Long-awaited gambling white paper set to be published this week

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The long-awaited gambling white paper setting out Government proposals to make regulation of the sector “fit for the digital age” finally looks set to be published this week.

Campaigners are hopeful it will include plans for affordability checks and the introduction of a statutory levy on gambling operators to pay for research, education and treatment of problem gambling met in the white paper.

Other measures hoped to feature include a reduction in stakes for online slot games to match those found in land-based gambling and the creation of a gambling ombudsman to deal with customer complaints.

The Government launched its gambling review in December 2020 but publication of the subsequent white paper has been the subject of repeated delays due to a succession of ministerial changes.

Ministers from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, including gambling minister Stuart Andrew and culture secretary Lucy Frazer, are due to answer questions in the House of Commons on Thursday.

It is thought Downing Street may have scheduled the release of the white paper for that day.

Campaigners have called for a ban on gambling advertising and sponsorship but the Premier League has already announced a voluntary ban on gambling sponsorship from the front of match day shirts.

The Premier League also said it was working with other sports on the development of a new gambling sponsorship code.

Zoe Osmond, chief executive of charity GambleAware, said: “Gambling harm is a serious public health issue, which can affect anyone.

“As the leading independent charity and strategic commissioner of gambling harm prevention and treatment across Great Britain, we look forward to the publication of the white paper and with it, further regulation to prevent gambling harm.”

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