Saturday March 2,2014 : BRITISH CULTURE MINISTER SUPPORTS STRONGER GAMBLING REGULATION
The betting industry is not doing enough to protect gamblers, says Maria Miller.
With a general election not too far distant, and the recent storm of largely negative media coverage on FOBTs, it is perhaps not surprising that British Culture Minister Maria Miller has now recommended that the Association of British Bookmakers' new code of practice be made compulsory.
The BBC reported Sunday that the minister feels the betting industry is not doing enough to protect gamblers, saying that she would look at whether warning messages when someone has spent GBP 250 or been playing for 30 minutes on high-stakes machines are tough enough.
Miller said she wanted stricter rules around the gambling industry, and that it was possible that the ABB voluntary code did not go far enough.
The minister has tasked the UK Gambling Commission with investigating whether tougher regulations are needed. She has also asked the UK Advertising Standards Authority to review the rules surrounding gambling adverts, voicing concerns on the volume of advertising and whether minors and the vulnerable need more protection.
Miller told the BBC: "We want a successful gambling industry but not at the price of public protection. Player protections must be made mandatory so that every bookmaker must abide by the new rules.
"I have asked the Gambling Commission to make this happen. In the future, these rules will therefore form part of the operators' licence conditions and bookmakers will have to accept them or not be able to trade."
The Association of British Bookmakers welcomed the government's plans.
It said it wanted to help the small number of people who had gambling problems without ruining the experience for those who gambled safely.