With the debate about stricter regulations to tackle the epidemic of gambling addiction intensifying, the Gambling Act has been touched upon by almost every party contending the upcoming elections in the UK.
While the Labour Party has called for scrapping the current Gambling Act 2005 – enacted under the previous Labour government – the Liberal Democrats have promised to put an end to gambling on credit.
The incumbent Conservative government has also addressed the need to make changes to the existing gambling laws. The Conservative party in its election manifesto, released on Sunday promised a “review of the Gambling Act” saying it feels the laws need an upgrade for the digital age.
The party’s manifesto also mentions that the review of the Gambling Act would specifically address credit card misuse and loot boxes.
The document reads: “We will legislate to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online – protecting children from online abuse and harms, protecting the most vulnerable from accessing harmful content, and ensuring there is no safe space for terrorists to hide online – but at the same time defending freedom of expression and in particular recognising and defending the invaluable role of a free press.
“Also, given how the online world is moving, the Gambling Act is increasingly becoming an analogue law in a digital age. We will review it, with a particular focus on tackling issues around loot boxes and credit card misuse.”
On the other hand, the Labour party has made it clear that it sees gambling addiction as a health condition and would address the issue appropriately.
“We will address drug-related deaths, alcohol-related health problems and the adverse impacts of gambling as matters of public health, treated accordingly in expanded addiction support services,” the Party said in its manifesto.
The UK goes to vote on December 12.