The Gamblers Consumer Forum look ahead to the challenges of 2024

What are Harms markers and are they working?

We hope all our followers and supporters had a good Christmas and New Year. We have a big year ahead of us in 2024 which we will briefly preview and highlight. 

The Gambling White Paper continues its consultation period and the DCMS Select Committee have released their report which we have studied over the Christmas period. We will be releasing a separate update about that, but whilst it mainly goes along with the policy objectives (given the lack of expertise of the questioners, that is hardly surprising) there are one or two recommendations which are of interest around friction and advertising. 

The fact that there was no mention of the White Paper in the Kings Speech indicates that much of the planned legislation is heading for the pre election long grass. The Minister speaking at the Gamble Aware conference only mentioned that the latest Criminal Justice legislation would contain anti black market gambling elements within it. 

With that in mind, particular focus will start to turn to the Labour Party who are long odds on to win the next election and the view of their shadow Gambling team. We will be putting across our views and suggestions to them as a voice of UK gamblers and have already had positive exchanges with them.

Whilst this continues unresolved, we have certain bookmakers using the lack of clarity as a smokescreen to exclude profitable punters. One such reported example being the request for 20 years worth of bookmaker statements. With all those in authority claiming this is not their responsibility, we will continue to highlight abuses and call for effective action. 

We will also be continuing to hold the Gambling Commission to account who have announced new consultations for the forthcoming year without published any currents of historic consultations. We have an unanswered letter dating back to October which will be pursue for a response. 

We will also continue to promote our alternative to affordability which is an app concept to direct those showing signs of addiction towards treatment whilst calling out those academics and anti gambling campaigners which aim to effectively prohibit gambling and will inevitably drive the issue underground into the black market. 

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