- The APBGG has been closed following the publication of the Gambling Review White Paper
- It will be replaced by a new informal network of people interested in the gambling sector
- MPs have called on the government to regulate cryptocurrency trading as gambling
The All-Party Betting & Gaming Group (APBGG) has officially terminated its parliamentary work following the conclusion of the Gambling Act review.
Group Secretariat Steve Donoughue stated that officers had agreed to close the group under the recommendations of the White Paper.
APBGG Officially Closed
The APBGG is an informal, cross-party group formed by MPs and Members of the House of Lords who share a common interest in gambling policy. It supports the gambling industry, liaises with industry stakeholders, and advises the Parliament and government on gambling-related issues.
In September 2021, the group launched an inquiry into the competence and effectiveness of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) after receiving numerous complaints against the regulator from casino operators. In a report released in January 2022, the APBGG labeled the Commission as “incompetent” and called for a major overhaul of the agency.
The APBGG is chaired by Conservative MP Scott Benton. Baroness Golding, Aaron Bell, Lord Moynihan, Philip Davies and Mark Pritchard also serve as officers of the group.
Donoughue thanked all of the people who have worked with the APBGG over the years for their invaluable contribution. While the group has formally stopped its activities in the Parliament, its officers will continue to recognize the industry’s huge contribution to economic development and will work to help strengthen the UK’s gambling policies.
An informal network of people interested in the UK gambling industry will be launched to replace the APBGG. The network will discuss gambling-related issues outside the Parliamentary All Party Group structure.
Crypto Trading Must be Regulated as Gambling
Meanwhile, the rise of the cryptocurrency market has come under the spotlight at the House of Commons lately, with the Treasury Committee calling for retail investment in cryptocurrencies to be treated like gambling. In making the recommendation, the Committee cited the high volatility of crypto assets and the huge risks involved when investing in them.
The Committee said unbacked crypto assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum have no “intrinsic value”, with their price volatility exposing customers to the potential for massive gains or losses – characteristics that are akin to gambling. Therefore, cryptocurrency trading must be regulated as a form of gambling rather than a financial service, in line with the “same risk, same regulatory outcome” principle.