Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has recently revealed that with the help of his advisors, he will be overseeing the long-awaited review of the country’s gambling laws. According to sources close to the Prime Minister and his advisors, they are already adjusting the plans for the review of the Gambling Act of 2005.
Keeping Campaign Promises
One of the things that the Conservative Party promised prior to the elections was that it would reform the existing gambling industry frameworks. The Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings, and Munira Mirza have taken a personal interest in the reforms perhaps as part of their moves to fulfill the party’s promises. The Gambling Act of 2005 is largely considered to be outdated. As such, the reforms are primarily geared towards replacing it with a new piece of legislation.
Mr. Johnson’s interest in the gambling law has been out in the open for quite a while. He has previously acknowledged that existing gambling rules are not really suitable for the current saying that it is essentially “an analog law in a digital age.”
Some Sweeping Changes
Needless to say, in order to make the Gambling Act of 2005 relevant to the current gambling environment, some significant changes will need to be made. There are some speculations that some forms of gambling-related advertising especially in sports will be a big part of the reforms.
To assist with the process, a group of peers within the House of Lords will review the industry and issue their recommendations to the government. Known as the Peers of for Gambling Reform (PGR), the task force will be chaired by Lord Foster of Bath with Lord Smith of Hindhead (Conservative MP), Baroness Hilary Armstrong (Labour, former MP for North West Durham), Lord Butler (former Cabinet Secretary for Margaret Thatcher), and the Bishop of St Albans acting as the vice-chairs.
Some of the things that the peers will be looking into include:
- Classification of all new gambling products and services.
- Reforms to casino VIP programs.
- A treatment system for gambling-related harm and addiction.
- Ban on direct marketing of gambling products in sports.
- Possible ban on sports sponsorship.
- Possible enforcement of a ‘duty of care’ framework for gambling operators.
- Creation of a gambling Ombudsman.
- Regulation of loot boxes in video games.
Most of these require urgent implementation considering how vital they are to the modern gambling atmosphere in the United Kingdom. It is finally time for action and it is going to be very interesting to see how it all turns out.