PRESS RELEASE: Gambling Related Harm APPG launches new inquiry into online gambling

The Gambling Related Harm APPG has today (11 February) launched its new inquiry, assessing the harms caused by online gambling and looking at remedies and recommendations to address these.

The newly formed group are concerned about the emerging evidence and recent discussions around the potential risks of online gambling.

The inquiry will examine the full impact of online gambling, the addictive and potentially harmful nature of some of the products on offer and their effect on the vulnerable, in particular, children.  It will also explore the effectiveness of age and identity verification mechanisms as well as efficacy of self-exclusion schemes and current provisions for problem and at-risk gamblers.

The group is now asking for written evidence from the public, organisations, industry bodies and academics, on the terms of reference, by 14th March.

The group will also be holding a series of oral evidence sessions commencing in March. Further details of these sessions will be published shortly.

Carolyn Harris MP and Chair of the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals All Party Parliamentary Group said:

“According to recent reports of British gambling behaviour, the prevalence of problem gambling among those who gamble online is similar to those who played FOBTs. Naturally, following our successful campaign to reduce the harm caused by FOBTs, online gambling became the next area of serious concern.

“Our group has received numerous correspondence from individuals and families harmed by online gambling and has already been informed about the ploy by bookmakers to lure would-be FOBT players online.

“We are deeply concerned about the harms caused by online gambling and particularly the impact and harm of online gambling on children.

“Following this inquiry, we will be setting out a number of policy changes and recommendations to tackle this issue.”

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Further information on the All Party Group can be found at www.grh-appg.com

Notes to Editors

  1. The Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group has been created to provide a forum for discussion and further investigation into the impact of gambling related harm in our communities. This group, powered by the passion of the members in both houses of Parliament on this issue, allows a coordinated effort among politicians of all political parties, to come together to discuss how best to address the issues and harms gambling causes to our communities.
  2. The APPG is seeking written submissions that address the following issues:
  • What are the potential links between online gambling and harmful gambling?
  • Should there be restrictions on the amount individuals can spend on online gambling in a session?
  • What are the effects of the current fund deposit and withdrawal process on problem or at-risk gamblers?
  • Are the self-exclusion provisions currently available to problem and at-risk gamblers sufficient?
  • Should there be stronger measures to verify age and identity of online gambling customers?
  • What are the policy measures Government can put in place to better protect individuals from gambling harm online?
  • Should the Government review the current stake and prizes level online?
  • Does the regulator have sufficient powers to protect individuals from gambling harm online?
  • Are remote gaming and betting companies doing enough to protect at-risk or problem gamblers from harm?
  • What is the impact of social media and online advertising on the amount customers spend online gambling?
  • What are the effects of in-game spending, such as loot boxes, particularly on children, and does it need stronger monitoring or regulation?
  • Should the use of credit cards to gamble online be restricted?
  • Are new measures needed to better protect children from gambling harm?

The GRH APPG invites written evidence from the public, organisations, industry bodies and academics, on the terms of reference by 14th March 2019.

To submit written evidence, please contact the secretariat for the Group: Tosin Adedayo  E: tosin.adedayo@interelgroup.com

Each submission should be in Word format and include a contact name, organisation name, contact email address and telephone number.

The Group will announce its oral evidence sessions, shortly. If you would like to appear before the group, please contact the group secretariat by 27th February 2019 .

For more information, please contact Carolyn Harris MP, the Chair of the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group or the secretariat for the Group:  Tosin.Adedayo@interelgroup.com

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