MP urges operators to take responsibility over gambling harm

13 June 2019

Carolyn Harris MP, chair of the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), has called for online gaming operators to take more responsibility in addressing harms related to gambling and improve their efforts to protect consumers.

Harris, along with other members of the APPG, this week met with the Remote Gambling Association to discuss the steps that the industry is taking to combat gambling-related harm.

However, Harris has now demanded that operators do more to address the harm being caused to individuals and families as a result of problem gambling.

Harris has invited online gambling operators to appear publicly before the APPG to answer questions on the harm they are causing and discuss how they can take action to minimise this harm. 

“The industry has to start taking responsibility; this is about people’s lives,” Harris said.

The APPG, which also counts MPs Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative) and Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party) among its members, is backing plans for licensed operators in the UK to sign up to a code of conduct and take immediate steps to limit harm among consumers.

The committee has extended invitations to gaming operators to appear at an oral evidence session scheduled to take place in September.

The Gambling Related Harm APPG was formed earlier this year after the existing Fixed Odds Betting Terminals APPG moved to expand its reach in order to focus on tackle wider range issues linked to gambling. The original group successfully campaigned for the maximum stake on FOBTs to be lowered from £100 to £2.

This week, the APPG elected Tracey Crouch MP, the former Minister for Sport, Civil Society and Loneliness, as its new vice-chair.

Crouch resigned from her Ministerial role in November 2018 in protest over the government’s decision to delay the introduction of new regulations for FOBTs until October this year. The government eventually brought this forward by six months and the regulations came into effect in April.