Peers for Gambling Reform

The Peers for Gambling Reform is a newly launched group in the House of Lords that is looking to create major gambling reforms in the casino sector. In response, the Betting and Gaming Council has said that it is looking forward to working with the group and the rest of the government on this new gambling review set to be launched and its aim to set high industry standards.

What is the Peers for Gambling Reform?

Peers for Gambling Reform is a recently launched group that includes Lord Foster of Bath, a Liberal Democrat and chair of the group, the Bishop of St Albans, Lord Butler who is crossbench, Baroness Armstrong from Labour and Lord Smith of Hindhead who is Conservative.

This new group is set to work in parliament to help promote the recommendations tabled by the Lords Select Committee on Gambling. They want early and necessary action to be taken on gambling regulations that they feel are necessary.

Some of the recommendations they are making include affordability checks, a ban on direct marketing, no more sports sponsorships, restrictions on game design including the stake limits and speed of play, a reform of VIP schemes and gambling regulations for loot boxes.

Response from the Betting and Gaming Council

The Betting and Gaming Council CEO, Michael  Dugher, has responded to Peers for Gambling Reform stating that they are committed to getting big changes in this regulated industry, but that it is important to also remember that the vast majority of gamblers do so responsibly. Over 30 million adults across the UK enjoy the occasional gamble every year. This can be on a variety of different gambling activities including bingo, sports, casino, gaming and the lottery.

He also acknowledged that just one problem gambler was one too many and that is why the group is looking to work with and support the Peers for Gambling Reform group. He noted that the Betting and Gaming Council have also welcomed reports earlier this year into the social and economic impact of the gambling industry. It was highlighted that the Betting and Gaming Council have introduced lots of fantastic new measures to help with problem gambling such as deposit limits, VIP scheme restrictions, increased funding into research, education and treatment of problem gambling and cooling off periods on gambling machines.

Other measures that have been introduced this year include the removal of all television and radio ads at the start of lockdown, agreeing to a 20% minimum of ads having safer gambling messages and a ban on television betting ads during live sporting events. The latter of which has resulted in a 97% drop in young people seeing these ads. Under 18s will also no longer be able to see any betting adverts from October 1st.

Despite this, the BGC has stated that it is looking forward to working with the government on further reviews.

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