Britain’s gambling laws didn’t anticipate smartphones – rewrite them now| Matt Zarb-Cousin

The public and all parties agree that the gambling industry must no longer profit from public harm

In an increasingly divided country, opinions on the issue of gambling reform are slowly reaching a consensus. This should come as little surprise given how outdated the current laws are: the 2005 Gambling Act was based on a review by the economist Sir Alan Budd way back in 2001, when Nokia 3210s were the pinnacle of technology and smartphones were the stuff of science fiction.

When Budd appeared at a recent House of Lords inquiry, he conceded that when he wrote his review “no one had even thought about the possibility that someone might be holding something in his or her hand and be allowed to gamble freely”. Today a huge proportion of online gambling is carried out on smartphones.

Related: The rising tide of female gamblers need help. I know, I lost my home and job | Anonymous

Matt Zarb-Cousin is director of Clean Up Gambling, and is former spokesperson for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling

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