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The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm (APPG-GRH) has produced an Interim Report into the Online Gambling Sector which does not mince its words. The sector was described a few years ago as being akin to the Wild West and the report suggests little has changed. Promotion of online gambling is still aggressive, the report says, age and affordability checks are inadequate, there is evidence of unfair treatment of customers, the Gambling Commission as the regulator has not done enough, and broadcasters and others have colluded in a system that causes people harm.

Their recommendations are strong and very welcome to Gambling Watch UK. They include the need for a new Gambling Act, and a mandatory levy on the gambling industry, managed by a body independent of the industry – all things we have been calling for. One of their first recommendations is for the new £2 maximum stake on FOBT machines in betting shops to be applied to online gambling as well. They say, ‘We do not see the justification for having slot machine style games online with staking levels above £2. If they are not acceptable in land-based venues they should not be allowed online… it is not clear to us why the Government and regulator are not looking at stake and deposit limits online’.

There are a number of other proposals in this hard-hitting and excellent report.

See: www.grh-appg.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Interim-APPG-report-November-final

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