2020 – Assessing the Impact of Online Gambling

Terms of Reference


The focus of the first inquiry of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm was  into the harms caused by online gambling and looking at remedies and recommendations to address these.

Scope of the inquiry

The inquiry examined 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.

This inquiry also explored 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.

Amongst other areas, The Group examined the use of credit cards online, difficulties in withdrawal of funds from online accounts, the impact of the current level of stakes and prizes online, and social media and the impact of advertising.

The APPG sought written submissions that addressed the following issues, views on which were considered as part of the Final Report into Online Gambling Harms.

  • 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?

*On Monday 4 November 2019, the group published its interim report on this inquiry. Please click here to download the report.* 

Sessions of this inquiry and speakers giving evidence were:

Assessing the Impact on people harmed by online gambling – Wednesday 27th March 2019 – 2pm

  • Former Online Gamblers
  • Liz and Charles Ritchie – Gambling with Lives
  • Dr Clare Mills – Headway

Assessing the Current Harm Prevention Provision – Wednesday 24th April 2019 – 2pm

  • Micah Willbrand – Managing Director, Experian
  • Steve Moffatt – Public Policy Manager, Addaction
  • Sarah Williams-Gardener – Director of Public Affairs, Starling Bank
  • Stuart McFadden – Head of Financial Difficulties, Monzo Bank
  • Fiona Palmer – CEO, The National Online Self Exclusion Scheme
  • Matt Zarb-Cousin – Director, GamBan
  • Robin Caller – CEO, Overmore Group

Assessing the Current Treatment Provision – Wednesday 8th May 2019 – 2pm

  • Lee Willows – Founder and Chief Executive, Young Gamblers Education Trust
  • Anna Hemmings – Chief Executive, GamCare
  • Dr Stephen Sharman – University of East London
  • Helen Undy – Chief Executive, Money and Mental Health
  • Duncan Stephenson – Director of Marketing and External Affairs, Royal Society for Public Health
  • Caroline Norrie – Research Fellow, King’s College London

Assessing the Impact – The Gambling Industry – Wednesday 12th June 2019 – 2pm

  • Dr Heather Wardle, Assistant Professor, LSHTM
  • Wes Himes, Interim Chief Executive,  Remote Gambling Association
  • Gillian Wilmot, Chair, Senet Group (Invited)
  • Nigel Railton, CEO, Camelot
  • Aisling Ni Chonaire, Senior Adviser, The Behavioural Insights Team

Assessing the Impact – Wednesday 10th July 2019 – 1pm

  • Kate Lampard CBE – Chair, GambleAware
  • Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones – Founder and Director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic and Spokesperson on Behavioural Addictions for the Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Matthew Gaskell – Consultant Psychologist & Clinical Lead, NHS Northern Gambling Service
  • Dr  Stephanie Bramley – Research Associate, NIHR Health and Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London
  • Simon Miller – Head of Government Affairs, Three UK
  • Ben Clay –  Senior Associate Solicitor, Lupton Fawcett LLP
  • Katie Fry – Gambling Support Service Project Manager, Citizens Advice Bureau

Assessing the Impact – The Gambling Industry (Operators) – Wednesday 4th September 2019 – 2pm

  • John Coates – Joint Chief Executive, Bet365
  • Phil Walker – MD of Online for the UK and Ireland, William Hill
  • Ian Proctor – CEO, Sky Betting and Gaming
  • Dan Taylor – CEO of Europe, Flutter Entertainment
  • Phil Cronin – CEO, Tombola
  • Kenny Alexander – CEO, GVC Holdings (Invited)
  • Simon Wykes – CEO, Jackpotjoy Group (Invited)
  • Fred Done – CEO, Betfred (Invited)

Annual General Meeting of the APPG for Gambling Related Harm – 21st January 2020 – 12:30pm

The Gambling Commission – Wednesday 12th February 2020 – 2pm

  • Neil McArthur, CEO, Gambling Commission

Advertising Harm – Monday 4th May 2020 – 9am

  • Professor Samantha Thomas – Deakin University in Australia
  • James Grimes,The Big Step – Gambling Charity

Treatment and online restrictions which would prevent harm – Monday 11th May 2020, 9am

  • Dr Matt Gaskell – Clinical Lead & Consultant Psychologist for The NHS Northern Gambling Clinics
  • Danny Cheetham – Former gambler

Gambling Advertising – Monday 18th May 2020, 9am

  • Shahriar Coupal, The Advertising Standards Authority