Thank you for contacting me about the Gambling Review.
I appreciate your concerns over the impact of the Gambling Commission’s consultation, specifically in regard to affordability checks. It is my understanding that the proposals focused on more prescriptive requirements for operators to identify and intervene with customers who may be at risk of harm. This included a specific process for assessing affordability and particular consideration will be given to the spending/loss threshold at which it might be proportionate to require operators to complete affordability checks.
The Gambling Commission's report can be found online at: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/strategy/raising-standards-for-consumers-compliance-and-enforcement-report-2019-20/triggers-and-customer-affordability. As you will see, in response to evidence showing some gamblers may be at greater risk of harm during lockdown, the Commission published new guidance for online operators to help reduce the risk of harm in these unprecedented circumstances.
I recognise that gambling is for many people an enjoyable pastime but equally that for some people it becomes a serious problem. While we all want a healthy gambling industry that makes an important contribution to the economy, we should also at least give serious consideration to commonsensical measures that might protect a vulnerable cohort of problem gamblers from serious or further harm.
Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking