The white paper – Proposals to update UK gambling legislation

By Dan Iliovici, Vice-President ROMBET

In April 2023, the UK Government published a long-awaited document, the so-called White Paper, officially titled “High Stakes: gambling reform for the digital age”*1. The act appeared as a result of a necessary update of gambling legislation since 2005. I believe that this document can represent a source of inspiration for an equally necessary debate for the revision of gambling legislation in our country.

Over the course of several episodes, I will bring to the attention of all those involved in the field of gambling in our country (authorities, politicians, operators, players) the most important aspects of this document.

In december 2020, the UK government launched the Review of the Gambling Act 2005 with the publication of the Terms of Reference and Call for Evidence. The Review was set up to ensure our gambling laws are fit for the digital age and is the broadest examination of the regulatory framework for gambling since the 2005 Gambling Act. 2.

The Terms of Reference said that the government’s three objectives for the Act Review were to:

• ‘Examine whether changes are needed to the system of gambling regulation in Great Britain to reflect changes to the gambling landscape since 2005, particularly due to technological advances

• Ensure there is an appropriate balance between consumer freedoms and choice on the one hand, and prevention of harm to vulnerable groups and wider communities on the other

• Make sure customers are suitably protected whenever and wherever they are gambling, and that there is an equitable approach to the regulation of the online and the land-based industries’

This white paper sets out the government’s vision for the future of gambling regulation with a package of measures which meet the government’s objectives and reflect the latest evidence, including from our December 2020 to March 2021 call for evidence.

The white paper is structured around the six main themes in the call for evidence, followed by annexes on the estimated overall impact of our proposals and a summary of the submissions received to the call for evidence.

1. Online protections – players and products

2. Marketing and advertising

3. The Gambling Commission’s powers and resources

4. Dispute resolution and consumer redress

5. Children and young adults

6. Land-based gambling

(to be continued in the next edition)

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