UK Gambling Industry Concerns over Proposals after Labour Win

Following the dramatic win by the Labour Party in the United Kingdom (UK) elections held last week, members of the betting industry in the region are trying to assess the impact a change of government will have on the ongoing changes proposed to the Gambling Act.

Gambling Industry stakeholders expect continuity from the new UK Government.

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Labour has now formed a new government in the UK with a majority of over 400. There is a feeling from UK gambling industry stakeholders that changes to the Gambling Act have been delayed because of the recent election.

Some of the trade bodies representing gambling companies in the UK express that they have been in contact with the Labour Party for a while and have been treating the party as if it were a government in waiting for some time. However, some of the gambling community believe the new government can be expected to take a tougher line with gambling companies over the introduction of new legislation.

There were some politicians in the last government who were seen as pro-racing and supportive of the role the betting industry plays in the community in the UK. Due to Labour's resounding success many of those politicians are no longer Members of Parliament (MPs), which means stakeholders in the betting industry must find new allies in the parliament who are sympathetic to the interests of the racing, casino, and betting communities.

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Extent of Changes Remain Unknown

While Labour was in opposition Stephanie Peacock was the shadow minister for media, gambling, and sport. However, it is still unclear whether she will retain this role in the new government, as well as the make of the rest of that department. The Labour Party was keen to point out that their main priority in any new legislation on gambling would be the promotion of Responsible Gaming.

The issue of Affordability Checks has also not been clarified and is perhaps the most contentious change to current gambling legislation. The gambling industry does not want intrusive checks on customers as they believe this will have an adverse effect on the industry. Stakeholders in the gaming industry would like the new UK government to give some indication of the new legal guidelines.

The BGC and our members remain committed to working with Labour to implement the evidence-based, proportionate regulatory changes outlined in the white paper, ensuring those measures get the balance right between protecting the vulnerable while allowing the vast majority of punters who enjoying betting responsibly to continue doing so without unnecessary intrusion.

Michael DugherChair of the Betting and Gaming Council


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