Gambling

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 16th November 2020.

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Photo of Lord Filkin Lord Filkin Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to enforce (1) effective affordability checks for gamblers, and (2) a duty of care on gambling companies.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Gambling Commission licence conditions require operators to monitor play and intervene where there are signs that a customer may be at risk of experiencing harm, including by spending more than they can afford. Guidance issued by the Commission in May makes clear that operators must set realistic spend/deposit thresholds for triggering affordability assessments.

On 3 November, the Commission launched a consultation and call for evidence on more prescriptive requirements for operators to identify and intervene with customers who may be at risk of harm. This included a specific process for assessing affordability and particular consideration will be given to the spending/ loss thresholds at which it might be proportionate to require operators to complete affordability checks. The call for evidence runs until January and next steps will be announced once the evidence has been considered.

In July, the House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry published its report which recommended that the law should be amended to place a statutory duty of care on operators. The government is considering that recommendation and others made by the Committee carefully and will publish its response in due course.

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