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White paper reveals missed charity opportunities

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Although gambling charities have responded positively to publication of the white paper on the Gambling Act Review, they are still calling for improvements.

A white paper released today brought an end to the initial phase of an ongoing process dating back to 2020.

Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, DCMS, spoke in her first address before the parliament today, highlighting the importance of player protections as outlined in the White Paper. The white paper will include increased affordability checks, as well as more funding for gambling harm research, education, and treatment.

Zoe Osmond of GambleAware said that the whitepaper is “a step in the right directions” for the prevention of gambling harm, adding, however, that the lack of regulations on advertising and marketing was “a missed opportunity”.

The review of marketing regulations included in this report focused on the strengthening of safer gambling messages and giving customers an option to accept online gambling promotions.

After so many delays in the publication of this white paper, we must now act urgently to make sure that all the measures are quickly implemented, particularly since so many are still subject to consultation.

The lack of regulation in gambling marketing and advertising is an opportunity lost, especially when it comes to children’s protection.

There is plenty of work to be done

Charles Richie MBE (co-founder) of Gambling With Lives charity, which is a gambling charitable organization, echoed this sentiment and called for an end to all gambling advertising.

He said: “Now we must push harder for the end of all gambling advertisements, and preventative affordability check when monthly losses exceed PS100. We also need to reduce stakes and speed to further make dangerous products safe.

Only then can we expect to see real progress in reducing the number of deaths due to gambling.

Paul Buck, the CEO of Epic Risk Management said there is still work to be done in order to fully regulate gambling in this digital age.

He said: “We are pleased with the publication of the Gambling Act Review White Paper. While it’s not the end, as there will be another two to three years worth of discussion ahead of us, the document provides a clearer picture of where the gambling industry in the UK is headed.”

We welcome legislation which aims to reduce gambling harm, but are aware of the fact that there is still much work left to be done to clarify certain areas.

Limit to the amount you can bet on slots

Buck stated that Epic Risk Management is particularly happy with the slot stakes terms.

In the white paper, DCMS states it will introduce a limit for slot machines. It will then consult whether that limit is between PS2 to PS15 per turn. DCMS will consult with under-25s on the issue of stake limits.

He said: “We welcome in particular the idea of different stakes being set for online slot machines for those under the age of 25 and providing further protections to the younger members of the society when they become legally permitted to gamble. It is a positive step.”

Lebby Eyres CEO of The Health Lottery, a society lottery, also applauded the whitepaper’s efforts to protect children from harm caused by gambling.

Eyres stated that “we fully support the goal of the government to prevent children from accessing gaming products.” As stated in the publication of today, the National Lottery recently raised the minimum age to participate from 16 years old to 18 years old. However, society lotteries are not obliged to do the same.

We take the safety of children and responsible gaming seriously, so we raised the playing age for The Health Lottery in all retail outlets in September of last year to 18.

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