UK’s Labour Party Calls for Major Changes to Gambling Regulations, Soccer Advertising if Elected

  • Labour wants to bring gambling into the digital age
  • It will concentrate on the relationship between gambling and soccer
  • Party has pledged to review the governance of soccer clubs
  • It will look at how clubs are funded, including advertising
voting ballot including UK Labour Party candidacy
The UK’s Labour Party has announced that it wants to overhaul the current gambling industry, including soccer advertising regulations. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Overhaul of the Gambling Act

As the general election in the UK draws nearer, the main opposition Labour Party has said it will implement a new Gambling Act if it comes to power next month.

the party plans to update legislation to make it “fit for the digital age”

Leader Jeremy Corbyn launched the Real Change manifesto in Birmingham on Thursday. He said the party plans to update legislation to make it “fit for the digital age”.

Other new developments for the gambling industry include an overhaul of how advertising is currently conducted, a new framework for gambling limits, and a compulsory levy for operators to fund gambling support networks in the UK. This measure already exists in voluntary form as part of the GAMSTOP service.

Monitored consumer engagements

Following on from previous Deputy Leader Tom Watson’s calls, Labour will proceed with its plans for a new civic ombudsman. The role would oversee consumer engagements and “mechanisms for consumer compensation”.

The party has yet to suggest measures such as banning credit cards when gambling, which is what the smaller Liberal Democrats party is leading with in its manifesto.

Instead, Labour is concentrating on the relationship between gambling and soccer and sport as a whole. In his speech, Corbyn confirmed that the party would be committed to “examining the state of the game”. This means sanctioning a review on all governance and regulations that affect soccer, including ownership of clubs and how they are funded.

Soccer advertising concerns

Speaking about soccer, Corbyn observed that “the professional game has become divided between the extremes of the very rich and the very poor, with clubs in Bury and Bolton facing collapse.”

Soccer advertising was thrust into the spotlight in the UK after two Premier League clubs were forced to drop 1xBet as a sponsor earlier this year.

Both Liverpool and Chelsea FC had announced partnerships at the start of the season before the betting company was found to have advertised illegally elsewhere.

At the time, Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson called for a crackdown on gambling advertisements. He said,

It’s time to make rules about gambling adverts and sponsorships much tighter.”

Rights a big issue

While launching his manifesto, Corbyn went on to suggest a community profit model. This would see accredited soccer supporters’ trusts able to buy communal shares and potentially oust at least two club directors.

It’s not just soccer that has come under Labour scrutiny in their manifesto. The document also confirms that significant sporting events, such as the ICC Cricket World Cup, should be available to watch for free on TV.

Rights are currently a big issue for the party, which will look to privatize large parts of telecommunications companies if they become the majority party on December 12.