Watershed: closing the loopholes in gambling advertising

In Watershed: Closing the loopholes in gambling advertising, ResPublica outlines the practical ways in which greater compliance, fairness and social responsibility can be encouraged in the advertising and licensing of gambling. The recommendations we put forward are not focussed on creating new legislation, but on upholding the regulatory powers already enshrined in the 2005 Gambling Act, such as the Gambling Commission’s power to revoke a license. The Gambling Act of 2005 has failed to maintain a balance between permission, choice and responsibility. The current regulatory framework has allowed the gambling industry to exploit legislative loopholes and breach advertising standards, without fear of meaningful sanction. These existing regulations are not safeguarding individuals and communities as they should. There are an increasing number of problem gamblers in the UK, especially among young people and vulnerable groups. This report calls on Government to take action to close legislative loopholes and encourage social responsibility in the industry, so that gambling in Britain can become part of a culture of both personal choice and social responsibility: creating a market in which fair play is celebrated over vulnerability, exploitation and harm.

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