The UK’s Culture MP Tessa Jowell has commented that the UK government's plans to regulate online gambling will do best at protecting children and vulnerable people.
“Gambling is a diverse, vibrant and innovative industry and a popular leisure activity enjoyed in many forms by millions of people in Britain today," Jowell said. "And this leisure environment is also a source of employment and wealth for many towns and cities.
This bill aims to ensure that the public can enjoy that choice to the full and with confidence. It recognizes that adults need to be trusted and treated like adults."
Her stance, and that of her government, is completely unlike that of the US, which she commented was comparable to alcohol prohibition in the early 1920s.
"Broadly speaking we have three choices," she said. "You can prohibit, like the US, do nothing or regulate, like we have."
She added: "America should have learnt the lessons of prohibition. The Volstead Act was meant to stop alcohol from causing harm, but in practice it forced otherwise law-abiding customers into the hands of the bootleggers.
Jowell also warned the real danger is that offshore sites which are unregulated by the country’s laws will become the 'modern day equivalent of speakeasies', increasing the risk of fraud and exploitation in the industry.