The gambling White Paper – what does it include and what has it left out?

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The gambling White Paper is the most comprehensive review of the industry in 15 years. What plans does it include and what has it left out?

– A statutory gambling operator levy

The levy will ensure that operators help fund treatment services and research, including through the NHS. Currently the size of the contribution is not mandated and not all betting companies pay their fair share – some have paid as little as £1.

– New stake limits for online slot games

Limits will be between £2 and £15 per spin, but there will also be a consultation on measures to provide greater protection for 18 to 24-year-olds who are known to be at heightened risk of harm.

– Player protection checks

These will protect those most at risk of harm before unaffordable or harmful losses are incurred.

– Extra powers for the Gambling Commission

The regulator is to be given greater powers to tackle black market operators through court orders and work with Internet Service Providers (ISPs), to take down and block illegal gambling sites.

– Rules on bonus offers

New rules are planned to prevent bonus offers harming vulnerable people, for example, looking at how free bets or spins are constructed and targeted to stop them being harmful.

– Closing loopholes for under 18s

Loopholes are to be closed to to make sure under 18s cannot gamble either online or via cash fruit machines, and include bringing football pools betting in line with National Lottery play for over 18s only.

– A new industry ombudsman

An ombudsman will deal with disputes and rule on redress where a customer suffers losses due to an operator failing in their duties to protect players.

What is not included?

– Advertising

Campaigners had called for a ban on gambling advertising and sponsorship, but the Premier League has already announced a voluntary ban on gambling sponsorship on the front of match-day shirts.

The Premier League also said it was working with other sports on the development of a new gambling sponsorship code.

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