Members from within the House of Lords have set up ‘Peers for Gambling Reform’, a group which will aim to reshape current gambling regulations in the UK.
The group will hope to implement the recommendations that were made in a report that the House of Lords released earlier this year.
PGR also wants the industry to pay a mandatory levy, which will be allocated towards education and other responsible gambling initiatives.
Members also mentioned that they believe some of the Lords’ report’s recommendations can be implemented before the government reviews the 2005 Gambling Act.
What exactly does PGR want?
Despite wanting a number of changes to take place within UK gambling laws, PGR does not want VIP schemes to be completely banned. Instead, it wants these to be reformed to fit the current online landscape.
The House of Lords’ report called for gambling-related sponsorships to be banned, and this is something that PGR reiterates. Regulations on loot boxes in video games, as has happened in other countries such as Belgium, is another wish of the group.
In addition to the above, the group intends to put together a treatment system for those suffering from gambling issues. This would be commissioned by the NHS.
Lord Foster of Bath will chair PGR, which launched on Saturday. He had the following to say about gambling in the UK.
“Given that we have a third of a million problem gamblers, including 55,000 children, and one gambling-related suicide every day, action is urgently needed.
“Online gambling companies have cashed in on the pandemic, making more profit and putting more lives at risk. This new group of 150 peers from across all sections of the Lords seeks to ensure urgent action is taken by the Government to reform our wholly outdated regulation. It is Time for Action.”
Other PGR members also share their thoughts
PGR’s Vice Chairs will consist of Lord Smith of Hindhead, Baroness Armstrong, Lord Butler and the Bishop of St. Albans – plus others.
Lord Smith said the following about the formation of this new group and his thoughts on gambling regulation in Great Britain.
“I enjoy the occasional flutter, like many millions of others, but I am only an advocate of responsible gambling and professional operators.
“The Lord’s Select Committee, on which I was privileged to serve, has highlighted some important issues which need to be addressed.”
Meanwhile, Lord Grade of Yarmouth thinks that measures should be implemented prior to the Gambling Act being reviewed.
“Most of the recommendations can be implemented without primary legislation; they cannot wait for the long-promised Government review of the Gambling Act.
“I send the group every good wish in taking forward this vital work.”