Paul Scully Calls for Right Balance in Upcoming Gambling Act Review

The minister spoke Wednesday at the Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) Annual General Meeting and provided invaluable insight into the progress of the review of the Gambling Act. He explained that the review represents a unique opportunity for the country to update its gambling regulations in a way that protects customers from harm, enables bettors that enjoy the activity responsibly to continue doing so and at the same time, benefits the gambling sector, which brings significant economic stimulus.

Scully said that finding the right balance is significantly important. He acknowledged that the gambling sector continuously addresses gambling harm and tries to protect the customers. Still, Scully said that there are still too-many failings that have a devastating impact on people affected by gambling harm. In some cases, the minister said, people would be affected by gambling harm only economically, while in others, they may even take their own life.

According to Scully, it is vital that gambling harm is addressed in a way that protects the people that are most affected by it. At the same time, he acknowledged that there are millions of bettors that enjoy the activity responsibility every month, a statement which was also confirmed by numbers released by the BGC.

Our Act review, however, is a real opportunity to make sure we have the balance right.

Paul Scully, gambling minister in the UK

White Paper Getting Closer to Publication

Additionally, Scully shed some light on the ongoing review of the Gambling Act. He said that the long-discussed “affordability checks” are likely the wrong title for the efforts that seek to protect the customers from gambling harm. Scully pointed out that “financial risk checks” may sound like a more suitable title, considering that the goal of the regulatory change isn’t to tell customers how much they can afford to spend on gambling, but rather help identify problem or at-risk gambling.

The UK gambling minister stressed that the gambling sector in the country significantly boosts not only the economy but tourism as well. Moreover, Scully said that the sector helps by providing high-skill tech jobs around the country, which is also important.

A key point raised by Scully involved the updating of the gambling regulations. “We want to make common sense changes to update the rules, preserving safeguards that do protect against gambling harm, but replacing unnecessarily restrictive controls with ones which make things better for customers and businesses,” he explained.

So, we are putting the finishing touches to our white paper, making the final decisions and preparing for publication,

added Scully

Although the Gambling Act review is expected to be released soon, Scully reiterated that this will not be the end of the reform. Instead, he said that consultations will be held with the Gambling Commission and the DCMS as well. Finally, Scully explained that the review is getting closer to publishing and it is only “a matter of weeks” before being released.

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