UK: Major review of gambling laws announced

UK: Major review of gambling laws announced

A major review of UK gambling laws has been announced alongside an increase in the minimum age for playing the National Lottery from 16 to 18.

The review of the Gambling Act 2005 will look at online restrictions including stake and spend limits, advertising and promotional offers, and the powers of the Gambling Commission.

Announcing the movement, the government said it “recognises the need to balance the enjoyment people get from gambling with the right regulatory framework and protections”.

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Whilst millions gamble responsibly, the Gambling Act is an analogue law in a digital age. From an era of having a flutter in a high street bookmaker, casino, racecourse or seaside pier, the industry has evolved at breakneck speed.

“This comprehensive review will ensure we are tackling problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people. It will also help those who enjoy placing a bet to do so safely.

“This builds upon our clear track record of introducing tough measures to protect people from the risk of gambling harm - banning the use of credit cards, launching tighter age verification checks and cutting the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals.”

The increase in the minimum age for the National Lottery will take effect from October 2021 “at the latest”.

Nigel Huddleston, minister for sport, tourism and heritage, said: “We’re committed to protecting young people from gambling related harm which is why we are raising the minimum age for the National Lottery. Patterns of play have changed since its inception, with a shift towards online games, and this change will help make sure the National Lottery, although already low-risk, is not a gateway to problem gambling.”

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