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DCMS Select Committee to investigate UK gambling regulations

22nd December 2022 4:42 am GMT

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched an investigation into UK gambling policy and the Government’s progress towards addressing concerns about problem gambling.

The DCMS committee inquiry will investigate existing gambling regulations and examine whether these can keep up with innovations in online gambling, as well as the links between gambling and broadcasting and sport.

The committee is inviting written evidence to understand the scale of gambling-related harm in the UK; how broadly the term gambling should be drawn; whether it is possible for a regulator to stay abreast of innovation in the online sphere; and what additional problems arise when online gambling companies are based outside of UK jurisdiction.

The committee is also inviting written evidence on key priorities that should be included in the forthcoming gambling White Paper, with evidence due by 10 February 2023.

“Gambling acts as an enjoyable pastime for large numbers of players, but regulation is struggling to keep pace with the rapidly changing way in which it happens today. This puts people at risk of the devastating harm it can sometimes cause to lives,” said DCMS Committee member Julie Elliott MP. “The DCMS Committee’s inquiry will look at the scale of gambling-related harm in the UK, what the Government should do about it and how a regulatory regime can best adapt to new forms of online gambling, based both in and outside the UK.”

The launch of the inquiry was welcomed by Britain’s Betting and Gaming Council as a further opportunity to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to raising standards.

“As the standards body for much of the regulated industry, we strongly welcome this inquiry announced today as a further opportunity for the regulated sector to show our continued commitment to raising standards in safer gambling,” said Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council. “I am sure that the Committee’s inquiry, like the Government’s Gambling Review, will be genuinely ‘evidence-led’ and has to strike a careful balance in making recommendations that are about protecting the vulnerable, whilst not unfairly impacting on the millions of customers who bet perfectly safely and responsibly.

“Problem gambling may be low by international standards at 0.3 per cent, but one problem gambler is one too many. So we look forward to hearing from the Committee about what more can be done. We must also ensure that they do not drive people to the unsafe, unregulated black market online, where there aren’t any safeguards to protect vulnerable people,” he added. “On behalf of over 110,000 people whose jobs depend on the regulated betting and gaming industry, we also look forward to setting out the contribution industry to the UK economy and our commitment to further investment.”

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