaul of online gambling, and the Liberal Democrats a combo of restrictions and limits as weighed by the two other parties.

Manifestos by the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party

Liberal Democrats also want to ban gambling with credit cards, but also to further restrict gambling ads. They also want to introduce an independent ombudsman. Problem gambling has a sad and in times fatal impact on the lives of thousands of Brits, said Layla Morgan, stressing how heart-breaking it was seeing so many vulnerable people falling into debt even further as gambling becomes ever more consuming. She said the Liberal Democrats will take bold and decisive action to tackle land-based and online gambling, but most importantly problem gambling.

The Labour Party, on the other hand, went all-in, promising the most radical changes. The party intends to roll out stricter limits to gambling advertising during televised sports events. They also want to review football regulation and governance, focusing on club funding, treatment of supporters, community dynamics and ownership rules, reviewing the fit and proper person test for directors and club owners and ensuring supporters’ trusts. But they also want to introduce new gambling limits and impose a levy on gambling operators directly, which will from then on be used towards the funding of treatment and support of problem gambling.

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