As the UK government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act approaches, two conservative Members of Parliament have accepted the controversial station of working within the gambling industry to protect the best interests of the people and advise corporations on responsible gambling and customer service practices. Earlier this month, news relating to the roles that the MPs had as well as the daily fees that companies were charged has led to the conservative party coming under fire from the opposition's Members of Parliament that view the particulars of these arrangements as a clear conflict of interest.
The MP from Tewkesbury, Laurence Robertson, took a post working alongside the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) as the council’s parliamentary adviser on sports betting, sports and safer gambling initiatives. When Robertson was asked to make a statement, he said that he would neither advocate for the industry nor make submissions to gambling review as a part of the cross-party relating to betting and gaming groups.
Philip Davies, the MP for Shipley, accepted a consultancy position at well-known GVC Holdings. His role allowed him to advise on responsible gambling initiatives, practices, and customer service related standards. GVC has since gone on record to clarify that Davies no longer works for the company. According to GVC, Davies offered advice based on his unique insights and experience.
The upcoming review has been spearheaded by the government of Boris Johnson, who has publically shared its hope to bring betting legislation and laws into the digital age. Johnson’s manifesto committed his government to the protection of children from virtual harms, as well as those he considered to be “the most vulnerable”, and has since become an integral part of what he has offered the country.
The impending review has remained a bone of contention between the government and the betting industry as the government has already shortened the industry’s reigns significantly in recent months.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) as well as the UK Gambling Commission have both shared the projections of the review with the public. According to both bodies, the planned review of the Act will likely see the government putting radical industry reform measures in place and diverting its attention to consumer protections, compliance duties that operators pay, betting advertising and amendments, the affordability of these changes, and the overall enhancement of safer gambling standards for all.