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UK gaming industry has a new adversary in the House of Lords

By Allison Shor - Contributor
1 year ago

The UK’s gambling industry may face another step back in the form of the new peer-led group, Peers for Gambling Reform (PGR).

The goal of this group in the House of Lords will act similarly to a watchdog over the gambling industry in the UK, thus reviewing different aspects of operations and providing recommendations to the government on alterations that should performed. Based on the continued restrictions in the country’s gaming industry, PGR will certainly be looking to crack down even more.

PGR will be led by Lord Foster of Bath, who will serve as its chairman. The vice chairs will be occupied by Lord Smith of Hindhead, Baroness Armstrong, Lord Butler and the Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, in addition to 145 more individuals. Smith has held his position for over a decade (since 2009) and has a strong anti-gambling stance. He is unwaveringly opposed to fixed odds gaming machines and was one of the figures pushing the £2 limit on those machines.

“Given that we have a third of a million problem gamblers, including 55,000 children, and one gambling-related suicide every day, action is urgently needed,” said Lord Foster of Bath. He further commented on PGR’s creation, “This new group of 150 peers from across all sections of the Lords seeks to ensure urgent action is taken by the Government to reform our wholly outdated regulation. It is Time for Action.”

The group plans on reviewing, among other things, how operators deal with gambling addiction, speed of play, stakes limits, marketing and loot boxes.