The aim of this study is to look at the way bookmakers, and the gambling industry as a whole, are regulated and the problems that can occur through the lack of regulation in certain areas.
It is by no means exhaustive but we hope it will act as
a catalyst for debate.
“Throughout history, from the pastimes of ancient Pompeii to those of the twentieth century, gaming has presented its appeal to all sections of society and also its inescapable problems.” This statement rings true for all forms of gambling such as betting and lotteries as well as gaming.
The Law in the UK relating to gambling is in the process of a much needed overhaul. In 2000 the Government appointed Sir Alan Budd to conduct a report into the reform of the UK’s gambling laws.
The Gambling Review Body was instructed with the task of scrutinising the current legislative and regulatory framework and asked how the law should be changed to bring it up to date with the rapid changes the industry has experienced in recent years. The report was published in July 2001. The Government has taken on board these recommendations and published its key objectives in its response A Safe Bet For Success published in 2002.
Gambling is a pastime that is enjoyed by many in the UK, three quarters of the population (33 million adults) have taken part in some form of gambling activity in the last year. Gambling is also big business in the UK. A KPMG study found that the total amount wagered on all gambling in the UK in 1998 was over £42 billion, the gross gaming yield from this amount was £7.4 billion.
A study published in 2001 by the Office for National Statistics showed that non-retired single men spend on average £140 a year on gambling. This equates to 2.5% of all expenditure on travel and leisure. Men in this group spend more on gambling than they do on toiletries and beauty products (50% more).
Considering the rigorous testing that all toiletries and beauty products have to go through before they are allowed on the shelves, and the fact that men choose to spend more on gambling, their interests should be protected. With the very large sums of money involved it is necessary to ensure that the industry is regulated correctly and that punters are not put at a disadvantage. After all if there was no punter, then there would be no industry at all.
The current laws were first enacted over 30 years ago. No one could have anticipated the changes that would occur over the intervening years to alter the shape of gambling, not only in the UK, but across the world.