With the UK’s general election nearing on the horizon, the Labour Party has stated that it would be implementing a new Gambling Act if ever it would be elected into power.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn introduced the Real Change manifesto in Birmingham earlier this month and said the party plans to apprise legislation to make it “fit for the digital age”.
Other developments for the gambling industry include revamping of how advertising is at the moment being conducted, a brand new framework for gambling limits, and a compulsory levy for operators to fund gambling support networks in the UK. This measure is already existing albeit in voluntary form as part of the GameStop service.
Following up on from previous Deputy Leader Tom Watson’s appeals, Labour would also be moving forward with its plans for a new civic ombudsman. The role would oversee consumer engagements and “mechanisms for consumer compensation.”
The party has yet to recommend measures such as prohibiting credit cards when gambling, which is what the smaller Liberal Democrats party is going to bat for in its manifesto.
Instead, Labour is focusing on the relationship between gambling and soccer and sport in general. In his speech, Corbyn established that the party would be committed to “examining the state of the game.” This means endorsing a review on all governance and regulations that impact soccer, including ownership of clubs and how they are getting resources.
Talking 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 placed in 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 forged 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, saying, “It’s time to make rules about gambling adverts and sponsorships much tighter.”
While introducing his manifesto, Corbyn went on to recommend a community profit model. This would see accredited soccer supporters’ trusts able to purchase communal shares and possibly oust at least two club directors.
It’s not just soccer that has come under fire from the Labour party in their manifesto. The document also confirms that considerable sporting events, such as the ICC Cricket World Cup, should be available to watch for free on TV.
Rights are a big issue for the party, which is looking to privatize large parts of telecommunications companies should they become the majority party come election time on December 12.