New gambling regulation proposals don’t pass muster
Christopher Snowdon quoted in The Yorkshire Times
IEA Research referenced in The Spectator
Christopher Snowdon writes for CapX
“If you’ve noticed an unusually large number of hard luck stories from former gamblers appearing in the media in recent weeks, it is because the government’s ‘long awaited’ white paper on gambling regulation has been inching closer to publication. The BBC, in particular, has been scouring the country for problem gamblers to share their stories, no matter how implausible they may be.
“It has been a long road. The Government launched a call for evidence in December 2020 to see whether gambling regulation was ‘fit for the digital age’. The idea that British gambling laws had become obsolete thanks to modern technology was always a bit questionable.
“The call for evidence was open-ended. The Government did not propose any specific policies. Unsurprisingly, anti-gambling campaigners filled the void by calling for a range of extreme measures,
“Lord Foster of Bath, who chairs the Peers for Gambling Reform group, said, ‘I am shocked to see so many of these proposals being subject to further consultation… With at least one person taking their own life as a result of gambling harm every single day, this Government now just needs to stop dithering and start implementing.’
“But the claim about suicides is completely made up and there has never been a consultation on the policies that have been proposed. Public consultations and impact assessments are the minimum requirement for any government that purports to believe in evidence-based policy. The only reason the anti-gambling lobby wants to legislate in haste is that many of their proposals will fall apart under more careful scrutiny.”
Read Christopher’s full piece here.