With technological advancements, the world is practically in our pockets. Besides the overwhelming advantages of this, there are some drawbacks as well. One of them is the fact that many things can potentially be available to younger audiences. Online gambling, which has been continuously on the rise throughout the UK, is one of these things, so appropriate measures must be taken.
The White Paper on Gambling Reform continues to be the most anticipated solution to this problem. However, as we informed you recently, there has yet to be a consensus on its publication date. Nevertheless, various new rules and regulations are being implemented in the gambling industry to prioritise safety.
Westminster introduces new regulations
The Westminster City Council is taking a hands-on approach regarding gambling-related harms. The most recent novelty is the new policy that ensures the protection of the most vulnerable, including young people.
This type of policy has not been implemented in the UK before, making it the first of its kind. It will be effective across Westminster, monitoring areas susceptible to gambling-related harm. This is part of the Council's "Fairer Westminster" strategy, which aims to minimise and prevent such occurrences.
The policy comprises rules that determine new opening hours for the operators that will minimise risks for the most vulnerable category. Moreover, it will focus on a more data-driven approach to identify areas that might be at more considerable risk. Furthermore, the Council will provide operators with permits as long as they prove that they will conduct their business in a way that does not endanger young people and other vulnerable individuals.
According to Councillor Aicha Less, "Betting shops, casinos and other gambling premises play a role in Westminster's night-time economy and some venues, attract thousands of tourists into the city every year. However, during a cost-of-living crisis, people's budgets are being stretched more and more so using gambling as an alternative source of income is a real danger.
We need rules to protect the most vulnerable from gambling-related harms and to prevent gambling being a source of crime and disorder. Our new policy aims to strike a balance, allowing gambling premises to operate fairly and responsibly, while also putting safeguards in place to protect resident and visitors."
Ireland also introduces new measures
The government of Ireland has also decided to implement new legislation regarding gambling in general. Namely, it introduced the Gambling Regulation Bill that completely bans gambling ads on social media. Moreover, it stopped the sponsorship of sports teams that include underage players.
Several crucial points in the new bill will probably significantly influence the gambling industry.
- Ads that encourage excessive gambling or can be seen by young people are banned;
- Gambling ads on TV and radio are banned between 05:30 am and 09:00 pm;
- Credit cards cannot be used for gambling;
- Promotions and free bets are forbidden;
- ATMs must be removed from gambling premises.
According to Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice, "At the heart of the Bill is the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, an independent body equipped to enforce regulation of the gambling sector. The Bill will ensure that the Gambling Regulatory Authority can appropriately, meaningfully and swiftly respond to ongoing and future developments in the gambling sector. The focus on preventing harm is of vital importance."