Following the review of the Gambling Act 2005, the gambling White Paper published in April 2023 set out the UK government’s plans for modernising the regulation of the gambling sector.
One of the key proposals in the White Paper was the introduction of a statutory levy on gambling operators. Section 123 of the Gambling Act 2005 contains a power to enable the creation of a statutory levy which would be payable to the Gambling Commission to fund projects related to addiction to gambling, other forms of harm or exploitation associated with gambling, or any of the licensing objectives. Such projects may be undertaken by the Commission itself and/or through the distribution of funds to other bodies (including other public sector bodies) who are undertaking projects connected with gambling addiction, harms or exploitation, or in connection with any of the licensing objectives. No government has used these powers to date.
The government is now consulting on proposals on the key aspects of the levy’s design, including its structure, distribution and governance. It points out that there are significant complexities around the transition to the new system and it wants the best available evidence when finalising policy decisions with the aim of facilitating proportionate and effective action.
The consultation will ends on 14 December 2023. Following this, the government will publish a formal response setting out its final decisions and reasoning before implementing the changes. Any changes to the law will be made by secondary legislation.