To match an exact phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate". Use "OR" or "AND" as link words to form more complex queries.


Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest developments by exploring our subscription options to receive notifications direct to your inbox

Written Question
Gambling: Advertising
Tuesday 27th February 2024

Asked by: Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party - Inverclyde)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Government has made of the adequacy of (a) voluntary and (b) self-regulatory efforts to limit the number of gambling advertisements.

Answered by Stuart Andrew - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

In our approach to gambling advertising, we have struck a balanced and evidence-led approach which tackles aggressive advertising that is most likely to appeal to children, while recognising that advertising is an entirely legitimate commercial practice for responsible gambling firms.

There are robust rules in place to ensure that gambling advertising is socially responsible and that it cannot be targeted at or strongly appeal to children. This includes specific licence conditions for operators, including the requirement to abide by the UK Advertising Codes, which further regulate how gambling operators advertise. The UK Advertising Codes were strengthened in 2022, with new protections for children and vulnerable adults.

Voluntary measures on advertising implemented through the IGRG Code (now in its 7th edition) include a watershed ban on gambling adverts and ensuring operators’ advertising on social media platforms is targeted away from anyone below the age of 25.

We also welcomed the voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on TV betting ads during live sports programmes, which was agreed by industry. According to figures from the Betting and Gaming Council, the ban reduced gambling advertisement views by children (age 4-17) by 70% over the full duration of live sporting programmes. We also welcomed the Premier League’s announcement that it will ban gambling sponsors from the front of shirts by the end of the 2025/26 season, and are working with a wider group of sports governing bodies to introduce a Code of Conduct on responsible gambling sponsorship.

Earlier this year, HM Government published a White Paper on gambling which outlined a comprehensive package of reforms to make gambling safer. This included measures to tackle the most aggressive and harmful advertising practices by preventing bonuses being constructed and targeted in harmful ways, giving customers more control over the marketing they receive, and introducing messaging about the risks associated with gambling.


Written Question
Gambling: Video Games
Wednesday 7th February 2024

Asked by: Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party - Inverclyde)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department plans to take steps to help prevent prevent a potential normalisation of gambling among young people via loot boxes in Apps and video games.

Answered by Julia Lopez - Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

Following the Government response to the call for evidence on loot boxes in video games, the Government has welcomed new industry-led guidance that aims to address the concerns identified for all players, including young people.

Measures to protect players should ensure that the purchase of loot boxes should be unavailable to all children and young people unless enabled by a parent or guardian, and all players should have access to, and be aware of, spending controls and transparent information to support safe and responsible gameplay.

The Government has agreed a 12-month implementation period for the new guidance on loot boxes and has asked the industry, coordinated by Ukie, to report back to DCMS on the extent to which it has been implemented.

We will continue to keep our position on possible future legislative options under review, informed by academic scrutiny of the industry-led measures. We will provide a further update in due course, following the 12-month implementation period.

Under the Gambling Act 2005, gambling is defined as playing a game of chance for a prize of money or money’s worth. The prizes that can be won via most loot boxes do not have a monetary value, cannot be cashed-out, and are of value only within the context of the game. They therefore do not meet that definition. As set out in the Government’s response to the call for evidence, there are also a number of disadvantages to changing the definition of gambling including the likelihood of capturing unintended activities, creating logistical difficulties in increasing the remit of the Gambling Commission, and undermining gambling taxation.


Written Question
Gambling: Video Games
Wednesday 7th February 2024

Asked by: Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party - Inverclyde)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, on what evidential basis the decision not to define loot boxes as gambling as part of the Gambling White Paper was made.

Answered by Julia Lopez - Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

Following the Government response to the call for evidence on loot boxes in video games, the Government has welcomed new industry-led guidance that aims to address the concerns identified for all players, including young people.

Measures to protect players should ensure that the purchase of loot boxes should be unavailable to all children and young people unless enabled by a parent or guardian, and all players should have access to, and be aware of, spending controls and transparent information to support safe and responsible gameplay.

The Government has agreed a 12-month implementation period for the new guidance on loot boxes and has asked the industry, coordinated by Ukie, to report back to DCMS on the extent to which it has been implemented.

We will continue to keep our position on possible future legislative options under review, informed by academic scrutiny of the industry-led measures. We will provide a further update in due course, following the 12-month implementation period.

Under the Gambling Act 2005, gambling is defined as playing a game of chance for a prize of money or money’s worth. The prizes that can be won via most loot boxes do not have a monetary value, cannot be cashed-out, and are of value only within the context of the game. They therefore do not meet that definition. As set out in the Government’s response to the call for evidence, there are also a number of disadvantages to changing the definition of gambling including the likelihood of capturing unintended activities, creating logistical difficulties in increasing the remit of the Gambling Commission, and undermining gambling taxation.


Written Question
Gambling: Video Games
Wednesday 7th February 2024

Asked by: Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party - Inverclyde)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has made an assessment of the relationship between (a) the use of in-game loot boxes and (b) the likelihood of future gambling related harms amongst young people.

Answered by Julia Lopez - Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

Following the Government response to the call for evidence on loot boxes in video games, the Government has welcomed new industry-led guidance that aims to address the concerns identified for all players, including young people.

Measures to protect players should ensure that the purchase of loot boxes should be unavailable to all children and young people unless enabled by a parent or guardian, and all players should have access to, and be aware of, spending controls and transparent information to support safe and responsible gameplay.

The Government has agreed a 12-month implementation period for the new guidance on loot boxes and has asked the industry, coordinated by Ukie, to report back to DCMS on the extent to which it has been implemented.

