The manifesto I stood on identified that the Gambling Act is increasingly becoming an analogue law in a digital age. I welcome that a full review of the Gambling Act is now being undertaken, with a focus on online restrictions, marketing and the powers of the Gambling Commission to ensure it is fit for purpose. Furthermore, I am encouraged that, following a public consultation, as of April 2020, credit cards have been banned from all gambling, delivering on a pledge made in the 2019 Conservative manifesto.
Protecting the vulnerable from harm must be at the heart of the industry’s approach to offering gambling services, and such protections should apply equally across both online and land-based venues. Gambling operators are regulated by the Gambling Commission and must adhere to the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice set by them. These conditions are kept under review to ensure they reflect developments in the industry or emerging evidence on the most effective means of promoting socially responsible gambling.
Ministers have worked and continue to work with the Gambling Commission and the industry on player protections in the online sector. For example, in May 2019, the Commission strengthened protections to prevent children engaging in illegal underage gambling online by requiring operators to verify age and identity before allowing customers to deposit money or place a bet, adding an extra layer of protection for children and young people.