Carolyn Harris, The APPG’s (All-Party Parliamentary Group) chair for Gambling Related Harm, has urged government to reform the existing Gambling Act 2005.
The Gambling Act which was last updated in 2005 creates a strong outline of regulatory requirements for casino and gambling operators in the UK.
However, with increased demand and accessibility online, many charities, bodies and now parliamentary groups believe it is time for further changes, according to the latest news from NewCasinoStar.co.uk. Above all, this is to help and protect the most vulnerable in the society and those suffering from gambling addictions.
From the charity’s perspective, they mention that gambling addiction affects not only the individual but their families and friends too.
On the 9th January, Carolyn Harris brought to attention the gambling industry’s relationship to the FA (English Football Association), criticising deals between the two and urging for more to be done by the UK government.
Harris stated: “Everything about the deal is shameful, everything about it needs to be dealt with and everything about the Gambling Act 2005 need reform. The Gambling Commission certainly needs reform.”
Harris further commented “I thank the Prime Minister for his comments, but I urge the Government to do more to protect vulnerable people.”
The MP’s call for reform within the gambling sector was first made last November, which successfully resulted in fixed-odd slot machines found in high street bookmakers being capped to £2 per bet.
The change in fixed-odd betting machines had huge repercussions and forced Ladbrokes and William Hill to lay off over 100 staff across the country. There are no limitations on slot machines and other types of machines found online on the likes of 888 or Kassu.
Harris also criticise the FA for making a deal with sports media company IMG which has seen online gambling operators being able to stream FA cup games only once they had deposited or made a bet. The deal is currently set to run until 2024.
Nigel Adams (Minister for Sport, Media and Creative Industries), responded to Harris’s comments, stating that “The Government are also very unhappy about this arrangement, especially after a weekend when the FA worthily highlighted its ‘Heads Together’ mental health campaign.”
Adams further commented that the FA have been asked to review the deal “to see what opportunities there are to rescind this particular element”, and that he is meeting with the FA in the next week.
In addition to streaming FA cup games, many detractors have raised issues with the close relationship between football and gambling, with half of the clubs in the Premier League having sponsors in the gambling industry and 17 out of 24 in the Championship.