The UK government’s call for evidence in its review of the 2005 Gambling Act took place between December 2020 and 31 March 2021. The review is intended to modernize a law created 15 years ago and make it more suitable for the digital age.
With all the technological advancements in recent years, the Act, written at a time when betting shops were still the primary gambling venue, simply doesn’t offer the necessary amount of consumer protection to punters who have moved to online betting sites.
The review began shortly after several new regulations were put into place, such as the reduction of the maximum stake offered on gaming machines from £100 to £2 per spin, the tightening of rules regarding age verification checks, and the ban on using credit cards for gambling activity.
The government’s policy paper states that one of its objectives is to “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.” However, there is growing concern that the long list of new measures may be forcing players onto unregulated websites that offer little to no protection to its visitors.
It’s no secret that gambling is a highly lucrative industry that brings in revenue to both the gambling operators and the Exchequer, which should prevent the government from enacting overly stifling rules. After all, slots, poker games, and similar activities are legitimate pastimes for many UK citizens.
Rarely is there a place for extremes in life, and much like excessive gambling has its consequences, placing too many restrictions on the gambling world can have its own negative impact.