Thursday 20 September 2018 / 1:56 PM Gambling / Tom Watson

Labour announce plans for radical overhaul of gambling regulation and advertising

  • Labour calls for a ‘whistle to whistle’ ban on gambling advertising in live sport
  • Labour will introduce a compulsory levy on gambling operators of 1% of Gross Gambling Yield
  • New clinical guidelines and increased resources for the treatment of gambling addiction
  • New rules to allow addicts to tell their bank to stop online gambling transactions
  • A ban on credit card betting

Today the Labour Party is publishing its response to a review into problem gambling and its treatment that has been undertaken over the last year.

Tom Watson MP and Jonathan Ashworth MP have spent a year consulting with gambling addiction specialists, charities, industry bodies and those suffering from gambling problems, to look at whether existing gambling regulation is adequate and what improvements need to be made to the treatment of problem gambling.

In response to the findings, Tom Watson has announced today a raft of new policies that will be in Labour’s next manifesto and will be enacted once Labour are in government.

Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Shadow Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, said:

“Problem gambling is Britain’s hidden epidemic and we must treat it as a public health emergency.

“Current gambling regulation is not up to the job of protecting addicts and those at risk of addiction. Treatment is patchy across the country and too often patients are misdiagnosed and not treated by specialists who can spot the signs of gambling addiction.

“Gambling companies have to take more responsibility for harm caused by their products and contribute more to research and treatment. We must also face up to the negative effect the explosion in gambling advertising has had and act accordingly. It’s what any responsible Government looking to address gambling addiction must do.

“The refusal of the current Government to address any of these issues is letting problem gamblers and their families down. Labour’s new policies announced today aim to build a world class framework for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling.”