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UK Minister Gives Speech on Comprehensive Gambling Reforms

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In a speech to the Gambling with Lives Parliamentary Forum, the UK Gambling Minister, Stuart Andrew, has outlined how he believes the review of the White Paper on the changes to the Gambling Act is trying to strike a fine balance between much-needed changes to gaming legisla-tion and those who predict dire consequences for the iGaming industry.

Andrew said that during the four-month consultation period, the government had received over 16,000 submissions from gaming industry stakeholders, with the UK government committed to helping those at risk from gambling-related harm. He said the consultation addressed many issues in the gambling industry including online slots, affordability checks, and looking at restrictions on advertising.

The minister also gave some details of the proposed support services and treatment the UK Government is hoping to implement in the amended Gambling Act.

last year we published our gambling white paper, the most comprehensive review of gambling laws in 15 years. Across a 16-week call for evidence, 16000 submissions, navigating the long road to publication, and now moving quickly to implement our measures, the government’s commitment to strengthening protections against gambling-related harm is the clearest it’s ever been. I recognize that some wanted us to go further in certain areas, and indeed others wanted us to be less restrictive.

Stuart AndrewUK Gambling Minister

Planned Support Services and Treatment Centres

One of the main features of the proposals is the introduction of a statutory levy that will be used to fund projects and services for vulnerable gamblers.

The UK government has already put in place many treatment centers throughout the UK and says it has already completed 13 of the 15 NHS treatment clinics for vulnerable gamblers it promised to deliver as part of the proposed gambling reforms.

Of course, not all those experiencing harm need specialist treatment and the majority of those seeking support do so outside the NHS. The levy will allow the development of an integrated and comprehensive treatment system across Great Britain in the coming years to improve referral pathways between NHS and the third sector-provided services.

Stuart AndrewUK Gambling Minister

Prevention of Gambling Related Harm

The statutory levy will focus on providing funding for research, treatment, and prevention of customers experiencing problems while gambling. Andrew stated that the government would also highlight a strategy for the prevention of gambling addiction. This would include strategies such as raising awareness and reducing the stigma of gambling addiction.

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