UK To Tighten Gambling Laws For Smartphones
On Thursday, the British government will release long-awaited recommendations to combat compulsive gambling in an effort to update laws in light of the expansion of online and mobile gaming.
According to British media reports, the restrictions include preventing those under 25 from wagering more than £2 (RM11.12) each spin online and requiring gaming companies to closely examine the financial stability of players.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, Lucy Frazer, said on Twitter that she will be amending the regulations for the smartphone era to better protect people from harm associated with gambling.
According to Frazer, the white paper would assist “redress the power imbalance between punters and operators,” according to a Times newspaper report.
“There are blindspots in the system that are being exploited, keeping addicts addicted and disproportionately impacting some of our communities who are least able to afford it,” she said.
The much-delayed white paper will also outline strategies for enacting a tax on betting companies to pay for assistance for problem gamblers, according to the Sun tabloid.
The 14 billion pound business would undergo its most significant reform since the 2005 Gambling Act with these modifications. Since then, habits have drastically changed due to the exponential growth of internet betting and the widespread usage of cell phones.
The Covid-19 lockdowns accelerated that trend, with gambling companies like Entain, owner of the Ladbrokes and Coral brands, and Flutter Entertainment, a Dublin-based business that operates Paddy Power and Betfair, reporting huge increases in profits.
Gambling regulation, according to the opposition Labour Party, has not kept up.
“The government’s gambling policy has been beset by chaos, infighting, and delay,” Labour’s culture spokesperson Lucy Powell said. “We need to update analogue gambling regulation so it is fit for the digital age.”
In the year leading up to December 2022, the Gambling Commission—which oversees the British market—estimated the total headline problem gambling rate at 0.2%. It is higher, according to charities.
The Premier League announced earlier this month that all of its teams have decided to ban advertising gambling on the front of soccer uniforms as of the 2026–27 campaign.