UK Government confirms review of industry FOBTs & advertising

Tracey Crouch

Industry Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) and advertising standards will be on the Conservative government agenda, following confirmation of an industry review by Culture, Media & Sports Minister Tracey Crouch.

The latest review by the government aims to probe FOBTs coverage within UK highstreets, gaming machine stakes/prizes and industry social responsibility measures.

As reported this September, the government has further attached a review of gambling advertising practices, which may see the implementation of an outright 9pm watershed ban on all sports betting advertising.

Under the directives of the industry devised ‘Gambling Code for Socially Responsible Advertising’ sports betting operator have been allowed to advertise services around televised sporting events.

The government review will revaluate advertising provisions of the 2005 Gambling Act, which removed ‘longstanding restrictions’ on betting advertising.

Confirming the review, MP Tracey Crouch stated that the government supports “a healthy gambling industry that generates investment and employment. But we must also be mindful of building an industry and wider economy that works for all.”

The review has received cross-party support with the Labour ministers stating that it was ‘long overdue’.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed its support for the review stating that it would submit advice to the government ‘in-line with its statutory duties. Sarah Harrison, Gambling Commission Chief Executive, commented on the review

“We’re very pleased that the review has been announced and that we have a clear timetable – it offers an excellent opportunity for all those with an interest in gambling to ensure their voices are heard. I would encourage any interested parties to share their views with government.”

“Our advice, which will be informed by our expert advisors the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, will be made public after it is submitted. Obviously it would be inappropriate to offer a running commentary as the review progresses.”

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