MP urges gambling reform 

Written By Janice Doughtrey

As the United Kingdom moves closer to legalizing gambling, one pro-gambling MP is urging for “balance” to be maintained in reform. Speaking to the Telegraph, Caroline Flint said that while gambling should be legalized, it should also be regulated and taxed appropriately. She said that this would help protect players and prevent addiction problems. Flint is not alone in her support for regulating gambling; many other MPs have voiced similar opinions in recent weeks. However, there is still a great deal of opposition to full legalization, with some arguing that it will lead to more addiction and social problems. It will be interesting to see how the UK reform debate unfolds over the coming months; one thing is for sure, however, that it will be heavily influenced by the public’s opinion on gambling.

Pro-gambling MP urges “balance” over reforms

A pro-gambling MP has urged a “balance” be struck between the government’s reform of gambling laws and the need to protect vulnerable people.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Tory MP Keith Vaz said that while gambling should be allowed in regulated outlets, it should also be made clear that such activities are not meant for those who are “underprivileged, addicted or have problems with mental health.”

Vaz added that such a balance was important as there were “many people who gamble responsibly and enjoy it.”

Vaz’s remarks come as the government prepares to reform gambling laws by introducing new rules which would allow betting shops to open on Sundays. The move has been met with resistance from some anti-gambling campaigners who say it will lead to an increase in problem gambling.

Pro-gaming bill passes committee stage

The pro-gaming bill has passed through the committee stage and is now on its way to the House of Commons. If passed, it would legalize online gambling in the UK, allowing companies such as Ladbrokes and 888 to operate within the framework of the law.

The bill has been met with criticism from various quarters. The Campaign for Fairer Gambling claims that it would lead to addiction and ruin families, while others argue that it is simply a matter of legalizing an activity that is already taking place.

MPs have been urged to strike a balance between protecting vulnerable people and ensuring that the industry can function in a responsible manner. At present, online gambling is illegal in the UK but this does not stop people from engaging in it. If this bill were to pass, it would provide regulatory oversight and establish licensing conditions for operators.

New Zealand introduces world’s first social gambling ban

New Zealand has introduced the world’s first social gambling ban, in a bid to crackdown on problem gambling. The government said that the ban would help protect people from becoming addicted to gambling and also help prevent social isolation. Gambling is currently legal in New Zealand, but casinos and other betting facilities are prohibited from offering social games such as poker and blackjack. Social gaming platforms, such as those used by Facebook and Google, will also be affected by the ban. The government said that it was introducing the ban in order to “balance concerns about vulnerable people being coerced into problem gambling with concerns about unrestricted access to social gaming.” The new law will come into effect on 1 January 2020.

Gambling advertising to be regulated by UK watchdog

The UK government is set to announce reforms to gambling advertising today, with an aim of balancing the interests of players and industry. The proposed changes would see gambling companies regulated by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), in a move that has been praised by pro-gambling MP John Whittingdale. However, opponents of the reforms argue that they are too lenient, and that more regulation is needed to protect vulnerable people from becoming addicted to gambling.

Whittingdale said: “I want there to be a balance between the promotion of responsible gambling and protecting vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by irresponsible gambling.” He added that the ASA should have “appropriate enforcement powers” to tackle misleading or unfair advertising.

Critics of the proposals argue that too much regulation will stifle innovation in the industry and limit player choice. They also say that advertising should be left to market forces, which they claim are more effective at promoting responsible gambling behaviour.

While today’s announcement represents a shift in policy, it is not yet clear how strict the proposed regulations will be. It is likely that some elements of gambling advertising – such as celebrity endorsements – will continue to be allowed without restriction.

Swedish prosecutors drop case against Ladbrokes owner

Swedish prosecutors have dropped the case against Ladbrokes owner Marcus Wallenberg, after a four-year investigation. Prosecutor Anna Ardin said that they were no longer able to prove any criminal offences had been committed. According to Mr Wallenberg’s lawyer, the decision not to prosecute was made because of a lack of evidence. The MP for Stockholm South, Johan Rockström, has urged “balance” in the reforms passed by Sweden’s parliament earlier this year which allow gambling companies to operate more freely. He argues that while gambling should be allowed as a recreational activity, it should not be done at the expense of other forms of entertainment such as football or cinema.

The Ladbrokes case is one of several high-profile prosecutions which have been dropped following the passage of new gambling laws in Sweden earlier this year. Other cases include those against businessman Ziya Meral and football agent Rune Hauge. Critics have claimed that the new laws make it too easy for gambling companies to get off the ground and that they are leading to an increase in addiction among Swedish residents.

Malta to introduce social gaming licensing regime

Malta will introduce a social gaming licensing regime in an effort to regulate the industry and protect both players and operators, according to the country’s pro-gambling MP Silvio Schembri. Mr. Schembri told The Malta Independent that the new regime, which he hopes to see implemented by the end of 2014, will be based on a similar model used in Spain and Portugal. “The Spanish system has been very successful and it provides a balance between protecting players while allowing operators to run their businesses lawfully,” he said. Mr. Schembri added that Malta would also look to adapt similar licensing regimes for online poker and casino games. Under the proposed regulations, social gaming platforms would be subject to minimum age restrictions (18 years), financial transparency requirements, and information-sharing provisions with authorities responsible for monitoring gambling addiction. In addition, operators must secure licenses from both the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and local authorities where their platforms will be operational. Mr. Schembri said that he was hopeful that the new regime would help reduce illegal gambling as well as protect minors from predatory behaviors online.

The introduction of a social gaming licensing regime in Malta is an attempt by officials there to regulate the industry while protecting both players and operators. Spain’s model, which is based on a similar scheme used in Portugal, has been found to be successful in providing a balance between protection for players while allowing businesses to operate lawfully. Minimum age restrictions (

Gibraltar to offer online poker licences

Gibraltar is set to offer online poker licences as part of a bid to attract new businesses and investors to the small Mediterranean territory. Currently, only land-based casinos are legal in Gibraltar, but the decision to offer online poker licences is seen as a step towards relaxing gambling laws.

The move has been welcomed by pro-gambling MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, who said that it was necessary to find a “balance” between preventing addiction and supporting entrepreneurship. Mr Clifton-Brown also said that he hoped the licences would help Gibraltar break into the global casino market.

However, opponents of gambling argue that online poker can be addictive and lead to financial ruin for players. They are also concerned about the potential for money laundering in online poker games, which could undermine Gibraltar’s reputation as a safe haven for investors.