I fully support the new report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Gambling Related Harm which calls for sweeping changes to the regulation of the gambling industry in the UK.

The report, which follows the group’s year-long inquiry on the impact of problem gambling on vulnerable groups, describes the Gambling Commission as ‘not fit for purpose’ and puts forward a series of recommendations for reforming the sector. These include:

  • A ban on all gambling advertising, as was the case until 2005;
  • A limit on stakes for online slot content of no higher than £2;
  • A ban on high-stakes online ‘VIP’ schemes and inducements;
  • A ‘complete overhaul’ of gambling regulation in the UK, with new affordabilty limits and a Gambling Ombudsman for consumer redress.

For too long the gambling industry in the UK has generated huge profits off the backs of the most vulnerable in society. This has been exacerbated by the growth of online gambling, and the creation of new techniques to intice those who can afford it least, including young people and even children, into a spiral of addiction and debt.

I’m pleased to stand alongside colleagues on the APPG for Gambling-Related Harm to say that enough is enough: it’s time for sweeping reform of an industry that has had its own way for too long.

You can read the full report online here: http://www.grh-appg.com/

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