SBC News Gambling APPG launches inquiry of White Paper’s scope & remit

Gambling APPG launches inquiry of White Paper’s scope & remit

The Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has initiated an inquiry related to the Government’s White Paper on Gambling Reforms, titled ‘High Stakes: Gambling Reform for the Digital Age.’

The inquiry intends to assess whether measures outlined in the White Paper can be achieved and to make further recommendations to the government “during the White Paper’s consultation phase”. 

The APPG underlined the need for an inquiry to “hold the Government to account and ensure reforms are taken forward as quickly as possible; ensuring that where commitments have been made in the White Paper to legislate when parliamentary time allows”.

A long-time advocate of gambling reforms “in tune with the digital age”, the APPG has identified critical areas of online gambling regulation that have not been adequately addressed since the 2005 Gambling Act. 

APPG members expressed disappointment over the “relatively weak” proposals on gambling advertising restrictions, demanding that further measures should be enacted to protect children and young audiences from the effects of gambling advertisements, particularly for “white label and affiliate marketing products”.

Carolyn Harris MP, APPG Chair, welcomed the majority of the White Paper’s proposals. “While we are pleased that the Government has listened to our calls for reform, there is clearly more work to be done,” Harris said. 

“The APPG will now seek to inform the Government with further evidence and analysis during the important consultation phase, and ensure that measures and commitments made, that will help save lives, are implemented as a priority.”

As such, the APPG will work to provide further evidence and analysis to help shape the critical consultation phase and ensure that commitments that could save lives are prioritised.

The APPG has extended an open invitation for evidence or submissions until 11th July 2023 to aid in their exploration of several specific topics.

Concerns range from setting the optimal stake limits for online slot content and operating the Statutory Levy and the Ombudsman to running affordability checks, devising a data-sharing system, and defining further steps to shield children and young people from gambling advertising.

While the focus of the inquiry is primarily on the White Paper, the APPG plans to continue to scrutinise further areas of potential harm, “including those not included within the remit of the White Paper, such as the operation of the National Lottery and the emergence of new forms of gambling”. 

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