MP Iain Duncan Smith believes Gambling Commission should be scrapped
Senior Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith has repeated his call for the government to completely discard the Gambling Commission, as DCMS starts off its long-awaited review of the 2005 Gambling Act.
Duncan Smith claimed that the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Gambling Related Harm had been the only committee to preserve the pressure put on the government in order to carry out its review of the gambling sector.
“We have been calling for reform of our gambling laws for many years, and so I very much welcome the launch of the long-awaited gambling review published this week,” he wrote.
The former leader of the Conservative Party (2001-2003) said that APPG’s many first-hand accounts of gambling harms ruining young peoples’ lives should make up a part of DCMS inquiry.
While addressing gambling’s current regulatory structures, Duncan Smith severely reprimanded the UKGC of inaction which had led the “gambling industry and its profits to grow exponentially extracting most of their money from those who are most addicted – with 60 percent of the profits coming from just 5 percent of gamblers, who are those likely to be experiencing harm”.
At the beginning of 2020, Duncan Smith publicly denounced the UKGC for consulting GVC Holdings on how to develop a ‘code of conduct’ on high-value customers (VIPs). Duncan Smith repeated his previous stance that not only should the government review the Commission, “but to be rid of it altogether and instead institute a regulatory body that independently monitors the industry”.
Despite the fact that all UK operators agreeing to reorganize and audit their VIPs programmes, Duncan Smith continues that all VIP customer schemes must absolutely be banned as the ‘most pernicious aspect of gambling’ driving players into majors levels of debt.
Duncan Smith told ministers of their duties in not holding back from tackling radical reforms, a must in order to prevent ‘gambling addiction from becoming the public health crisis of our time’.
“This time the government must be clear: the industry is in dire need of a reset,” he concluded. “The gambling industry must be made to understand the extent of the responsibilities it holds in order that the public can be better served.”