Laura Sharman 08 December 2020

Review of gambling laws should take ‘public health approach’ says alliance

A ‘public health approach’ should be at the heart of the review of gambling laws, an alliance has urged today.

The Gambling Health Alliance (GHA) warned the gambling industry has taken advantage of ‘sluggish and inadequate’ legislation that has exploited young and vulnerable people.

Duncan Stephenson, chair of the GHA and deputy chief executive of RSPH, said: ‘This review of the Gambling Act is long overdue and it is time to put the often spoken about “public health approach” into practice. Just as we have rightly taken steps to ramp up the regulation of other harmful products such as tobacco and junk food, we now need to do the same with gambling.

’So many lives have been destroyed by the wild-west which exists, particularly in online and mobile gambling, and we need laws that protect our people from this.’

It is calling for a cap on stakes and speed limits, a statutory 1% industry levy to fund education and treatment, and the de-normalising of gambling.

Culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: 'This comprehensive review will ensure we are tackling problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people. It will also help those who enjoy placing a bet to do so safely.'

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