British MP Preaches Balance as Reforms Loom

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Many people in the United Kingdom are preaching gambling reforms ahead of the publishing of the notorious white paper. The latter is expected to modernize Britain’s gambling laws and make them adequate for the current age. However, not everyone is buying the pro-reforms rhetoric. MP Mark Jenkinson certainly doesn’t.

Jenkinson, who is known as an avid supporter of the gambling industry, asked the reformers to exercise moderation. In a The House post, he opposed the adoption of blanket measures, saying that they will make a lot of people unhappy.

To support his case, Jenkinson pointed to the impressively-low problem gambling rates in Britain, noting that only 0.3% of the population actually suffers from some sort of gambling harm. Therefore, highly-restrictive regulations aren’t likely to be popular among responsible gamblers.

Jenkinson compared the measures proposed by anti-gambling parties to a theoretical limit on alcohol drinking. He noted that many voters would protest against the government if the latter set limits in efforts to combat alcoholism. He emphasized that “a ‘one size fits all’ glove rarely fits anyone.”

Instead of eyeing blanket measures, the government should take advantage of new technology and tools, Jenkinson believes. According to him, the government can leverage technological advancements to adopt a targeted approach and only restrict at-risk players. This way, responsible players will be able to continue playing as usual.

Restricting Gambling Would Affect the Economy

Jenkinson also spoke about the contributions of the gambling sector. Echoing the words of the BGC which recently pointed out that, unlike the alcohol industry, gambling actually contributes to good causes, Jenkinson pointed out that gambling provides billions to the British economy. He fears that restricting gambling could have a negative impact on tourism and finance.

Even worse, restrictive regulations may actually prompt customers to exit the legal gambling market and play with dangerous illegal sites. Jenkinson reminded his readers that the black market does not offer the same player protections and does not pay taxes.

Getting the balance right can often be like walking a tightrope. One foot wrong, and you’ll come crashing down to earth. I decided long ago to make up my own mind about betting and gaming, not fall for the lazy stereotypes others continue to cling to.

Mark Jenkinson

Jenkinson concluded that he hopes the government will be able to find the right balance and exercise moderation when introducing the upcoming reforms.