All three major UK-wide political parties have now published their manifestos in advance of the 12 December 2019 General Election.
Come what may, change to gambling regulation in the UK is clearly on the cards. It is to be hoped that all sectors of the industry will approach this opportunity for change in a more united manner than has been the case in the past, including notably in the period prior to enactment of the Gambling Act 2005. It is also to be hoped that it will do so constructively on the front foot rather than attempting to argue defensively for maintenance of the status quo – an argument it will not win in the current political climate.
Below – set out word for word – are the gambling-related proposals set out in each party’s manifesto:
We will continue to take action to tackle gambling addiction …. Also, given how the online world is moving, the Gambling Act is increasingly becoming an analogue law in a digital age. We will review it, with a particular focus on tackling issues around loot boxes and credit card misuse.
A Labour government will curb gambling advertising in sports and introduce a new Gambling Act fit for the digital age, establishing gambling limits, a levy for problem gambling funding and mechanisms for consumer compensations.
There are 340,000 problem gamblers in the UK including some 55,000 children aged 11 to 16. The Liberal Democrats will introduce further measures to protect individuals, their families and communities from problem gambling. We will:
- Introduce a compulsory levy on gambling companies to fund research, education and treatment of problem gambling.
- Ban the use of credit cards for gambling.
- Restrict gambling advertising.
- Establish a Gambling Ombudsman.
Having led the campaign against Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, the SNP will continue to tackle problem gambling, pushing the UK Government to treat it as a public health matter and tackle it with a joined-up strategy. We will press for greater devolution of gambling regulation to the Scottish Parliament and press the UK Government to stop underage gambling on video games. We will support changes to charity lottery law to reduce bureaucracy and maximise returns to good causes and we will support a full public health inquiry into gambling related harm.