The Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group questioned Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission on 12th February on its role as a regulator and its duty in protecting the most vulnerable from gambling related harm.
Chair of the APPG, Carolyn Harris, along with Vice Chairs Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Ronnie Cowan and Lord Don Foster pressed the Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive on a range of issues including asking if the Gambling Commission was fit for purpose and about the ineffectualness of fines on the behaviour of online gambling companies.
After pressing Mr McArthur on a review of online stakes, he confirmed for the first time that the Gambling Commission would be reviewing online stakes within six months. The APPG has previously called for stake limits for online gambling including a £2 stake limit for slot content, which has been shown to be highly addictive. The APPG recommended in its November report a ban on the use of credit cards in gambling. The APPG is pleased that this has now been taken forward, and is hopeful the Group’s further recommendations are now adopted as policy without further delay.
The Gambling Commission also said that if action wasn’t taken by companies to reduce the harm caused by lucrative VIP accounts then the Commission would need to ban them. The Commission agreed also that something needed to be done about the volume of gambling advertising.
Carolyn Harris MP, Chair of the All Party Gambling Related Harm APPG said:
“A review of stake limits online has been clearly recommended by the All Party Parliamentary Group and is long overdue. I am very pleased that the Gambling Commission has finally seen sense on this. Online slot content games should be reduced to £2 a spin in line with the rules in betting shops. The Gambling Commission must stop being reactive and take action to protect the vulnerable from harm in line with their licensing objectives.”