Featured in this article:
  • UK gambling laws to be revamped in 2022
  • Delay as UKGC looks at National Lottery licence
  • Campaigners frustrated by two-year wait for changes

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UK Gambling laws are expected to now be pushed forward in 2022, as the UKGC focus on the lottery

Gambling legislation in the UK aimed at bringing the country’s laws up to date with technological advancements and social concerns will be delayed until spring 2022.

The UK Gambling Commission is overseeing a review of the 2005 Gambling Act, which was written long before the rise of online gambling giants, cryptocurrencies and other tech products in Europe.

In the past decade alone the industry has witnessed the hyper-expansion of sports betting and online casino gambling. The country now has one of the most relaxed attitudes to gambling anywhere in the world and the Gambling Act has morphed into a mess of add-ons and outdated regulations.

In 2019 the UKGC was tasked with revamping the laws to make sure they’re up to date, and began a series of investigations to collect evidence before making its recommendations.

A white paper is eventually expected in the UK parliament. But this has been pushed back to next year.

UK Gambling Laws Delay

The reason for the delay to the UKGC recommendations is because of a shift in priorities, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Right now the UKGC is focusing on allocating a new licence holder to run the National Lottery – the fifth largest lottery in the world. Camelot’s licence expires in 2023 and the UKGC plans to make a decision on the new licence holder in February 2022.

It is claimed the government is waiting on that decision before the proposed new gambling legislation can proceed through Parliament – and this is causing frustration for campaigners.

Frustration For Campaigners

Campaigners for safer gambling are understandably not happy with the delay to the legislation, which is expected to introduce deposit limits, wager limits and a raft of other problem gambling measures.

“The government made a commitment to reform our gambling laws in 2019. Two years later they are still deliberating while the online industry is weakly regulated, reaps vast profits and people continue to be harmed,” said Labour MP Carolyn Harris.

Analysis: Why Is The UK Changing Its Gambling Laws?

The UK is changing its gambling laws because they are effectively out of date. UK legislation is constantly being rewritten by precedent but the Conservative government pledged in their 2019 election manifesto to bring the 2005 Gambling Act up to date.

It’s been almost 17 years since that Act was instructed. And while further legislation has been added to the act over that period, the government felt there needed to be a clearer outline of how gambling is regulated in an era of cryptocurrency, social casinos, NFT buys and virtual sports betting.

Changing these laws – and in particular hitting the profits of gambling companies through bet limits, taxation and the creation of social support funds – has partially been delayed due to coronavirus.

But campaigners fear the further extension of the UKGC recommendations in order to focus on the Lottery licence highlights where priorities truly lie within government.

An investigation by the Guardian found that almost $300,000 in “wages and freebies” were given to 28 MPs in a 12-month period. This includes gambling firms covering the costs of hospitality tickets for sporting events.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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