|The long awaited UK Gambling Bill has been published today by the Department of Culture Media and Sport today, with the emphasis firmly on the protection of the young and the vulnerable as the keystone to a liberalised and modernised regulatory framework.|
In relation to iGaming, the Bill dictates that betting websites will be required to stringently check the ages of all customers at the site and the act of ‘inviting, permitting or causing a child to gamble’ will be a criminal offence resulting in the withdrawal of licenses. Furthermore, an industry funded trust of about £3 million per year will be established to research the cause and effects of problem gambling.
Tessa Jowell told the press today that current laws, which were passed years before the emergence of the Internet, were now completely defuct in relation to regulating iGaming, and that modernisation was vital.
'It is nearly 40 years since Parliament last had the opportunity to take a serious look at our gambling laws and it's not just attitudes that have changed since then. The technological revolution has touched all our lives and the gambling industry is no exception.
'Internet gambling and roulette machines in bookmakers are just two examples of where laws introduced nearly 10 years before the first home computer hit the shelves are no longer able to protect children or vulnerable people properly,” she added. “In the face of this, new protections are vital. Levels of problem gambling are low in Britain and I am totally committed to keeping it that way. That's why the Bill is so important. With a powerful new Gambling Commission policing these rules I'm confident the UK will become the safest gambling environment in the world.'
'However we will only allow extra choice where we are confident sufficient protections are in place to protect children and vulnerable people…his is my priority and this is why we need this legislation urgently.'