What British Gambling Will Be Like
By Earl
The British government’s endorsement of the proposals for gambling reform in the UK, as set out by Sir Alan Budd’s Gambling Review Report, means that soon Britons and tourists visiting the islands and provinces that make up the United Kingdom can enjoy online gambling as well as playing in casinos without paying and waiting for membership, playing bingo and pools that feature rollover prizes, and meanwhile children will be kept safely away from slot machines which require stakes over 10p (about 14 cents U.S..).

Casinos will also be allowed to advertise, which, with drinks and food available 24/7 in all gambling venues, stands to increase the net annual revenue to the UK gambling industry to an estimated 500 million (US$713,317,531).

Prime Minister Blair’s government endorses all the objectives outlined in the Report for laws and regulations with respect to gambling. They are as follows:

‘Gambling should be crime-free, honest and conducted in accordance with regulation; players should know what to expect and be confident that they will get it and not be exploited; there should be adequate protection for children and vulnerable persons’

Except for the National Lottery, all new gambling legislation will be consolidated into an Act of Parliament. A Gambling Commission will license and regulate gambling operators and their staffs, control who enters the industry, and monitor compliance with the new gambling law and licensing provisions.

Online gamblers will be protected by the use of authorizing online sites, indicated by a kitemark or similar mechanism authenticated by the Commission. Online operators will have to meet the same entry standards as operators of land based casinos and the other gambling venues. The operations of online sites will have to be approved and will be monitoring by the Commission. Children will be prevented from using online gambling sites by safeguards which will have to be proven effective. The Commission will also review prize and promotional competitions done for gambling online.

One area of contention to the reform came from those who feared an impact on National Lottery ticket sales, due to the increased popularity of gaming machines. However, this contention may be fairly unfounded, as the National Lottery is very popular with most people in the UK, including those who do not otherwise gamble, and of course the national lottery twice a week offers prizes including jackpots of 1,000,000 or even much more, for just 1.

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