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Labour’s Manifesto on Gambling Industry Reform



Labour’s Manifesto on Gambling Industry Reform

The Labour Manifesto released yesterday is a long read and I freely admit even as someone with a great interest in politics, I skimmed over it, impressed with the layout and the graphics, coming away with the sense that Labour may well be on the verge of a landslide victory not seen since the Blair era. 

But politics is a funny old game, and I would not bet on the outcome just yet. 

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A Long Read with A Short Piece on Gambling 

One part that did interest me enough to read from start to finish was the small section on action on public health. Buried in the Manifesto was the piece, which gave a few lines to the issue of gambling.  

The nub of the 5-paragraph long item was about prevention being better than cure.   

Gambling Regulation Reform Planned 

The manifesto reads, “Recognising the evolution of the gambling landscape since 2005, Labour will reform gambling regulation, strengthening protections. We will continue to work with the industry on how to ensure responsible gambling.” 

Industry Comments on Labour’s Plans 

BGC CEO and Acting Chair Michael Dugher said: “On behalf of our members, the 110,000 people whose jobs rely on the regulated betting and gaming industry, and the 22.5 million people who enjoy a bet each month, we welcome Labour’s general election manifesto and its commitment to continue working with the industry to further drive-up standards.  

“BGC members are currently undergoing the biggest regulatory changes in a generation following the publication of the White Paper, which Labour supported, and much of this work will be ongoing after the general election.” – added Dugher.

‘This is also backed up by the industry’s own significant efforts to continue to drive world-class standards and protections for the vulnerable, which has transformed the sector in recent years and stands in marked contrast to the dangers posed by the unsafe, unregulated black market online. ’

“BGC has long treated Labour as not merely the official opposition in parliament, but as a government in waiting. We have worked closely with shadow ministers in recent years, and we strongly welcome their commitment in the manifesto to work with the regulated industry. Whatever happens at the polls, our work to drive up standards carries on and we look forward to partnering with the next government in this vitally important work.”  

Can the NHS Afford to Pick Up Pieces Caused by Gambling Addiction 

Each month in Britain, around 22.5 million adults have a bet and the most recent NHS Health Survey for England estimated that 0.4 percent of the adult population are problem gamblers. 

Labour have made it clear that preventing gambling harm is cheaper than tackling the consequences. It is a message echoed recently by the CEO of the NHS, Amanda Pritchard who asked if the NHS could afford to become an expensive safety net for the gambling industry.  

The item mentioned the main causes one would associate with public health like smoking, vaping, drinking and obesity.  

The piece went on to address online harms that encompass inappropriate content like misogynistic content, homophobia, antisemitism, and violence against women.    

Labour Pledge to Build on Online Safety Act 

Labour have pledged to build on the Online Safety Act, bringing forward provisions as quickly as possible, and to explore further measures to keep everyone safe online, particularly when using social media.  

The Manifesto states that Labour will also give coroners more powers to access information held by technology companies after a child’s death. 

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