Labour Party Deputy Leader Tom Watson has warned the UK betting industry to expect tougher sanctions alongside further market restrictions, should Labour win the next UK General Election (scheduled for 2022).
Speaking to the BBC, Tom Watson seeks to replicate the ‘whistle-to-whistle advertising ban’, introduced in Australia at the start of 2018, which prohibits all promotion of betting-related content during the broadcasts of live sporting events.
Watson states that Labour’s position is backed by UK healthcare research into problem-gambling which has identified ‘430,000 identified gambling addicts, of which 25,000 are under the age of 16’.
Should Labour win the next General Election, Watson details that the party would impose an obligatory 1% levy on operators gross-gambling-revenues (GGR) raising funds for problem-gambling treatment and prevention.
“Gambling companies have to take more responsibility for harm caused by their products and contribute more to research and treatment.”
In 2017, Watson had previously called for the introduction of a mandatory levy securing new funds for the NHS, whilst further criticising English Premier League football clubs for overexposing betting brands.
Leading party policy directives, Watson further details that Labour may seek to introduce an outright ban on credit card transactions with UK bookmakers, eradicating any betting through debt-financing.
UK betting stakeholders will be keeping a close eye on the Labour Party’s ‘Annual Conference’ (Liverpool 23-26 September) in which Tom Watson will unveil the party’s guiding regulatory mandate.