Peter Jackson: Gambling Act review should focus on forthcoming technology disruptions

The UK government’s upcoming review of the ‘2005 Gambling Act’ will be fundamental to ensuring that industry legislation keeps pace with technological advances according to Peter Jackson, CEO of Flutter Entertainment.

Jackson stated that a review was urgently needed to bring UK gambling into a ‘digital era’, in which reforms should focus on the wider use and impact of technology on UK consumers.

Writing in the Racing Post, Jackson warned that the government should ‘avoid cosmetic gestures that sound good in the headlines but don’t achieve anything meaningful’.

“If we get the balance right then we can build a much better industry which commands the support of its customers – and also wider society too,” Jackson said.

“It may surprise you to hear this from the CEO of a leading betting company – but I believe this review is badly needed. The rules for gambling in this country have not kept pace with how society has been changed by technology.”

Jackson also suggested that further protections should be introduced for the gambling industry which would prioritise the protection of young adults – measures which could include a maximum length of time that an individual should spend gambling as well as potential online spend and stake limits.

He stated that while some operators have introduced their own measures, the UK gambling industry has ‘not always got it right’ when it comes to customer welfare.

“However, the downside to this organic piecemeal approach is that it can lead to inconsistencies and gaps which the less scrupulous can exploit with less regard for customer welfare,” he added. “While it is true that problem gambling rates are stable and low by international standards, it is equally true that we have not always got it right as a sector.

“It has been suggested in recent weeks that football clubs should be banned from carrying sponsorship by betting brands. But, unlike tobacco, gambling is not inherently harmful for an individual if done responsibly and commensurately with someone’s financial means.”

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