Clause 2 - Repeal of existing offence of advertising foreign gambling

Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 19th November 2013.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The clause repeals section 331 which makes it an offence to advertise foreign gambling. The effect of the repeal is that operators based in European economic area states, Gibraltar or a white list jurisdiction will no longer be able to advertise remote gambling without a licence from the Gambling Commission. That is consistent with the purpose of the Bill, which is to ensure consistent regulation by the Gambling Commission wherever an operator is based. The clause also makes minor and technical amendments consequential on the repeal of section 331.

Photo of Clive Efford Clive Efford Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport)

I understand that we need to repeal section 331 because it prepares for the licensing of operators who are not currently allowed to advertise in Great Britain. My question is similar to one that I asked about the previous clause: when will the white list come to an end? Will we have a period of dual licensing, during which the white list still exists and new operators are licensed by the Gambling Commission? I want to understand how that will function and how long it might last. Might it drag on? It could be chaotic if there is not a plan to ensure that there is an end date. Could there be any legal challenges that would delay the ending of the white list system before we can fully implement a new regulatory system? I think I have spoken long enough for a note to reach the Minister.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

I am very grateful to the shadow Minister. The note reached me in the nick of time. The white list will come to an end on commencement and there will be no dual track in terms of continuation licences. I hope that that satisfies him.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 2 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.