Thank you for your email.
I agree with you about the importance of betting within the horseracing industry and other pastimes, particularly with Beverley Racecourse being in my constituency – it makes an important contribution to the economy and employs many people, including in more rural areas where employment may be harder to come by. I also appreciate your concerns about not having limits placed on your freedom to spend your money as you choose.
I have been assured by my colleagues that the review aims to make sure that the Gambling Act is fit for the digital age, with it becoming increasingly apparent that the 16-year-old Act is an analogue law for an industry which has changed considerably in the past few decades. They have specifically said that they want to respect the freedom of adults to choose how they spend their money and leisure time, and I have the utmost confidence that the Government will take this into account when conducting the review. I also know that the Government is aware that online gambling on slots, casinos or bingo games is associated with a higher rate of problem gambling (9.2%) compared to online betting with a bookmaker (2.5%).
While gambling is an enjoyable pastime for many, for many others it can become a serious problem, which is why extra protections are being explored to support those who are vulnerable to addiction.
I can assure you that I have taken your concerns on board and I await the Government’s White Paper with its proposals with interest.
Thank you once again for taking the time to get in touch.