UK Parliament Considers Tighter Gambling Advertisement Regulations

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A recent debate in the UK parliament saw gambling minister Stuart Andrew suggest that stricter restrictions on gambling advertising may be introduced if the current rules do not help reduce gambling-related harms.

Andrew was responding to MPs’ concerns regarding the current regulations amid speculation that they are too lenient. He highlighted steps currently being taken, such as the introduction of a front-of-shirt ban and a cross-sport code of conduct for sponsorship.

Further Research Needed

At the same time, Andrew did acknowledge that more research is needed to fully understand how advertising affects gambling behavior. He highlighted the planned statutory levy that will go towards funding projects that assess the influence of adverts on gambling habits as a step in the right direction.

Members of the opposition responded to Andrew with Labour’s shadow gambling minister, Stephanie Peacock, calling on the government to speed up the publication of its code of conduct, which is a core part of the gambling White Paper published in April of last year. She argued that the current measures are too lax and called for extensive reforms to help protect those at risk from gambling harm.

Similarly, Iain Duncan-Smith, the former Tory leader, called for tougher gaming regulations. He pointed out that there is extensive gambling advertising in the UK, particularly in relation to sports, and said that more measures are needed to address the issue.

Government Committed to Evidence Led Decision Making

Andrew responded by saying that the government’s decisions will be based upon evidence and that the regulations will be reconsidered based upon any new findings. However, as public pressure grows in the UK, the government is facing increasing calls to tighten up the regulations in order to better protect at-risk individuals.

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