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DCMS responses published on White Paper’s scope & remit 

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has published 91 individual ‘written evidence’ responses submitted to DCMS in relation to the conduct of the Gambling Review.

The responses were published on Tuesday, 21 March, providing diverse and conflicting opinions on the current state of UK gambling and its future regulatory approach. 

DCMS launched its ‘committee inquiry’ on 22 December, 2022, “to examine the regulation of gambling” and “investigate the progress the Government has made in addressing the issues raised by Parliament”.

Prior to proceedings, the UK government had concluded its review of the 2005 Gambling Act, which determined that concerns about online protections, advertising/sponsorship, age limits/verification, and consumer redress should be addressed by the pending White Paper.

Further priorities outlined by the Review included an evaluation of the UK Gambling Commission‘s (UKGC) ‘powers and resources’, and the recommendation to update ‘land-based gambling’ rules since 2005.

The terms of reference for the DCMS inquiry, which closed on February 10, requested feedback on the criteria of “what is the scale of gambling-related harm?” and “what should the key priorities be in the White Paper?”.

In addition, feedback was required on “how broadly should the term ‘gambling’ be defined?” and whether it is “possible for a regulator to stay abreast of innovation in the online sphere?”.

The inquiry’s final remit related to “what additional problems arise when online gambling companies are based outside of UK jurisdiction?”. 

Yesterday, the Public Accounts Committee published 91 written responses authored by distinct organisations, including The British Medical Association, The Christian Institute, Channel 4, Citizens Advice, UK Hospitality, and Bournemouth University.

Industry insights and reflections were provided by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), Bacta, British Horseracing Authority (BHA), and the Lotteries Council. 

Individual operators that submitted responses to the inquiry include Flutter Entertainment, bet365, Bally’s Corporation, Metropolitan Gaming, and 888 Holdings.

As it stands, UK gambling continues to await the publication of the White Paper, which was further delayed in February due to PM Rishi Sunak‘s reorganisation of key departmental duties impacting DCMS. Gambling stakeholders have been told to prepare for a ‘likely Easter settlement with regards to its future judgment.

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