On 30 April 2014, the Government published its Gambling Protections and Controls document which details the statutory measures it intends to take in relation to a number of gambling related issues.
The key proposals are as follows:
Requiring bookmakers to submit a planning application for new betting shops where there is a change of use. This will give local planning authorities the ability to refuse applications insofar as it does not accord with their plans for the local area.
Requiring customers accessing higher stakes machines (over £50) to use account-based play or load cash over the counter. It is envisaged an account-based system will promote more interaction between customers and operators, giving operators improved opportunities to intervene it they suspect problem gambling behaviour.
Supplementing the ABB’s voluntary Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection and making it a mandatory obligation for all fixed odds betting terminals to equipped with features that permit customers to set individual betting limits, self-exclude from a number of betting shops with a single request and be prompted with alerts which encourage them to consider their behaviour and remain in control. This will be achieved by amending the Gambling Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.
It is anticipated that changes will take effect from October 2014.
In addition, the Government is intending to compile the findings from a number of assessments currently being undertaken by the Remote Gambling Association, the Advertising Standards Authority and the Gambling Commission in order to assess if any changes are required to gambling advertising regulations. The assessments and recommendations will be completed by the end of 2014 and the Government is able to make any amendments in accordance with its powers under the Gambling Act.
More information regarding the current advertising reviews can be found here.