Liberal Democrat Peer Wants ‘Out of Date’ Gambling Laws Changed

Liberal Democrat Peer Wants ‘Out of Date’ Gambling Laws ChangedThe Chairman of Peers for Gambling Reform (PGR) has attacked the UK government over their delays in reforming the gambling industry.

Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords (unelected of course), Lord Foster has accused the government of having “delayed and dithered” their plans to amend the 2005 Gambling Act
Last year saw the PGR set out what they believe is needed to be changed to the current Gambling Act. This included enforcing stake limits on online casino games that are considered high risk.

Customer affordability checks, a ban on sports sponsorship, classifying loot boxes as new gambling verticals and a mandatory RET funding levy have also been called for.

The main criticism Lord Foster has of the current legislation is that is it “simply out of date.” The former MP for Bath said: “It’s worth remembering that the legislation that provides the regulation around gambling was introduced before the first smartphone was invented.”

Since that innovation, everything has changed with players now able to gamble on their smartphones. Lord Foster added: “As many people have said, ‘it’s analogue legislation in a digital age’.
He believes that it is important that the reforms to the Gambling Act are made “as quickly as possible.” However, he may have noticed that the Government has a fair few pressing issues to deal with at present.

Government Review

This spring is due to see a White Paper being published. This will give more details on just what the government has planned after its long review.

The end of this month sees a debate in the House of Lords about the long-term independent funding of NHS gambling treatment services. Recently, the NHS announced that they would no longer accept any financial backing from the gambling industry. This prevents a conflict of interest and there had been patients with gambling problems who felt uncomfortable with the source of funding.

Gambling companies are naturally concerned about what may happen in the future. Problems are already beginning though with Flutter saying new safer gambling measures in the UK and Ireland have caused revenue problems last year. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation fell by 18% last year.

The chief executive of Flutter is Peter Jackson. He recently said that the second half of 2021 had seen the company face some “significant headwinds.” The past year has seen the company introduce affordability triple step and net deposit limits for customers who are aged under 25.

Jackson said that the improvements “continue to impact our near-term performance,” Flutter feel they are “the right steps to take for the long-term sustainability of our business.”