The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a “major and wide-ranging review of gambling laws to ensure they are fit for the digital age”.
The DCMS said online restrictions, marketing and the powers of the Gambling Commission would be looked at as part of a call for evidence, to examine in detail how gambling has changed over the past 15 years.
Protections for online gamblers like stake and spend limits, advertising and promotional offers and whether extra protections for young adults are needed will all be explored, it added.
The review of the Gambling Act 2005 will also consider the Gambling Commission’s powers and resources to ensure it can keep pace with the licensed sector and tackle the black market, the DCMS said.
The findings will be used to inform any changes to the Gambling Act 2005 “to ensure customer protection is at the heart of the regulations, while giving those that gamble safely the freedom to do so”.
The DCMS said the review would also look at evidence on the action customers can take where they feel operators have breached social responsibility requirements, and how to ensure children and young people are kept safe from gambling-related harm.
“The Government recognises the need to balance the enjoyment people get from gambling with the right regulatory framework and protections,” it added.
It has also been announced today that the minimum age for playing the National Lottery will be raised from 16 to 18 from October 2021.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Whilst millions gamble responsibly, the Gambling Act is an analogue law in a digital age. From an era of having a flutter in a high street bookmaker, casino, racecourse or seaside pier, the industry has evolved at breakneck speed.
“This comprehensive review will ensure we are tackling problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people. It will also help those who enjoy placing a bet to do so safely.
“This builds upon our clear track record of introducing tough measures to protect people from the risk of gambling harm - banning the use of credit cards, launching tighter age verification checks and cutting the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals.”