Tom Watson calls for new industry ombudsman to protect UK customers

Deputy leader of the UK Labour Party, Tom Watson, has called upon the gambling industry to establish a ‘new gambling ombudsman to protect UK consumers’ in the latest move to crackdown on problem gambling across the country.

The latest proposals follow on from Watson’s directive last month which saw the deputy leader call upon the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to undertake a thorough review of online casinos licensed after 2014.

In his speech delivered at the cross-party think tank Demos, Watson unveiled an ‘overhaul of UK betting regulations’, with Labour setting out to establish a ‘new Gambling Act’, as proposed in a ‘party review’ mandate published last September.

Labour has already stated that they will be supporting the introduction of a new ‘compulsory 1% levy on operators Gross Gambling Yield’ – raising a target figure of £100 million to improve gambling harm/addiction resources.

Further directives would see the Labour Party introduce a ban on Credit wagering across UK gambling verticals.

The new industry ombudsman, according to Watson, is fundamental in supporting the UKGC as the country’s gambling regulator and to assist the UK health sector in funding research and the treatment of problem gambling.

“I cannot think of a single other types of transactional arrangement for goods or financial services that would allow this type of situation: unclear terms and conditions, a lack of transparency, a lack of framework – and fuelled by predatory bonus offers.” – Watson will tell his audience.

Watson will outline Labour’s push for a new UK gambling structure, in which the UKGC oversees operator standards and policies, assisted by an ombudsman settling consumer disputes.

Concluding his speech, Watson will underline that UK gambling’s current  voluntary system has allowed a number of operators to escape their civic duties, contributing nothing towards a ‘recommended

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