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Legal & RegulatoryIndustry

Local councils and police authorities call for sterner UK gambling regulations

The Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) have jointly requested the UK Government hands greater powers to local authorities when it comes to gambling regulations. 

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Specifically, the authorities are asking for powers to determine how many gambling premises can open in particular areas, in addition to restrictions on the level of gambling advertising currently in place. 

In 2017, the Government released a publication reporting that companies spent £1.5bn ($2bn) on gambling marketing in the UK.  

Nesil Caliskan, Chairperson, Safer and Stronger Communities Board, commented: “Councils are not anti-gambling, but it is time we have a regulatory framework for gambling that, above all else, prioritises protecting vulnerable people from gambling-related harm and gives powers to local communities. 

“The Government should take steps to reduce the volume of advertising, and marketing offers that are routinely made available via television and online.” 

The request is made ahead of the Government’s upcoming white paper on the future of the 2005 Gambling Act. The review was recently delayed until May 2022 at the earliest. 

Joy Allen and David Sidwick, Joint Leads, Addictions and Substance Misuse, said: “We support calls for councils to have more legal flexibility and power with respect to local gambling premises, and we want to see measures to get to grips with problem gambling online.  

“Problem gambling can do a great deal of harm, to both the individual and to society, and we want to ensure that support is available to those affected and, where the industry has acted irresponsibly, it is held to account for its actions.”

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