UK government unveils review of gambling legislation


The British government has announced long-awaited proposals to crack down on problem gambling, aiming to bring regulations up to date with the rise in gambling online and on smartphones.

The proposals launched on Thursday include the introduction of online stake limits between 2 pounds ($2.49) and 15 pounds while forcing gambling firms to step up affordability checks on their customers.

“A flutter is one thing, unchecked addiction is another; so today we are bringing our pre-smartphone regulations into the present day with a gambling White Paper for the digital age,” Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, told parliament.

Frazer said the much-delayed draft law would also introduce a statutory levy on betting firms to fund research, education and treatment for problem gamblers.

The changes would be the biggest overhaul to the 14 billion pound industry since the Gambling Act in 2005. Habits have changed significantly since then, with an exponential rise in online betting in tandem with the growing use of smartphones.

COVID-19 lockdowns turbocharged that shift, with gambling companies, including the owner of Ladbrokes and Coral brands, Entain (ENT.L), and the Dublin-based company behind Paddy Power and Betfair, Flutter Entertainment (FLTRF.L), achieving sharply higher profits.