We will continue to keep our position on possible future legislative options under review, informed by academic scrutiny of the industry-led measures. We will provide a further update in due course, following the 12-month implementation period.

Under the Gambling Act 2005, gambling is defined as playing a game of chance for a prize of money or money’s worth. The prizes that can be won via most loot boxes do not have a monetary value, cannot be cashed-out, and are of value only within the context of the game. They therefore do not meet that definition. As set out in the Government’s response to the call for evidence, there are also a number of disadvantages to changing the definition of gambling including the likelihood of capturing unintended activities, creating logistical difficulties in increasing the remit of the Gambling Commission, and undermining gambling taxation.


Written Question
Gambling: Advertising
Monday 27th November 2023

Asked by: Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party - Inverclyde)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the impact of the whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertising in football on the number of gambling messages displayed throughout televised football matches.

Answered by Stuart Andrew - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

The Government welcomed the voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on TV betting ads during live sports programmes, agreed by industry. According to figures from the Betting and Gaming Council, the ban reduced gambling advertisement views by children (age 4-17) by 70% over the full duration of live sporting programmes, with a 96% reduction in gambling TV advertising specifically during the restricted period.

As part of the Gambling review, consideration was given to a range of restrictions on gambling advertising. As set out in the white paper we have struck a balanced and evidence-led approach which tackles aggressive advertising and that which is most likely to appeal to children, while still allowing sports bodies to benefit commercially from deals with responsible gambling firms.


Written Question
Gambling: Advertising
Monday 27th November 2023

Asked by: Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party - Inverclyde)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has made a recent assessment of the potential merits of implementing a ban on gambling advertising on all parts of football kits.

Answered by Stuart Andrew - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

The Government welcomed the voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on TV betting ads during live sports programmes, agreed by industry. According to figures from the Betting and Gaming Council, the ban reduced gambling advertisement views by children (age 4-17) by 70% over the full duration of live sporting programmes, with a 96% reduction in gambling TV advertising specifically during the restricted period.

As part of the Gambling review, consideration was given to a range of restrictions on gambling advertising. As set out in the white paper we have struck a balanced and evidence-led approach which tackles aggressive advertising and that which is most likely to appeal to children, while still allowing sports bodies to benefit commercially from deals with responsible gambling firms.


Written Question
Economic Situation: Gambling
Monday 7th November 2022

Asked by: Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party - Inverclyde)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential economic effects on individuals of harmful gambling habits.

Answered by Paul Scully

Harmful gambling can cause a range of negative outcomes, including financial harms which can be lasting for individuals and those around them. While it is not possible to quantify the economic effects on individuals in society, legislation governing gambling and the requirements placed on operators by the independent regulator, the Gambling Commission, are intended to offer a wide range of protections for the population as a whole as well as more targeted interventions for those experiencing harm.

Our wide-ranging Review of the Gambling Act 2005 aims to ensure that the protections in place to prevent harm are appropriate and effective for the digital age. We will publish a White Paper setting out next steps in the coming weeks.


Written Question
Football: Gambling
Wednesday 19th October 2022

Asked by: Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party - Inverclyde)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will take steps to prevent football clubs making money from gambling losses.

Answered by Damian Collins

Football clubs can enter a wide variety of commercial partnerships but all partnerships with gambling operators must be conducted in a socially responsible fashion and never target children or vulnerable people.

Specifically the EFL and its clubs operated an affiliate scheme as part of their partnership with Sky Bet from 2013 to the 2019/20 season. The scheme has not been active since the 2019/20 season and the Department does not hold detailed estimates of club revenues.

The current impact of gambling sponsorship in sports is in scope of the government's wide-ranging Review of the Gambling Act. We are considering the evidence closely and a white paper setting out our conclusions and next steps will be published in the coming weeks.


Written Question
Football: Betting
Wednesday 19th October 2022

Asked by: Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party - Inverclyde)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she has made an assessment of the implications for her policies of EFL football clubs receiving from bookmakers a share of money lost by their fans while betting.

Answered by Damian Collins

Football clubs can enter a wide variety of commercial partnerships but all partnerships with gambling operators must be conducted in a socially responsible fashion and never target children or vulnerable people.

Specifically the EFL and its clubs operated an affiliate scheme as part of their partnership with Sky Bet from 2013 to the 2019/20 season. The scheme has not been active since the 2019/20 season and the Department does not hold detailed estimates of club revenues.

The current impact of gambling sponsorship in sports is in scope of the government's wide-ranging Review of the Gambling Act. We are considering the evidence closely and a white paper setting out our conclusions and next steps will be published in the coming weeks.


Written Question
Sky Betting and Gaming: Football
Wednesday 19th October 2022

Asked by: Ronnie Cowan (Scottish National Party - Inverclyde)

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an estimate of the number of football clubs in the English Football League operating as affiliates for SkyBet.

Answered by Damian Collins

Football clubs can enter a wide variety of commercial partnerships but all partnerships with gambling operators must be conducted in a socially responsible fashion and never target children or vulnerable people.

Specifically the EFL and its clubs operated an affiliate scheme as part of their partnership with Sky Bet from 2013 to the 2019/20 season. The scheme has not been active since the 2019/20 season and the Department does not hold detailed estimates of club revenues.

The current impact of gambling sponsorship in sports is in scope of the government's wide-ranging Review of the Gambling Act. We are considering the evidence closely and a white paper setting out our conclusions and next steps will be published in the coming weeks.