The UK Government’s long-awaited review of the 2005 Gambling Act is currently underway, giving us a unique chance for our voices to be heard, and for us to get the changes that will massively benefit public health.
Words by Tom Fleming
The 2005 Gambling Act
The 2005 Gambling Act was designed to ensure that the regulatory framework that the gambling industry operates in is fit for purpose.
As you can imagine, a lot has changed since 2005, especially with regards to mobile and internet technology. It is crucial that the Government gets this review right, to protect young people who have been exposed to gambling adverts and end the normalisation of gambling in society. To do this, they need our help.
Read more: What’s changed since 2005?
What is the Call for Evidence?
As part of the review, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is inviting people to submit evidence, which they will then consider before making any policy changes.
This period, which is currently underway, is called the ‘Call for Evidence’ and lasts until midnight on March 31st. The DCMS are requesting evidence in the form of written responses to a number of pre-prepared questions.
To view all of the questions, please click here.
Who can supply evidence?
Anyone and everyone. The Big Step believes the voices of people who have been harmed by gambling, whether directly or indirectly, will be particularly powerful. These voices are what we call ‘Experts by Experience’ and will be vital in instigating policy change.
The Call for Evidence represents a unique chance for our voices to be heard, which we may not get again for at least another decade. The more people that supply evidence, the greater chance we have of achieving the changes in Government policy that will massively benefit public health, by protecting young people and those at risk of addiction.
How to supply evidence
The process can seem complicated, but please don’t worry – it’s really quite simple and we are here to help. There are 45 questions in total, each focusing on different aspects of the industry. Don’t worry – you don’t need to answer all 45!
Of course, you can answer as many questions as you like, but the Big Step’s campaign specifically focuses on questions 11 and 14, as below:
Q11: What are the benefits or harms caused by allowing licensed gambling operators to advertise?
Q14: What is the positive or negative impact of gambling sponsorship arrangements across sports, esports and other areas?
We are committed to ending harmful gambling advertising and sponsoring within football, and we believe that these two questions are the most relevant to our aims.
We know that the normalisation of gambling in football, which is achieved through advertising, marketing and sponsorship, is harmful to public health, and has absolutely no benefit to the public.
Submitting your evidence
Once you’re happy with your answers, please send them as a PDF or Word document to [email protected] before midnight on March 31st, 2021. Please note that the DCMS will only accept Word documents and PDFs.
After the Call for Evidence period ends, the review enters a ‘Consultation Period’, during which individual submissions will be considered, before the outcome of the Review later in the year.
Rest assured, we will continue to raise awareness and campaign for change throughout the year.
Together our voices will be heard, and we will make a difference.
Thank you for your support.