Gambling review to be released in early 2020

Public Health England will release a gambling-related harms review in early 2020 after the DCMS led a consultation on gaming machines.

A new gambling review will be released early next year after the Public Health England was asked to carry out a report into the health aspects of gambling-related harm in order to come up with future prevention and treatment.

The report comes after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) published a consultation on gaming machines and their relationship with social responsibility. That report led to the cut in the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), among other things.

Public Health England will gather evidence for its review with the goal to release it around spring 2020. This will be the first time for a review like this, and experts are welcoming the move as it would shed a light on future prevention.

Eytan Alexander, managing director of addiction treatment firm UKAT, explained: “The fact that Public Health England is reviewing gambling-related health harms is incredibly encouraging, as it suggests that the Government are finally sitting up and listening to the relentless cries for help from the gambling treatment community.

“We treat people from all kinds of backgrounds for gambling addictions, and in the last year, we’ve seen a worrying rise in the number of online gambling addicts. Gambling addiction ruins lives; just because it is not a drug doesn’t mean it’s less dangerous and damaging.

“We’re equally as excited by this review as we are cautious; we expect the results to be extremely eye-opening for the Government, and it’ll take real defiance – not to mention financial investment – to implement truly effective preventative and treatment measures needed to protect future generations.”

UKGC issues reminder on credit card consultation

In mid-August, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) launched a 12-week consultation on gambling with credit cards. As part of its attempt to collect evidence, the UKGC reminded industry stakeholders that the call will close on November 6.

The consultation kicked off on August 14 with the intention to explore the consequences of restricting or prohibiting the use of credit cards when gambling online. The UKGC said that it noted that the need for regulatory intervention would be more likely if evidence indicates insufficient consumer protections to reduce the risks of harm from gambling with borrowed money. “We said we would use the evidence submitted as part of this exercise to develop further detailed proposals for consultation,” said the UKGC.