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Government Publish White Paper on gambling regulation reform

The long-awaited White Paper proposes extensive changes to gambling regulation in Great Britain, with updates for the digital age

“The Government has today published the long awaited White Paper outlining extensive proposals on changes to gambling regulation in Great Britain.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport published its call for evidence in December 2020 and it has been a long journey since then, with changes at the helm of government, multiple gambling ministers, and changes at the head of the Gambling Commission, but finally here we are – the White Paper has been published.

The headline proposals;

  • Consultation to follow on limiting under 25’s to a maximum bet on online slot machines of £2, £4 or an approach based on individual risk
  • Adults aged 25 and over limited to stakes for online gaming machine slots of between £2 and £15 per spin
  • Proposed mandatory levy on gambling operators to fund research, education and treatment of at risk and problem gamblers
  • Consultation on enhanced spending checks, often referred to as affordability, including requirements for proposed thresholds checks at £1,000 net loss within 24 hours or £2,000 within 90 days
  • Introduction of a non-statutory ombudsman
  • Changes to the permitted numbers of gaming machines within arcade and bingo licensed venues, with a relaxation to the 80/20% rule and introduction of a 50/50% rule
  • Proposals to permit casinos to offer credit to non-UK residents
  • Changes to the gaming machine allocations to grandfather/1968 Act casino licensed venues, increasing the numbers of category B machines permitted
  • Proposals for sports betting in casinos
  • Greater powers for local authorities to regulate gambling premises, with an increase in fees and consultation on the introduction of legislation to introduce a formal system of cumulative impact assessments (CIAs)
  • Government commitment to work with the Gambling Commission to develop specific consultation options for cashless payments, including the player protections that would be required
  • Trials of linked gaming machines in venues other than casinos
  • Review Gambling Commission fees during 2024

The proposals will be subject to further consultation, either by Government, where the amendment is by secondary legislation, or by the Gambling Commission where the changes can be affected through the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice. Some proposals require changes to primary legislation, such as the introduction of CIAs by local authorities and will therefore be subject to parliamentary time.

The White Paper can be found here

It’s worth also noting topics not in the White Paper – there is no blanket ban on advertising gambling or on VIP schemes

Further detailed articles on the proposals will follow. Trade turns to Poppleston Allen for comment, read now.

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