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Government Response to the House of Lords Gambling Industry Committee Report: Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry Published Date: 09/12/2020

The Government response to the House of Lords Gambling Industry Committee was presented to Parliament by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Heritage and Tourism by Command of Her Majesty Laid in Parliament on 8 December 2020.

On the issue of regulation by local authorities, the  Committee’s recommendation was:

  • The Act should be amended to give licensing Committees deciding on the licensing of premises for gambling the same powers as they already have when deciding on the licensing of premises for the sale of alcohol. (Paragraph 261)

The Government response states (paragraphs 26 and 27):

Like many sectors of the economy, the gambling industry is seeing a significant and ongoing shift to online. Between the financial years 2015-16 and 2018-19, the gross gambling yield of the land-based gambling sector fell by 6.5%, while that of the online sector grew by 18% in real terms.[footnote 8] This change in consumer preferences was reflected in falling numbers of land-based premises. From March 2016 to March 2020 the number of gambling premises operated by Gambling Commission licensees fell by 13%.[footnote 9] In addition to the impact of the stake cut to B2 gaming machines in betting shops, the entirety of the land-based sector has been affected by the impacts of Covid-19 and the long term consequences of this are not yet known.

The government is keen to understand more about the immediate and long term effects of these changes. We will seek views from licensing and local authorities on what, if any, changes they want to see made to their powers, and consider these alongside any evidence they can provide to demonstrate the necessity for these changes. The Gambling Act Review will also consider the balance between online and land-based gambling to make sure we have an equitable approach to the regulation of different types of operator.

Read the full response.