HomeInsightsGovernment publishes Response to House of Lords Gambling Industry Committee Report: Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry

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The Government says that the Committee has highlighted a number of important areas for its attention. Work is already underway to deliver many of the Committee’s objectives and new initiatives have been set into motion by its recommendations. The Government has committed to review the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age and the priorities for action as set out in the Committee’s report are reflected in the wide scope of that Review (see details above).

The Government says that it shares the Committee’s goals of making gambling safer and tackling gambling harms.

The Government notes that, as the Committee identified, it is necessary to maintain the right balance between the freedom to enjoy gambling as a leisure activity and the need to protect vulnerable people. The Government recognises that while the vast majority of those who gamble do so without experiencing even low levels of harm, some people and those around them experience very significant harm.

The Government agrees with the Committee that gambling has undergone rapid change and says that the Review of the Gambling Act will be a broad and evidence led consideration of whether changes are needed to the regulatory system to ensure their shared objectives are still being delivered. This will include consideration of the powers and resources that the Gambling Commission has to regulate the licensed market and tackle unlicensed operators, and whether changes are needed to the legislative framework which governs online and land-based gambling.

The Government also agrees with the Committee that further progress to make gambling safer does not need to wait for the outcome of the Review of the Gambling Act. The Committee’s report, alongside those of the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, and together with a thorough assessment of the impact of Covid-19, has helped shape the Gambling Commission’s revised work plans. These will deliver rapid progress in some of the areas highlighted by the Committee, the Government says.

Beyond the sphere of industry regulation and the Review, the Government says that it is also committed to ensuring that there is specialist support for those who experience problems with gambling and that children and young people are supported to understand the risks. To read the response in full, click here.