Members of the Lords discussed a government amendment to extend the horserace betting levy scheme to offshore bookmakers. The government also pledged to develop wider levy reform options and consult on these later in the year.
Peers went on to consider the regulation of gambling advertising and whether the bill would lead to an increase in advertising - driven by online providers based outside the UK. The government confirmed a review of existing advertising arrangements is underway and will be calling for submissions.
The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill went to the Commons for consideration of the Lords' change. It was agreed to and the bill now awaits royal assent. It received royal assent and became law on Wednesday 14 May.
Gambling Bill report stage: Tuesday 4 March
Lords began by discussing gambling licenses. An amendment proposing that the Gambling Commission should be able to block financial transactions between people living in the UK and online gambling websites that have not secured a UK Gambling Commission licence went to a vote. Members voted 171 for and 185 against, so the change was not made.
Peers also looked at rules around the advertising of remote gambling, particularly where it is likely to be seen by children, and whether the horserace betting levy should be extended to overseas bookmakers.
Gambling Bill grand committee stage: Thursday 23 January
The Gambling Bill spent one day in grand committee in the Moses Room. The process is the same as committee stage taken in the chamber as members carry out a detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of a bill but no votes may take place.
Starting from the front of the bill, members work through to the end. Any member of the Lords can take part. The single exception is that votes do not take place in a grand committee. Any issues requiring a vote must be resolved when the bill returns to the main chamber for report stage.
Gambling Bill second reading: Tuesday 17 December 2013
Members of the Lords discussed the key principles and purpose of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill during second reading, on Tuesday 17 December.
Peers looked at how the bill would tighten the regulatory framework around remote gambling (gambling using the internet, telephone, television or other kinds of electronic communication), and require remote operators to hold a Gambling Commission licence to deal with UK consumers or to advertise in the UK.
Concerns were raised around the tax rate the Treasury puts on gambling and the amount of responsibility the Gambling Commission would have under the bill. Peers also asked how unlicensed gambling providers would be prevented from operating in the UK market.
Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill summary
The gambling bill is designed to ensure greater protection measures for users of remote gambling services. The bill will:
- Ensure remote gambling operators are regulated at point of consumption rather than country of origin
- Require remote gambling operators to hold a UK Gambling Commission licence
- Require remote gambling operators to report suspicious betting patterns involving British customers
- Require gambling operators to contribute to research, education and treatment of gambling addiction.