Westminster eForum

Next steps for online gambling regulation in the UK - advertising, protecting vulnerable groups and sustainable sector growth

Morning, Wednesday, 15th January 2020

Central London


This timely seminar focuses on the next steps for the regulation of online gambling in the UK - looking in particular at:

  • latest thinking on protecting vulnerable groups;
  • advertising regulation; and
  • sustainable sector growth.

Taking place following the launch of the Gambling Commission’s new three-year National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms - the conference will assess its progress, the impact on individuals and the gambling sector, and the way forward for its implementation.

Delegates will discuss the key priorities for meeting strategic priority areas highlighted in the Gambling Commission’s Strategy - prevention and education, and treatment and support - with discussion on the role of research, public health, and partnerships.

Attendees will also discuss the role of research in informing better policy in this area.

It comes with:

  • the Commission’s strategy exploring the establishment of a new National Research Centre and National Data Repository to support current and future research;
  • Public Health England set to undertake the first ever evidence review on the public health harms of gambling; and
  • the ongoing work of the Gambling Research Exchange (GREO) in supporting the dissemination of research.

Delegates will also assess the effectiveness of the steps being taken to work in partnership with those in the NHS and across public health - following the announcement that up to 14 new NHS gambling clinics will open - the first of which opened in September as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, which set out the NHS plan for better access to mental health services.

Delegates will discuss priorities for protecting vulnerable groups online.

It comes as the DCMS committee’s recent report on Immersive and addictive technologies recommended that video game loot boxes be regulated under the Gambling Act, and following a study by the Safer Online Gambling Group which found that young people in the UK are spending £270m a year in total on in-app purchases and video game add-ons.

The seminar takes place in the context of the Advertising Standards Authority’s latest published standards for protecting children and young people from irresponsible gambling ads - which came into effect in April and included guidelines for social media and online gaming.

We expect discussion around targeting users who are likely to be under 18 based on online data collection, content regulation - particularly in respect of the use of influencers who are likely to appeal to children in adverts - and new strategies for ensuring compliance, such as the ASA’s use of child avatars to seek out adverts that appeared on openly accessible websites.

Delegates will also discuss the key priorities for ensuring a safer gambling environment - with discussion around the strengthening of age verification rules for online gambling and the proposed ban on gambling with credit cards.

The role of voluntary measures and the industry response will also be assessed.

It  follows a commitment from leading gambling companies to increase the voluntary levy they pay from 0.1% of annual UK revenue to 1% within five years - as part of a broader package of measures that also include plans to increase safer gambling messages in adverts and review the ‘tone and content’ of marketing and sponsorship material.

Sessions will also examine the key challenges facing the retail gambling sector and how it is adapting in the current regulatory climate.

Areas for discussion include alternative revenue streams that are required to put the sector on a sustainable footing for the future and the impact of shifts towards online gambling on the wider sector.

Keynote Speakers

Helen Rhodes

Programme Director for Safer Gambling, Gambling Commission

Guy Parker

Chief Executive, Advertising Standards Authority

Keynote Speakers

Helen Rhodes

Programme Director for Safer Gambling, Gambling Commission

Guy Parker

Chief Executive, Advertising Standards Authority


Richard Graham MP

Baroness Thornhill

Member, House of Lords Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry Select Committee


Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones

Founder and Director, National Problem Gambling Clinic and Spokesperson, Behavioural Addictions and Problem Gambling, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Lauren Iannarone

Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Playtech

Dr Trudy Smit Quosai

Chief Executive Officer, Gambling Research Exchange (GREO)

Adam Rivers

Director, Economics, KPMG

Matt Zarb-Cousin

Co-Founder and Director, Public Affairs, Gamban

Professor Siân Griffiths

Chair, Centre for Health and Development; Chair, Global Health Committee and Associate Non-Executive Board Member, Public Health England

Wes Himes

Interim Chief Executive, The Remote Gambling Association

Sarah Hanratty

Chief Executive, Senet Group

Diane Mullenex

Partner, Pinsent Masons