Industry "welcomes" Lords report calling for changes to make gambling safer

By Iqbal Johal

Several key players in the gambling industry have welcomed the UK government report which calls for sweeping changes to make gambling safer.

The Time for Action report by the House of Lords Gambling Industry Select Committee, made 66 recommendations, including a review into the 2005 Gambling Act.

The committee said it expects the Gambling Commission to implement the changes to protect consumers, citing that around 300,000 adults are problem gamblers.

Gambling Commission CEO Neil McArthur said the regulatory body are already working to improve its governance.

McArthur said: "In the weeks ahead we will be publishing plans to remove potentially addictive features in games, further improve customer interaction and strengthen affordability checks.

"Where the criticisms are justified we will learn from them, but as we have been completely transparent and candid in all the evidence we have given to the various committees, in many areas this and other recent reports are playing back issues we have raised, know we need to work on and are already working to improve."

Betting and Council (BGC) CEO Michael Dugher welcomed the report, urging the government to bring forward their planned review of the Gambling Act.

Dugher said: “There is much in the report that we support and whilst we don’t agree with every recommendation, we feel this is an important contribution to the debate and the approach the Lords took was constructive.

“The BGC completely agree with the Lords that the challenge for the Government and industry is to make gambling safer for all, but no less enjoyable for those who do participate safely.

GVC CEO Kenny Alexander said the operator supports recommendations, adding: “This report is a thoughtful and measured contribution to the debate on how to ensure the regulated gambling industry can thrive, provide entertainment and enjoyment for the millions of Britons who like a bet.  

“We fully support the recommendation to bring forward the UK Government’s Review of the Gambling Act and we will play a full and active role in this process.”

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