Conservative MP Wants to Replace the Gambling Commission
January 7th, 2021 2.00pm
The overhaul of the country’s gambling industry has been one of the UK’s hot issues lately. As everyone eagerly awaits to see what changes will be made to the existing Gambling Act, one MP believes the nation’s regulatory body should be under scrutiny as well.
Ian Duncan Smith, a conservative MP, has been calling for the elimination of the UK Gambling Commission. According to him, the gambling watchdog should be replaced with a completely new regulatory body. Its role would be to keep an eye on British industry.
Smith thinks the ongoing review of the 2005 Gambling Act is the perfect opportunity to make bold actions and called for the government to do so.
Finding a Replacement for the UKGC
In a publication posted at the Politics Home website, Smith urged the authorities to make necessary changes. As Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on gambling-related harm, Smith firmly believes the government is in a position to review the Gambling Commission’s legal capacity. The overview should encompass the powers given to the regulatory body under the provisions of the Gambling Act.
Smith goes a step further and suggests the Gambling Commission should be abolished. He says the government should establish a new regulatory body to monitor the country’s gambling industry. The ongoing review of the industry is the best possible moment to introduce changes. Its ultimate goal would be to put an end to gambling addiction and other related problems.
He explained the APPG had managed to collect lots of information on gambling harm and pointed out the authorities should include this evidence in the inquiry. According to him, the government can use it to improve the UK’s gambling industry situation.
The APPG has been collecting stories of gambling harm, which can now finally be heard. That way, the government will be able to gain insight into the impact harm had on numerous families’ lives.
Gambling Harm Grows, Gambling Profits Jump as Well
The conservative Smith has raised another important point. At this moment, there are around 430,000 gamblers in the UK. This number could be much more significant though, while some estimates say it reaches 2 million. Smith added the number of problem gamblers among minors age eleven to sixteen has gone up by more than 12% to 62,000. This represents a significant increase and shouldn’t be overlooked by the gambling review.
Smith stated the gambling industry needed to understand the full scale of its responsibilities. That way, he claims, the public can receive better service and improved protection.
Speaking about the rise of the gaming industry profits over the last couple of years, Smith noted its exponential growth. Although the increase itself is a good thing, the biggest portion of it comes from customers who are most addicted to gambling. To illustrate his claims, Smith pointed out that nearly 60% of the overall gambling profits came from 5% of players. These numbers indicate that many of them are experiencing gambling-related harm.
Smith also expressed his support for other government’s plans. This includes the decision to raise the minimum for taking part in the National Lottery to eighteen. The conservative MP views this move as the start of a real change in the government’s approach to gambling and gambling-related abuses. However, that’s only the first step towards protecting consumers in the UK from gambling’s harmful effects.
At this moment, the gambling industry in Britain is worth around £14.5 billion and brings more than £3 billion to the Treasury every year.
He pointed out the ongoing gambling review was the perfect moment to make significant changes